COVID-19 Update to Families and the Community

COLIVD-19

COVID-19 Related Frequently Asked Questions
Attached here are a list of frequently asked questions and the corresponding responses from the District.  This list will be updated as we receive additional questions or as the responses are is updated based on new information about this ever changing virus.  

TCSD Smart Start Plan (En Espanol)
This plan outlines how the school district will operate schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

For community COVID related information and links to the Teton County Health Department, the Wyoming Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention please visit: shredthespreadjh.com.  Data for the number of cases for youth, ages 5-18 is available at jhcovid.com and includes the number of cases over the previous two weeks.  This information is found under the Teton WY Active Cases box.  

TCSD Friday Meal Delivery Schedule
TCSD 2020 Illness Policy and Illness Policy Frequently Asked Questions 

 

TCSD Student and Staff Absence Report (archived weekly reports)

   

Absences Week of May 10-14, 2021

 

 

Day of Week

Staff COVID 

Staff

PTO

 

Staff

TOTAL

Student

COVID

Student

non-COVID

Student 

TOTAL

Monday 05/10

1

.2%

39

7.75%

40

7.95%

32

1.16%

206

7.44%

238

8.60%

Tuesday 05/11

1

.2%

28

5.57%

29

5.77%

39

1.41%

151

5.46%

190

6.87%

Wednesday

05/12

0

28

5.57%

28

5.57%

35

1.26%

145

5.24%

180

6.51%

Thursday

05/13

0

52

10.34%

52

10.34%

     

Friday

05/14

     

N/A

N/A

N/A

Positive Cases

0

   

4

   


The following communications from Dr. Gillian Chapman are emailed to all TCSD families each week and then posted here to keep the broader community informed of the messages from TCSD.  

UPDATE- May 13

For the last week TCSD has been working with the Teton County Department of Health to coordinate a school based vaccination clinic in anticipation of the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for youth 12 years and older.  

The first clinic will be held on Monday, May 17, 2021 at the Jackson Hole High School.  The second clinic will be held at Jackson Hole Middle School on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at the Jackson Hole Middle School.   The COVID-19 vaccine clinic hours will be 10:30am-6:00pm for both events. Participating in the vaccination clinic is optional.  The second shot clinics will be June 7th and 8th.

Here is the link to schedule appointments, which includes the consent form that must be completed for any student under the age of 18 in order to receive the vaccine.  

If you sign up your student(s) for one of these two clinics during the school day please select the appointment day based on which school your child attends, for example high school students should sign up for the May 17th clinic and middle school students should sign up for the May 18th clinic.  Parents/Guardians of students and school staff are also welcome to sign up for a vaccine appointment at the schools. Parents do not need to be present in order for the child to get the vaccine while at school, provide the consent form is submitted.  Students will be excused from class for their scheduled appointment.  

Parents/Guardians do not need to be present at the school-based clinics for their children to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but those who want to be at their child’s appointment are welcome to attend.   If you have additional questions about the school-based clinics, please email covidvax@tetoncountywy.gov or call the COVID-19 hotline at 307-732-8628, option 1. 

Today the Wyoming Department of Health extended State Health Order #1through the end of May.  State Health Order #1 requires masks to be worn in all K-12 schools. TCSD is currently ineligible to request an exemption to this order.  

On May 26th the Wyoming Board of Education is hosting a Community Town Hall, Profile of a Graduate from 6-7pm at the Teton County School District Administration Building.  Community members may also participate virtually using this registration link.  These listening sessions, which are being offered throughout the state, are an opportunity for communities to share their thoughts and priorities for what graduates of Wyoming high schools should know and be able to do as they start college, enter the military or join the workforce.  We encourage parents, students, teachers and staff, local government officials and members of the business and nonprofit communities to attend this important community meeting.  

UPDATE- May 7

Last night during the boy’s varsity soccer game, a Star Valley player was seriously injured.  A physician was onsite and provided immediate attention before emergency services transported the player to St. John’s Health Center.  The student was transferred for further medical treatment and is reported to be stable and in good condition.    We are especially proud of our coaches and activity staff who remained calm, while supporting fans, players and parents.  A special recognition to all the players who exhibited exceptional sportsmanship in the face of a tragic event.  The entire team at TCSD #1 sends our well wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Ethan and our support to his family and friends and the entire Star Valley High School community during this difficult time.  A gofundme page has been set up to support Ethan’s recovery.  

TCSD school counselors are available to support students affected by this tragic incident.  You may call your student’s school and they will connect you with a counselor as quickly as possible.   The Jackson Hole Counseling Center also has 24 hour emergency counseling services available by calling 733-2046.  

TCSD will host an information session for parents on May 13th from 6-7:15pm via  Zoom

https://tcsd.zoom.us/j/81253618623. Meeting ID: 812 5361 8623.  The purpose of this session is to learn more about Dyslexia and the ways in which TCSD #1 differentiates instruction for students who demonstrate reading difficulties associated with dyslexia.  

