TCSD Updates for the 2022-2023 School Year

November 4, 2022

With the arrival of November and the winter storm warning, it seems winter is here.  For elementary students, this weekend would be a good time to pull out the Big 5.  For families who need a support in obtaining a coat, snow pants, boots, hats or gloves, please contact your school’s counselor as they may be able to put you in touch with resources that can help make sure students have appropriate winter gear.  Nearly all of our schools have completed parent-teacher conferences and it has been wonderful to be able to host families in the schools again.  

After a lot of work in Cheyenne over the last several months, we are pleased to report that the State’s Select Committee on School Facilities voted to recommend allocating $21.8M for the interior renovations and the academic portion of the Bronc Achievement Center.  The next step is for the Appropriations to consider the matter in December.  If they approve, then the whole Legislature would vote on it in the session ending in spring 2023.  Several of the legislators support the funding request to address the capacity issues at JHHS, while also indicating that approval of the SPET proposition (item #10 on the SPET ballot) on November 8th would be a requirement to recommend the facility funding to the Joint Appropriations Committee.  If voters approve the requested $16M on the SPET ballot, the Joint Appropriations Committee will consider the funding request in December. 

Information about the Bronc Achievement Center and the TCSD Employee Housing project is posted on our website. Let me know if you want to learn more about the need for this facility or the proposed employee housing project (item #14 on the ballot).  

For families who have not yet completed the Free and Reduced meals application, this may be a good time to do so, especially if your place of employment is closed for the off season or if you had qualified for Free and Reduced meals last year as your eligibility under last year’s program expired on October 17th.  You may get an application from the school offices or from our web site.  

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? For those over 21, the Rotary Lunch Casino Night is this Saturday, November 5th at The Cowboy Bar.  Proceeds from the event provide funding for senior scholarships.  Tickets are $100 each and are available online.  Just click here!   You can also find them on the Wort's website.  It's a fun event and supports our students. 

October 21, 2022

As superintendent, I spend a lot of time reading educational research and best practices.  Inevitably the use of technology in schools and outside of school is a consistent discussion.  I found this blog very interesting and hope you will take a moment to read this post

As we all transition to life after a pandemic, TCSD educators continue our efforts to support the social emotional well-being of students.  Over the course of the school year I will share interesting information and resources that may be helpful to families, such as the following YouTube Channel, Parent Guidance Playbooks.  

In addition to a focus on general mental health, our team has participate in enhanced suicide prevention training and managing anxiety.  An excellent resource for families is My Life is Worth Living.  Here is a link to the printable extension lessons for “My Life Is Worth Living” .  

I encourage families of middle and high school students to attend the first of several Family University sessions of the school year on Wednesday, November 2nd at Jackson Hole Middle School. TCSD staff and community partners will host sessions and participants can select the sessions of interest. Here are the details of this valuable opportunity.    

After a lot of work in Cheyenne over the last several months yesterday the State’s Select Committee on School Facilities voted to recommend that the Joint Appropriations Committee allocate $21.8M for the interior renovations and the academic portion of the Bronc Achievement Center.  Several of the legislators understand the importance of this project for TCSD and support funding to address the capacity issues at JHHS, while also indicating that approval of the SPET proposition (item #10 on the SPET ballot) on November 8th would be an important element of the funding equation for the facility.  The Joint Appropriations Committee meets in December to consider the funding recommendation. 

 Information about the Bronc Achievement Center is posted on our website. Let me know if you want to learn more about the need for this facility.  

Good luck this weekend to state cross country teams, swimming team, volleyball team, and the football team with the last home game at McIntosh Stadium.  The mountaineering club will undoubtedly enjoy Sinks Canyon.  

 

October 7, 2022
 

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather and is able to get outside this weekend and soak up the fall colors and warm temperatures.

