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.  

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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