TCSD recently learned that the Wyoming Department of Health experienced a data breach associated with COVID and flu testing results.  The WDH is contacting those impacted by the breach and is offering a year  of identity theft insurance at no cost.  If you have not received notification from WDH you may contact them 307.777.7656 to determine if you or your student was affected by this data breach.

The Board of Trustees meets next Wednesday, May 12th at 6:00pm.  The public is invited to attend the meeting in person or may watch the meeting virtually via the link posted on www.tcsd.org home page.  

 Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms who make our lives a whole lot better.

 

UPDATE- April 30
It has been a busy week here at TCSD.  You are likely already aware that our schools have been conducting WY-TOPP testing this week and will continue with the state required assessment through next week.  Thank you for helping your student do their best on these standardized assessments by making sure they get enough rest and a healthy breakfast to start the day.  

We have received a few inquiries about lifting the mask requirement for schools.  The current state mask mandate for schools remain in effect through at least May 16th.  Some districts have sought and been granted a variance to the mask requirement, based on the state criteria which is available here. TCSD does not meet the criteria which requires a county to be in the “green” risk category for at least two weeks for a variance to be considered. Teton County recently transitioned from the “orange” risk category to “yellow”. 

We are pleased to see the number of new COVID cases in our community continue to decrease and we hope this trend continues as more of our community members get vaccinated.  

Teton County Health Department has announced that they will be running a vaccination clinic with the Pfizer vaccine next Tuesday from 3-7pm for any individual 16 years or older.  They are also running a clinic during normal hours (8:30-3:30pm) on Wednesday with Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those who are interested in that specifically. Walk-ins are accepted at both of those clinics, and appointments can be booked on their website, www.tetoncountywy.gov/covidvax.

 A note for minors (16 & 17 year olds) receiving a vaccine: a parent/guardian must sign their consent form. The minor must also be accompanied by someone over 18 at their appointment - this does not have to be a parent/guardian, but someone who is trusted to make medical decisions, if necessary, and that the parent/guardian knows is with their child at the clinic.

 

I hope you and your family are able to get outside this weekend to enjoy this lovely spring weather.  

 

UPDATE- March 19

TCSD will be providing Vault tests for students to take home over spring break and we strongly encourage all students to take the test before returning to school on April 12th.  Additionally, we will be starting a COVID surveillance testing program after spring break.  

The district will provide Vault tests to 20% of each school’s student body each week for the remainder of the school year.  Details about how to complete the test will be provided when your student is selected.  Participation in the surveillance testing program is voluntary for the general student population. High school student athletes will be required to participate in surveillance testing on a weekly basis in order to be eligible for participation in practices and competitions.

Students not participating in high school sports may opt out of the surveillance testing program.  To opt out, please complete the opt out form and submit it by Wednesday, March 24th.  If your student has tested positive for COVID within the last 90 days please complete the opt out form.

We will be holding our next Parent Listening Session on March 23rd with an English session starting at 6:00pm and a Spanish session starting at 6:30pm.  We will be prepared to answer questions about the middle and high school schedule transitions that will be starting on April 12th as well as listening to feedback on any other topics families wish to share. Links to the meetings will be shared in next week’s update and posted on our website at www.tcsd.org

We are closely monitoring the 66th Legislature currently debating significant reductions to education funding.  While it is understood that revenue is declining in Wyoming, further reductions to the funding for education will have a significant impact to Teton County School District and our ability to offer small class sizes, programs, staffing, activities, facilities, and supports we currently have for students.  Please let our representatives know that you support public education and ask them to do the same.  I vehemently disagree with recent comments made by Senator Charlie Scott stating that schools have "poor results". That is completely inaccurate as our schools are amongst the highest in the state and Wyoming schools and rank in the top 5% nationally as measured by NAEP assessments.  Linked here is a Tool Kit for contacting legislators with their contact information at the end of the letter.  Linked here is a video produced by Wyoming PBS where k-12 education funding is discussed in depth.   

Thank you for your continued support for TCSD and our students and staff especially during this difficult time for our country, state and community. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

UPDATE- March 12

Congratulations to the boys and girls state championship alpine teams.  Way to go!

During their regular meeting this week, the Board of Trustees decided to maintain the current Monday-Thursday elementary schedules through the end of this school year.  

TCSD will be providing Vault tests for students to take home over spring break and we strongly encourage all students to take the test before returning to school on April 12th.  Additionally, we will be starting a COVID surveillance testing program after spring break.  More information will be available soon but we hope families will choose to participate in the surveillance testing program as it will help us identify individuals who have COVID and help to limit the spread of the virus in the schools.  