As we settle into the school year I wanted to take a moment to remind families that in addition to providing traditional academic counseling services, TCSD provides support for student’s social emotional well being.  Our efforts include a focus on age appropriate executive functioning, stress management and life skills.  Our counseling staff support students in a variety of ways throughout the school year.  For students who may need support beyond what the district can provide, we encourage families to reach out to local providers such as the Jackson Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center or one of the numerous private providers.  Additionally, our school counselors may be able to provide a referral to access financial assistance to access mental health services through the Jean Coldsmith fund.  You or your student may speak to their school counselor for more information about this resource or how to find a counselor or therapist to address their specific needs.  

The District is currently providing all staff with suicide prevention training.  Our goal is to ensure that our staff are able to be a resource and provide referrals to professionals who can meet the needs of struggling students.  The Wyoming Safe2Tell platform is also a place where students can report a concern or to find additional resources.  Another resource is “Parent Guidance” that offers free and anonymous support for any parenting question you may have.  Both of these platforms are linked on our website.  Additionally, we will be hosting Family University nights this school year that will include information on a variety of topics.  More information will be sent out shortly.  

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE) is updating the statewide Digital Learning Plan, which supports school districts in addressing education technology opportunities and priorities. The WDE, with assistance from Marzano Research, will be hosting listening sessions to gather information from educators, parents, students, colleges, businesses, and community members about their digital learning ideas, needs, and hopes. This is your chance to help improve Wyoming’s access and use of technology in education.

The district is hosting one of the sessions on Monday, October 10th from 4:30-5:30pm at the District Office, 1235 Gregory Lane.  

For those who may not be aware, TCSD has two projects on the November 8th Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) Ballot.  I hope you will take a little time to review the information posted on our website about the need for these projects and our plans (www.tcsd.org) . 

 

Lastly, on October 10th and October 17th the Board of Trustees will be hosting virtual listening sessions for each school: 

Wilson Elementary, October 10th, 5:30

Jackson Hole Middle School, October 10th, 6:00

Jackson Hole High School/Summit Innovations School, October 10th, 6:30

General Listening Session with Spanish Interpreter, October 10th, 7:00

Alta, Kelly and Moran Listening Session, October 17th, 5:30

Jackson Elementary Listening Session, October 17th, 6:00

Colter Elementary Listening Session, October 17th, 6:30

Munger Mountain Elementary Listening Session, October 17th, 7:00

This is an opportunity to ask the Trustees questions or provide input in an informal setting.  Your student’s school should have shared the Zoom links with you already but links are also available on the calendar on the home page of the district website: www.tcsd.org.

 

September 30, 2022

As we close out the first month of school we have many wonderful celebrations including  state championships for boys golf and tennis,and swimming records being broken. Homecoming Week wraps up this weekend with football competing against Evanston tonight and the dance tomorrow evening.  I am also pleased with the number of students who earned bike “parking stickers” after completing a bike safety program at Jackson Hole Middle School.  We will continue to encourage and support all students’ efforts to follow road and pathway rules to ensure safety for all.  We ask families to use caution when driving on Middle School Road, especially during drop off and pick up times and adhere to the posted “right turn only” out of the JHMS parking lot during those busy times. Another wonderful celebration that just occurred was all our 5th grade students spending two nights at their Kelly Campus and field trips into Grand Teton National Park, a 40+ year tradition. 

We are also thrilled that we have started the school year with a return to in-school events and encouraging families to come see their student’s schools which increases engagement and connection.  

We have received a few questions about the District’s COVID protocols, so as a reminder:

Covid-19: Schools are still monitoring for Covid in the schools, and nurses are triaging symptoms and sending students home as needed.  The following information may change as the school year progresses; updates will be sent as changes are made: 

  • Positive individuals need to isolate for 5 days from onset of symptoms.

    • In the event there are no symptoms and a positive test, isolation is needed for 5 days from the positive test.

  • Exposed individuals may continue to be at school, so long as symptoms are not present.

    • If symptoms begin, please test to prove negative OR isolate at home for 5 days from the onset of symptoms.  

  • Parents will be notified via email if there is a positive individual in the classroom:

    • Elementary: notified for each case.

    • Secondary: notified if there are 2 or more cases per individual class.

  • Testing is available.  Please make arrangements with the school nurse in advance.

    • Only Antigen testing is available in school.