We will be holding our next Parent Listening Session on March 23rd with an English session starting at 6:00pm and a Spanish session starting at 6:30pm.  We will be prepared to answer questions about the middle and high school schedule transitions that will be starting on April 12th as well as hearing feedback on any other topics families wish to share. Links to the meetings will be shared in next week’s update and posted on our website at www.tcsd.org

I know we are all tired of this virus and the impact it is having on us as individuals and our community but as we see the COVID risk level increase again to orange, please continue to follow public health recommendations.  Have a wonderful weekend.

 

UPDATE- March 5

Congratulations to the boys and girls state championship nordic teams.  Both teams took the championship last weekend to cap off a great season.  

The Board of Trustees is having their regular meeting on Wednesday, March 10th starting at 6:00pm.  A link to the meeting will be posted at www.tcsd.org prior to the meeting, allowing the public to participate virtually.  

We will be holding our next Parent Listening Session on March 23rd with an English session starting at 6:00pm and a Spanish session starting at 6:30pm.  We will be prepared to answer questions about the middle and high school schedule transitions that will be starting on April 12th as well as hearing feedback on any other topics families wish to share.

We continue to encourage families to take advantage of the free Vault tests available from your student’s school nurse.  Ongoing surveillance testing is an important tool in ensuring COVID positive individuals avoid spreading the virus to others.  

I hope you have a chance to get outside this weekend to enjoy the beautiful weather that is predicted for the next couple of days. 

 

UPDATE- February 26
With the decision made to transition middle and high school to a Monday-Thursday schedule starting April 12th, staff are developing plans to prepare for the change.  New lesson plans are being developed, updated bus routes are being created, food service is ordering food supplies, facilities staff are making plans to move in additional desks/furniture, technology is planning for impacts on our systems.  While much work will go into preparing for these logistical changes our school staff are focusing on how to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for all students.  

As mentioned in last week’s update but it is worth mentioning again that the District will continue to offer the virtual or remote option for all students.  Should you have specific questions, please contact your student’s school principal.  

With snow falling and the forecast predicting significant amounts of snow and wind over the next several hours please stay safe and enjoy your weekend.  

 

UPDATE- February 19

Last night during their special meeting, the Board of Trustees voted to modify school schedules for Jackson Hole Middle School, Jackson Hole High School and Summit Innovations School.  Starting Monday, April 12th middle school and high school students will attend school for in person instruction Monday-Thursday. The schools will be providing additional information to families in the coming weeks with details about how this schedule change will be managed at the building level, including Friday programming. 

No changes were made to elementary school schedules so students in grades kindergarten- 5th grade will continue to attend school for in person instruction Monday-Thursday. 
The District will continue to offer the virtual or remote option for all students.  Should you have specific questions, please contact your student’s school principal.  

Starting tomorrow, February 20th, district employees will begin receiving their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, with the remainder of staff who choose to participate being vaccinated by the end of February.  Even after being vaccinated all staff will continue to follow COVID protocols including mask wearing, proper hygiene and staying home if they are sick.    We again express our gratitude to the Teton County health Department for their continued efforts to vaccinate members of our community and keeping us informed of the impacts COVID-19 is having on our community.  

We will be closely monitoring the winter storm that is forecast to move into our area over the weekend so we are prepared for any impacts to school operations.  Please stay safe and well and enjoy the snow.

 

UPDATE- February 12

We are pleased to report that we continue to see fewer COVID related absences for staff and students.  Another celebration is that this week our community transitioned to the “orange” or moderate risk level and is seeing fewer COVID cases and a lower positivity rate than in recent weeks.  If you have not checked out the Teton County COVID dashboard, it is a great source of information. 

During their regular monthly meeting this past Wednesday, the Board of Trustees scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, February 18th at 6:00pm to discuss possible changes to the current school schedule.  The meeting will be live streamed and members of the public are invited to provide public comment.  A link to the Webex, live streaming platform will be available at www.tcsd.org prior to the meeting.  

I am excited to announce that all K-12 employees will have the opportunity to participate in vaccination clinics on February 20th and 27th.  We greatly appreciate the hard work of the Teton County Health Department in scheduling these clinics and all who supported efforts to increase the amount of vaccines being sent to Teton County.  With this exciting development our employees will soon be protected from contracting the virus, though COVID protocols such as mask wearing and proper hygiene will continue to be enforced at our schools.  I hope you have a wonderful long holiday weekend and we look forward to seeing students on February 16th.

 UPDATE - February 5

 While we closed out last week with an increase in the number of COVID-related absences we were very pleased to see those absence numbers drop over this week, meaning fewer staff and students were absent because of COVID.  We continue to closely monitor the impact absences have on our schools and our ability to keep our schools open for face to face instruction.  The absence data is posted on www.tcsd.org under the COVID tab.

We have received some questions from the community who are voicing strong support for getting district employees vaccinated.  We recognize the  importance of the vaccine as one more layer of protection against this disease and we support all efforts to bring additional vaccines into our community so our teachers and staff, along with others in the community.  We also recognize that we will need to continue to follow COVID protocols even after employees are vaccinated, especially as students will not be vaccinated in the near future.  

The Board of Trustees will hold their monthly meeting next Wednesday, February 10th.  You may stream the meeting live starting at 6:00p.m. from our web site, www.tcsd.org.

Enjoy your snowy weekend, stay safe and healthy and if you are a football fan and will be watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, please remember to follow public health recommendations so the improvements our community made over the last week will continue.   Of course, I hope you join me in rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs!  

 

UPDATE- January 29

This has been a busy week with the start of a new semester, many students taking the interim WY-TOPP tests and lots of fresh new snow.  

This week we did see an increase in the number of COVID-related absences.  We are closely monitoring the impact those absences have on our schools.  We hope the numbers decrease, or at least not increase.  The absence data is posted on www.tcsd.org under the COVID tab.

With the arrival of the more contagious COVID-19 variant we ask families to remind their students about proper mask wearing.  A face covering should fit snugly and be worn so it fully covers the nose and mouth.  We understand this may be an inconvenience but it is very important.  If students are not wearing masks properly they will be issued quarantine orders if a positive case is identified in his/her classroom or on the bus.  TCSD has plenty of 2-ply cloth face coverings available in the school offices so please don't hesitate to have your student ask for a mask or several masks.  

Every year I try to learn or try something new.  Over time, this has equipped me with many new experiences - some things I am pretty good at and some not so good.  Since I have lived here, I have re-learned skiing, picked up nordic, got my motorcycle license, bought a kayak and paddle board.  With all of these new learnings, the one tip that the motorcycle test taught me is “where you focus or look - that is the direction you will go so make sure you are focusing on the right thing”.  Let’s keep looking for the positives in our days and while it may not cure everything, it will help us focus on what is going well and gratitude for the opportunities each day.  

Enjoy your snowy weekend, stay safe and healthy and we will see your students next week.

 

UPDATE- January 22

Thank you for all the kind emails and expressions of appreciation after last Friday’s district update.  I heard from so many families expressing their gratitude for our teachers, our staff and the Board of Trustees’ efforts to keep our schools open for face to face instruction while also focusing on keeping everyone in our schools safe.  My gratitude for this week is our county-wide commitment to supporting education.  

 A quick reminder that school meals are available for pick up at Jackson Hole High School Monday-Friday with the additional option for meal delivery on Fridays on the following schedule:

 

In an effort to provide as much information about COVID impacts in our schools while also respecting individual’s privacy, TCSD is posting student and staff absence information on our website.  This information will be updated every Friday.  While we are concerned about the new “critical” risk level in our community we are pleased to see the number of quarantines and isolations are not increasing in our school populations. 

One last COVID reminder, we encourage students to use the TCSD provided Vault tests available from the school nurse.  We do, however, ask that the use of TCSD provided tests is limited to TCSD students and not used by other family members.  You may order free tests from vaulthealth.com and we encourage you to participate in the state funded access to these tests.    

Again, thank you for your words of kindness and support for our entire district team, we are all working hard but we are working together because we are committed to serving the students and families of Teton County.

 

UPDATE- January 15

If you are like me, you might be feeling like your tank is a bit empty.  To counter that feeling and the stress the current challenges have brought, I have been reminding myself to focus on the things I can control rather than being overwhelmed by the things I can’t.  For example, I can’t control the increase in the number of COVID cases in our community but I can decide to skip that social invitation, get takeout and do a jigsaw puzzle with my puppy Jett curled up at my feet or trying to eat the puzzle pieces off the table.  

 Recently someone shared with me an article about how COVID has highlighted for many the feeling of FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out.  We know this can be a common feeling for students as they move through the normal stages of child development.  Kids want to spend time with friends outside the home which is very difficult when health orders and recommendations discourage social gatherings outside the home.  During times of stress, which we are all experiencing, it can be hard to remember to search for the silver linings.  Have you developed a new family tradition of Friday night game night or Sunday Zoom days with family members who live in another city or state, or have you and your family developed a new hobby or activity?  

Another way to cope with stress can be identifying moments of gratitude.  While it is easy to be frustrated at not being in school full time, I am grateful that we are able to offer face to face instruction for all students.  I am grateful that we are able to provide free meals to youth.  I am grateful to our staff who have learned the skills necessary to provide our services during a pandemic.  I am grateful for our school district family and every staff member who have given much of themselves to support our students.  

One COVID reminder, if your student is experiencing ANY symptoms of COVID, please take a test and keep your student home until you receive the test results.  Please do not send your student to school while you wait for the test results.  If the test is negative and your child is symptom free he/she may return to school.  If the test is positive the school nurse and/or the Health Department will contact you to discuss isolation and quarantine orders for your family.  