    • Vault tests and a limited number of rapid Antigen tests are available to be sent home.

I am pleased to report the issues with the online meal payment system, My School Bucks has been resolved.  If you do not currently have an account for your student, you may now access myschoolbucks.com and create an account.  Once an account has been set up, you may add money to your child’s account that they use to pay for school meals.  As a reminder, we allowed students to use their account even if there was no money deposited into the account so you may see that your child’s account balance is “in the negative”. Simply add enough money to cover past meals as well as future meal purchases.  

If you have not already signed up for theft insurance for your students device, the deadline is TOMORROW, October 1st.  To enroll, please complete the insurance enrollment form.

The Board of Trustees is holding several listening sessions to hear directly from parents via school based Zoom sessions. This is a great opportunity to ask the Trustees questions or share your thoughts.

Wilson Elementary, October 10th, 5:30
Jackson Hole Middle School, October 10th, 6:00
Jackson Hole High School/Summit Innovations School, October 10th, 6:30
General Listening Session with Spanish Interpreter, October 10th, 7:00
Alta, Kelly and Moran Listening Session, October 17th, 5:30
Jackson Elementary Listening Session, October 17th, 6:00
Colter Elementary Listening Session, October 17th, 6:30
Munger Mountain Elementary Listening Session, October 17th, 7:00

Your student’s school will share the Zoom links to these meetings will be shared with you in the coming days. 

Our district continues our efforts to educate the community about the challenges we face in addressing overcrowding at our high school and recruiting and retaining employees to ensure we can continue to offer the high quality education our students deserve and need for their future success.  Take a moment to learn more about the two District projects on the SPET ballot.  Please contact me if you have any questions about these projects or how they will benefit the students and our community. 

As a reminder, school attendance, including on time arrival, is critical to fully engage in learning.  However, if your child is sick or needs to miss school for any reason, please contact the school office as early as possible to let them know if your student is going to be absent or tardy.  And remind your student, when they are absent they are missed by their teachers, classmates and friends.

 

September 10, 2022

What an amazing week at TCSD #1 as we started the 2022-2023 school year, with the added celebration of being able to welcome families in the buildings.  Over the coming weeks there will be Open House events across the district and I encourage you to to engage in those opportunities to get to know your child’s teachers, visit their classrooms and engage in the school community.  

I understand there was some confusion and miscommunication this week about the food service program and paying for meals.  The online payment system we use, myschoolbucks.com, is experiencing technical issues, preventing some parents from being able to electronically add money to their student’s meal account.  We believe the issues have been mostly resolved and hope that any lingering glitches will be fixed in the coming days. We will communicate with families when we are confident that the system is functioning properly.  Until then, we encourage you to send your child to school with a check made payable to your student's school with their name in the memo line.  We understand that for some families this is inconvenient so we will continue to allow students to purchase breakfast and lunch, second entrees and up to two snacks (chips, juice boxes, etc) even if they do not have funds in the school meal account.   Please know that costs will still be incurred and any outstanding balance will need to be paid when the online payment system is working again. If you still have questions, please contact our food services manager, Danny Reed at dreed@tcsd.org.

As a reminder, the State of Wyoming has a set of required vaccinations for students based on grade level/ages.  To support families in obtaining these vaccinations the Teton Health Department is offering a vaccination clinic on Friday, September 16th.  For more information, click here.  Wyoming does provide a Religious/Medical Vaccination Waiver option for families. Please visit this website for more information.   

All TCSD students are assigned a device to be used for school purposes.  Jackson Hole High School and Summit Innovations School students receive a laptop while elementary and middle school students receive an iPad.  Younger students typically leave their device at school while secondary students typically bring the device home, unless parents/guardians inform the school that they prefer the device be left at school.  All families are required to complete a Responsible Use Agreement that outlines appropriate use of the device and consequences for not following the use requirements.   If you have not already completed this form for your student, please do so as soon as possible.  

Damaged devices are covered under the District's AppleCare agreement.  Please refer to that attached fee structure for details about fees associated with damage devices.  AppleCare does cover the cost to replace stolen devices.  If you would like to purchase optional theft insurance please complete the insurance enrollment by October 1, 2022.  