We are all tired of this pandemic.  We are all stressed by these challenging times.  As we head into the weekend I am going to try to find moments of joy and gratitude.  I hope you will join me in doing the same with your household.  

 

UPDATE- January 8

I hope everyone had a good first week of 2021 in spite of the incident that occurred at our nation’s Capitol Building on Wednesday. I understand and respect that there are strong opinions about the current state of affairs in our country.  I hope as a country we adults can be models for our students and can find a way to move forward with mutual respect and civility.  

 In the last few days I have received several requests to return to regular full time, face to face instruction.  Everyone at TCSD is anxious to welcome students back to school full time.  We are just not yet in a position to do so due to the number of cases in Teton County.  Changing our current schedules would result in our inability to adhere to the recommended COVID protocols we have been following and that appear to be helping limit the amount of virus spread in our schools.  It is truly our hope that in the coming weeks our community infection rates will drop and as a community we will transition from the current “red” or high risk levels to lower risk levels that would allow us to begin to transition to more normal, full time school attendance.   

We have received numerous questions about getting a rapid COVID test.  To clarify, a TCSD nurse may provide a rapid test for symptomatic staff or students.  TCSD is not approved to provide this test for anyone who does not have COVID symptoms.  The school nurse will determine if the test is appropriate and per Health Department rules, the nurse will administer the test.  To request a rapid test due to COVID symptoms, please contact your school nurse to schedule an appointment during the school day.   

While it appears this test is reliable in identifying a positive COVID result, the FDA has expressed concerns regarding the number of false negatives that are resulting from this test so a negative test does not guarantee the individual is cleared to return to or remain at school; the nurse will determine if an immediate return to school will occur based on the individual situation and symptoms.  BinaxNow Test information.

 Please continue to use the district distributed Vault tests for surveillance purposes.  This helps us determine if there are any positive, yet asymptomatic individuals so we can prevent spread.  As always, please stay home if symptomatic.  

Thank you for all your support of our teachers, building staff, administrators and trustees.  This has been a challenging time but the support and encouragement we have received inspires us to continue our work in educating and supporting students.  

 

UPDATE- December 31

As we say farewell to 2020 I know we are all hopeful for a less challenging 2021.  While things were not “normal” in 2020 and many have endured unthinkable loss and struggles we have also learned new skills as we deal with adversity.  While not easy, these skills will serve us all well as we face future challenges in our lives.  

If your student has not taken a COVID test during the break, we strongly encourage testing prior to returning to school on January 4th.  If your student did not get a test from the school nurse before the break, please order one today from https://www.vaulthealth.com/covid.  

When we return to school next week we will continue to follow the schedule we have been on since September with elementary students attending school Monday- Thursday and secondary students attending face to face instruction on Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays.  

The Board of Trustees will be hosting a listening tour for families of each school via Zoom.  The schedule for the events is below.  Shortly before the meeting at your student’s school, the principal will send out information on how to join the meeting. Each session will last approximately 30 minutes.  We encourage your involvement in this process.  

January 6
5:30 JES
6:00 SIS
6:30 JHHS

January 7
5:30 MMES
6:00 CES
6:30 JHMS
7:00 Spanish speaking only 

I hope you and your family have had time during the winter break to rest, relax and have some fun as we all eagerly look forward to the new year and the end of this pandemic that has had such a profound impact on our students and staff, our community, our country and our world. 

 

UPDATE- December 4

It was so wonderful to welcome students and staff back to the school buildings on Monday.  We have also watched very carefully as the number of COVID cases in the community increased and our local hospital began reaching capacity.  And while nationwide, schools have shown to not be “super spreaders” we know that we are part of the greater community and schools are not “no risk” environments.  

In spite of what challenging times we are experiencing, our students and employees continue to impress me with their commitment to following the safety protocols and doing their best to help keep our schools safe and healthy learning environments.  

Our food service department continues to provide free meals to youth under the age of 19 and we will be able to offer free meals through the end of the school year.  Meals are available for pick up at Jackson Hole High School Monday-Friday between 11-12:30.  Meal delivery is also still available on Fridays based on the following schedule:

In recent days we have received some questions and concerns about after school activities.  We have been offering structured, closely monitored activities since the start of the school year.  We believe such programs are beneficial to the physical, mental, and emotional health of students in normal times and maybe even more important in times of stress. For some kids, sports are the reason to engage in school, to keep their grades up, and in some cases even attend school which is critical to their academic growth and achievement. In order to maintain engagement in school and to support students, we have gone to great lengths to ensure safety.  To date we have had no isolation or quarantine orders due to contact during the activity.  

While we recognize the value of activities, our staff and board want to be part of the solution for our community’s high case count and more importantly a stressed local health care system.  Wednesday at 6pm, the Trustees will be considering all the pros and cons and will deliberate on how to move forward, considering the current local public health recommendations.  The board will review our current COVID mitigation plan or our “Smart Start Plan”, which includes activities, and will consider temporarily suspending wrestling. The meeting is available for live streaming via this link.  Written comments may be submitted ahead of time or public comment may be made during the meeting.  

As an educator and a mom I know that it is critical for students to have the option to attend classes face to face for academic and social emotional support from teachers, building staff and friends, but we must ensure that our schools continue to provide a safe and healthy place to gather.  These are challenging times for us. I hope we can all remember that we are in this together and that we all must do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID in our community while remaining focused on taking care of our students and one another. 

The District remains grateful for the support of every community member and the high value that is placed on education in our community.  

UPDATE- November 27

As we near the end of the Thanksgiving break TCSD announces that we have seen a reduction in the number of staff impacted by COVID-19 so we are able to return to our face to face schedules on November 30th as planned. As a reminder, elementary students will return to schools 4 days per week while secondary students will return on their assigned A/B schedules.

If your family traveled the break, please consider quarantining your student for 14 days before they return to school. This is not a requirement but we do ask everyone to do everything possible to keep our schools as safe and healthy an environment as possible. If you do decide to quarantine please notify your student’s school Monday morning that you are taking this added precaution. Additionally, if your student or a member of the student's household has ANY symptoms of COVID-19, please keep him or her home until symptoms are gone.

I hope you had a restful break and we look forward to seeing students and staff on Monday.

UPDATE- November 20

As we end this unexpected week of remote instruction and kick off the Thanksgiving break, I am yet again reminded that we are living in a challenging time.  The realities of this pandemic have far reaching impacts and the decisions we are forced to make are difficult but I am thankful for the notes of encouragement and support I have received from parents, the community and our staff.  While we know our mitigation efforts to date have paid off, the unexpected move to remote instruction was unavoidable.   At the end of last week over 65 employees from across the district were unable to come to school due to quarantine or isolation orders.  The number of employees unable to come to work meant we did not have enough staff to keep our schools open for face to face instruction.  

At this time we fully anticipate returning to face to face instruction on November 30.  Over the break, our leadership team will continue to work and will monitor the number of staff impacted by this virus, as well as the conditions in the local community.  During the break we will not be conducting any contact tracing or outreach if we learn of a positive COVID case in a member of our staff or students.  If you learn that you, a member of your family or a close contact has tested positive for COVID, please follow all recommendations from the Health Department. We will provide an update to all families about our return to face to face instruction via email and post on our website on Friday, November 27th.

TCSD continues to provide free Vault tests for all TCSD students.  If you have not already picked up a Vault test from your school nurse you may order the same test for free from Vault Health.  The test is mailed directly to your home and includes instructions for completing and mailing back the test.  If you are ordering online via the website listed, please note that when you enter your home state as WY, there is no cost for  the test.  

I have received many suggestions from members of the community regarding the actions the district should take to ensure we will be able to return to face to face instruction as planned.  Some have suggested that we require all staff and students to take a COVID test prior to being allowed to return to school.  Some have suggested that we require any student who traveled during the break or attended a Thanksgiving gathering with people outside their household to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to return to the classroom.  While all of these suggestions are worthy of consideration and paint a clear picture of the crisis we are currently experiencing, we have determined it is not possible for the district to implement and enforce these recommendations.  I would suggest, however, that we all share a level of responsibility in this effort.  I know we will all do our best and make personal decisions that consider the challenges we are facing nationally, regionally and locally as well as taking care of our family needs.

I do hope that the break ahead gives everyone a chance to reflect on all the things we are grateful for in a time when it feels like nothing is going right.  We have all been thrown curveballs this year and I am grateful to have such an incredible team of professionals, our Board of Trustees and the trust you have placed in our district.   Every employee, student and family has a critical role in our continued success and I am grateful for each of you.   Have a safe and terrific Thanksgiving break.  We look forward to our safe return on November 30.  

 

UPDATE- November 11

Tonight during their Regular Meeting the board determined that TCSD will transition to virtual/remote learning for all TCSD students from November 16th-20th.  At this time we are planning on returning to face to face instruction on Monday, November 30th. We will continue to monitor the conditions in the local community and with our staff during this two week period.

This decision was unanticipated prior to receiving a data update this morning.  While the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and increasing positivity rate in our local community were considered,  the primary determining factor in this decision is the number of district teachers and staff members who are currently out of school due to isolation or quarantine orders.  We simply do not have enough staffing to continue providing face to face instruction as we have been doing since the beginning of the school year.  

Each school will communicate plans for transitioning to virtual/remote learning and ensuring students have the resources and materials they need for next week.  