As we all adjust to new routines please remember to set a regular schedule at home including a bedtime that allows students to get the amount of sleep they need, have a healthy breakfast and reach out to your child’s school with any questions.

 

August 2022
As you enjoy these last days of summer, our team of dedicated principals, teachers, nurses, counselors, psychologists, social workers, bus drivers and food service workers, secretaries and paraprofessionals, custodians, maintenance staff, IT staff, coaches and district office staff have been working tirelessly to prepare for the start of this school year which starts on Tuesday, September 6th. 

The federal free meals for all students has ended, which means that students will again have to pay for school meals unless the family applies and qualifies for free or reduced meal costs. We STRONGLY encourage all families to apply for the program.  Applications in English and Spanish are available in your student’s school office or you can apply online at myschoolapps. Applications must be completed, signed and sent to Danny Reed, Box 568, Jackson, WY. 83001 or given to lunchroom staff. You may apply any time during the school year.  All applications are kept completely confidential and not shared with any outside agency.  

For those who do not quality for free meals, the 2022-2023 costs are as follows: 

Elementary schools
Lunch $3.25 full pay, Lunch $0.40 reduced price
Breakfast $2.10 full pay, Breakfast  $0.30 reduced price

Middle School
Lunch 3.50 full pay, Lunch $0.40 reduced price
Breakfast $2.25 full pay, Breakfast $0.30 reduced price

High School
Lunch $3.75 full pay, Lunch  $0.40 reduced price
Breakfast $2.50 full pay, Breakfast $0.30 reduced price

My School Bucks is an online system that allows parents/guardians to monitor student meal accounts and make payments online. Questions? Email Danny Reed, Food Service Director, or call at 307-732-3757. 

TCSD is in the process of transitioning to a new district-wide notification system.  Families do not need to do anything to receive text messages, emails or phone calls through this system but please be aware that text messages and phone calls may come from a different phone number than in previous years.  If you have not done so already, please make sure your child’s school has current contact information on file.  You can do this through the online registration process.  

We are very hopeful that the impacts COVID had on our school is behind us.  If our community does experience an increase in cases, we will work with local and state health officials to review CDC recommendations to determine the district's response based on their most current guidance.  Here are the current recommendations from CDC.

For students who will be riding the bus, information about student bus routes is included in your student’s online registration materials.  It is also available on the transportation webpage.  If you have any questions about bus route information please contact your student’s school.  Please take a few minutes to review the 2022-2023 Letter to Families and  the transportation handbook with your student.  These documents include important information about school transportation services and expectations. Requests for alternate bus stops can be made on the transportation webpage and will be granted based on space availability. 

All TCSD students will be assigned a district laptop (grades 9-12) or iPad (grades K-8) for school use.  Devices are insured through AppleCare for damage.  There is a per incident fee for damaged devices for repair or replacement.  Fee structure information is provided here.  
Please talk with your student about the proper care and handling of the device.  Cases are provided for all devices and should not be removed.  This will limit the chance of damage.  Stickers or writing on the case is not permitted.  

Thank you for all you do to support your student(s), teachers and staff and the district.  We are looking forward to seeing you on September 6th!

Gillian Chapman, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Jackson Hole High School    307.732.3700
Summit Innovations School    307.733.9116
Jackson Hole Middle School    307.733.4234
Alta Elementary        307.353.2472
Colter Elementary        307.733.9651
Jackson Elementary        307.733.5302
Kelly Elementary        307.733.2955
Moran Elementary        307.543.2438
Munger Mountain Elementary    307.733.3020    
Wilson Elementary School    307.733.3077





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Teton County School District is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in relation to age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. This policy governs all matters concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, and individuals with whom the School District does business. The notice shall include a reference to the person and the address and telephone number of the staff member designated to coordinate civil rights compliance. For purposes of this School District, that person shall be the Superintendent or Title IX/504/Communications Coordinator creynolds@tcsd.org at 307-733-2704 or PO Box 568, Jackson WY 83001

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