The Friday November 13th “CREST” program for elementary school students is canceled.  As of November 16th all activities and athletic events including games and practices will be canceled while schools are following the virtual learning model.  

 

UPDATE- October 9

Thank you for taking the time to read these weekly updates.  I know you receive numerous communications from your student’s principal, teachers, counselors and me, but we are all sharing really important information in an effort to keep you informed about what is happening in our schools, especially during this unusual and challenging time.  

While the district is pleased that we have not seen any spread of COVID-19 within our schools, we know that spread is occurring in school age children engaging in social activities outside of school.  Please keep in mind that local public health data indicates that you are more likely to contract COVID from someone you know rather than someone you encounter in the general population.  We ask students and families to be extremely thoughtful in how they spend their time outside of school- please consider avoiding in person gatherings until the number of positive cases drops.  If you do get together with friends, keep your social groups very small, maintain physical distance, wear face coverings at all times when outside the home, follow proper hygiene practices and please, stay home if you have any COVID-symptoms.   While this is difficult, it is essential that we all do our part to avoid spreading this virus to friends, family members, teachers and school staff, and the community.

During their regular meeting on October 14th at 6pm, the Board will receive an update COVID-19 including information from Teton County Health Department staff.  Please note that the board is not scheduled to vote on a change to elementary or secondary schedules during the meeting.  The meeting agenda and a link to the meeting is now posted on our website and available here.  Some members of the community have inquired how the community indicator transitioning to the “red” zone impacts schools and if there are plans to transition to full virtual, online learning.  After discussions with the Health Department the indicator metrics do not suggest that a transition to online learning only is necessary at this time. 

For families who have not yet completed the responsible use form for a TCSD provided laptop or iPad, please do so now: Student AUP-all grades.  If you have not yet purchased insurance for your student’s device, good news- the sign up period has been extended to October 16th.  Here is the information to purchase insurance: 

Elementary Insurance Information
Middle School Insurance Information
High School Insurance information

If you have any extra water bottles laying around, please consider donating them to JHMS to be shared with students who don't have reusable water bottles to bring to school each day.

Lastly, don't forget that TCSD is providing meals for all students at no cost.  The program was just extended and will be available for the entire school year.  Also, families may pick up meals at Jackson Hole High School on days when students are not physically at school between 11:00-12:30 PM.    This last week our food services team provided 6,828 meals to our community’s youth, an increase of 800 meals in one week.  

Additionally, meal delivery is available on Fridays at the following locations:
 

Stop

Time

Notes

Depart JHHS

10:32 AM

 

Evans Trailer Middle

10:45 AM

 

Melody East

11:05 AM

Sage Meadow Parking Lot

Rafter J- Arabian Drive

11:20 AM

Mailboxes on Percheron and Arabian

Cottonwood Park

11:40 AM

Community Center

Miller Park

12:05 PM

North side of the park

Mike Yokel Park

12:25 PM

Bus Pullout on south side of the park

Powderhorn Park

12:45 PM

Intersection of Smith Lane & May

Wilson

1:05 PM

Owen Bircher

GV Junction Roundabout

10:55 AM

 

Kelly Elementary

11:20 AM

 

Moose Post Office

11:50 AM

 

Moran Elementary

12:25 PM

 

 

I know we are all tired of this pandemic.  We all want our lives to return to normal as soon as possible.  We can only get there if we all do our part to keep students, school staff and our community safe.  

 

UPDATE-October 2

With the leaves turning and the hours of daylight shrinking, we are reminded that in a few short weeks we will be spending a lot more time inside and facing the annual cold and flu season, in addition to COVID-19.  Please consider getting a flu shot and as always, please keep your student home if they are experiencing any illness.  

While the district is pleased that we have not seen any spread of COVID-19 within our schools, we are in close contact with Teton County Health Department and St. John’s Health who report an increase in the number of positive cases being identified daily and impacts to our local hospital are becoming a concern, which will affect their ability to serve those who become very ill with this virus.  

We know that spread is occurring in school age children engaging in social activities outside of school, this is especially true for high school aged youth.  Please keep in mind that local public health data indicates that you are more likely to contract COVID from someone you know rather than someone you encounter in the general population.  We ask students and families to be extremely thoughtful in how they spend their time outside of school- please consider avoiding in person gatherings until the number of positive cases drops.  If you do get together with friends, keep your social groups very small, maintain physical distance, wear face coverings at all times when outside the home, follow proper hygiene practices and please, stay home if you have any COVID-symptoms.   While this is difficult, it is essential that we all do our part to avoid spreading this virus to friends, family members, teachers and school staff, and the community.

Earlier this week the Board of Trustees cancelled a Special Meeting that had been scheduled for October 5th.  The single agenda item for the meeting was a discussion of changing elementary school schedules. The change would have been for kindergarten through 5th grade students to transition to a five day per week face to face learning schedule.  One of the considerations for this discussion was the hope that the district could hire additional staff to support teachers during the school day.  While the district did try to hire additional support staff, we have not had enough applicants to make that a viable option.  The board also expressed concern in changing schedules as our community is seeing an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in school age youth.  The Board is expected to discuss elementary and secondary schedules at their October 14th meeting.  The public may submit written comments to the board at schoolboard@tcsd.org by noon next Friday, October 9th.  A link to the meeting will be posted on our website by the end of that same day.

I know we are all tired of this pandemic.  We all want our lives to return to normal as soon as possible.  We can only get there if we all do our part to keep students, school staff and our community safe.  


Dr. Gillian Chapman, Superintendent of Schools

UPDATE- September 14

COVID Response Guidelines English and Spanish

Teton County Health Department COVID-19 Informational Video (English) (Spanish) 

UPDATE- August 31

With school starting tomorrow, TCSD has been preparing for a safe and healthy start to the school year.  While we have implemented numerous safety measures, we start school knowing that there is a chance we will experience a case, or cases, of COVID-19 in our schools.  In response we coordinated with the Teton County Department of Health to develop some action flowcharts that outline the steps we will take to respond to positive case in a school.  

COVID Response Flow Charts (English) (Spanish)

Illness Policy Guidelines
Please also review the TCSD COVID Illness Guidelines 

 

In coordination with the Teton County Department of Health the district developed a Smart Start Plan that outlines plans and measures the district is taking for the 2020-2021 school year.  The Plan, approved by the TCSD Board of Trustees and the Wyoming Department of Education is continually updated.  The district released version five of the plan, available here.  (English) (Spanish)

UPDATE- August 25

As you enjoy these last days of summer, TCSD staff are working hard preparing for the 2020-2021 school year. While I know we are all excited to get back to school and a sense of normalcy, this will not be a normal year.  We know that in all likelihood COVID-19 will be impacting us for many more months, quite possibly the entire school year.  This virus is impacting how we attend school, it is impacting how we participate in extracurricular activities, it is impacting how we interact and engage with one another. Recognizing the challenges in returning to school in these unprecedented times, we know that engaging our students and families is essential in their success regardless of the attendance model you selected for your student.  Our team will be finding new and creative ways to get to know you and your child over the next several weeks.    

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.  Provided here is a quick checklist of the actions we have been taking district wide to prepare your schools to open on September 1st.  Also provided here are some response flowcharts outlining how TCSD will respond to COVID, in coordination with the Teton County Department of Health.

In addition to the dedication of our TCSD team, we will need the support of students, families and the community at large to keep our students and staff healthy and safe.  Face coverings will be required throughout the school day. Please talk to your student about the importance of wearing their face coverings while at school, maintaining distance from their peers and following the directions of teachers and school staff.  Health checks will occur during the day and any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home.  While we always ask students to stay home if they are not feeling well, this year it is essential that students not come to school if they are sick.  

If you have not yet registered your child for school, please do so by August 27th.  Having accurate student enrollment information is essential to ensure proper staffing at each of our schools and having updated registration forms provides us with important information about your child. Returning students should have received registration directions via email last week with directions to complete the online registration forms.  If you did not receive that email, please contact your student’s school.  

For students who will be riding the bus, we will not be mailing postcards with bus route information.  This information was 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 20-21 Letter to Parents and  the transportation handbook with your student.  These documents include important information about school transportation services and expectations. While the district is doing its very best to adhere to all public health recommendations, families should be aware that we cannot guarantee physical distancing will be maintained on the school bus. Parents/guardians who are able to provide self-transport for their student are encouraged to do so. The Activity Bus service will not be offered for at least the first two weeks of school. 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.  We strongly encourage families to sign up for device insurance to cover costs if a device is damaged or stolen.  

Elementary Insurance Information

Middle School Insurance Information

High School Insurance information

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.  

Remember to sign up for My School Bucks, at www.myschoolbucks.com.  You can view your student’s meal spending and replenish your student's lunch account.  Families are encouraged to apply for free or reduced meals at www.myschoolapps.com. Paper copies of the application are also available at your student’s school office.  Remember that new applications are required every year and only one application per household is required.  The information provided on the application is used only to evaluate income eligibility for the program.  All applications are kept completely confidential and not shared with any outside agency.  

Thank you for all you do to support your student and the district.  Please continue to do your part to keep the number of COVID-19 cases in our community low so that we can keep our schools open and our students engaged in the attendance model selected by each family in our district.  The Board of Trustees and the entire TCSD team is hopeful we will be able to return to full time, face to face learning for all students very soon but until then, we will do our best to adjust to the current learning environment while providing a high quality education for all students.

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

July 2020 COVID Updates from TCSD

2019-2020 COVID Updates from TCSD.





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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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