We hope that this first week of our Continuous Learning Plan has gone somewhat smoothly for your children (and for you!). We thank you for your patience, communication and grace in aiding your students' learning while at home during this unprecedented time.
Closing school buildings and stay-at-home orders like this are most likely something many of us haven’t imagined even in our wildest dreams, but it’s a necessary action to slow the spread of Coronavirus. I’m extremely proud of Governor Kelly for being ‘ahead of the curve’ and hopefully we are able to flatten the curve and our families stay healthy and safe throughout these next few months.
One of the tools available to our teachers which may be used to provide instruction and some social interaction for our students during this time is video technology. The ability to provide our students with an opportunity to see and interact with their teachers and fellow classmates is an important aspect of their education, and it allows them to feel some normalcy during this unusual situation. Participation by your child in any virtual class by video is completely optional and is not required, though we do encourage participation by all students. The use of video will mean that your child is appropriately dressed, and all school rules regarding student conduct are in effect. You should also be aware of your child’s background when a class by video is in progress, and help to reduce background noise and other items which might be a distraction to the other students. If you decide to not utilize the video feature, your child is still able to participate by audio if you wish.
I would also like to include a helpful reminder for parents: we’d like to make sure that students and parents do not post or share photos on social media of students meeting for learning experiences (an example is sharing the picture of your student on a Zoom meeting with their peers where the screen with student names and faces is visible). Some students may not have a photo release, and many families have rules and preferences about posting photos of their children online. We have shared this same message with our teachers. We appreciate your cooperation in making sure the privacy of students and staff is protected throughout this continuous learning initiative.
Daily lunches (and the next morning’s breakfast) will continue to be distributed at BLHS, BLMS and LES, but we are ending the lunch reservation form. We believe we have a good idea of numbers day-to-day now, so we will not require lunch sign ups from here on out. You will still have to give the names of your children (ages 1-18) when checking in at lunch pick up. We encourage you to use this free lunch opportunity, and have adjusted the pick up times to the following:
BLMS - 11:00 - 11:30
BLHS - 11:30 - 12:30
LES - 11:45 - 12:15
Construction on the Early Learning Center and additions to BLMS continue as construction has been determined an essential business. We are still on track to open the ELC in August and are extremely excited about the opportunities for our early learners.
Lastly, we understand there are still a lot of unanswered questions out there regarding the end of the school year, but as time passes, when we know more about the Coronavirus and how long we need to practice social distancing, we will know when we can start planning celebrations and gatherings again, and we will know if next school year will begin as planned on August 18. We will keep parents informed as we learn more. Stay safe and healthy!
Continuous Learning plans are being communicated by building principals today, and your student most likely has been contacted by their teacher(s) for remote learning to take place next week!
The District would like to reiterate our Continuous Learning expectations for Basehor-Linwood families: Student participation and progress through this continuous learning opportunity will secure grade level advancement (example: 3rd graders will move up to 4th grade in the 2020-2021 school year). This is uncharted territory, and school as we know it, will look different the next few months. All students will continue to receive grades throughout the fourth quarter. It is our expectation that all students will be active participants in the learning process and grades will be based on students competency in the priority standards delivered by our certified educators in the learning activities they provide. Please understand that we will provide various learning opportunities to students, and with parental support and flexibility, and believe these next few weeks will be filled with meaningful learning.
Today, March 17, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly announced all school facilities will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This will place tremendous hardship on our families and staff, and potentially impact the social and emotional well-being of our students.
We, along with KSDE, have been working on contingency plans, including how we can meet the ongoing learning needs of our students. Teachers will be reporting to work next week virtually to develop plans for continuous learning. These plans could consist of online learning or learning by print material.
We also plan to provide lunch for any children ages 1-18 beginning Monday, March 23rd. We will offer grab and go sack lunch pick up from 11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. at Linwood Elementary School, Basehor-Linwood Middle School and Basehor-Linwood High School. In order to have accurate lunch counts, please fill out this confidential form to submit your lunch order for your family: http://bit.ly/BL458Lunch
Our staff and board of education are also working on other critical issues, such as what this means for our seniors, spring activities, prom and graduation. At this time, the Board has approved payment for all hourly classified employees and teachers per their contracts/work agreements.
We are committed to working together as a community to support one another throughout these unprecedented times, and communication will remain a top priority. We plan to continue updating parents via email, our Facebook page and on our website www.usd458.org
As a reminder, this school closure is in response to the current public health crisis. The focus should remain on preventing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Please continue to be mindful of the following:
Follow additional guidance from these sources:
The Basehor-Linwood School District is committed to keeping families informed, and we are writing to update you on the most current developments regarding the effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Yesterday, KSDE announced that they strongly recommended schools suspend operations for this week (March 16 - 20) so Kansas officials can take the time needed to develop a comprehensive plan on how to address schooling moving forward. As we continue on our break, there’s no additional required school work at this time. We do support working through online learning opportunities as well as any home activities you may have or develop to continue to sharpen your student’s skills with Math, Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies and STEM activities. KSDE has also established a Continuous Learning Task Force of 25 top teachers in the state to give guidance on how to proceed with alternative learning for all students in future weeks, should there be an extended period of school closures. We will hear and share more from them later this week.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 from 8 - 11:30 a.m., our buildings will be open for staff and students to come in and get what they need from their classrooms or lockers (student instruments, iPad/laptop, etc.). We ask that staff and students leave immediately to limit contact with one another and not stop in the office. PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANYTHING FROM HOME TO THE BUILDING OR COME IN IF YOU ARE NOT FEELING WELL OR SICK.
For the protection of students and staff, and to maintain the disinfecting schedule of our buildings, no one will be allowed in Basehor-Linwood facilities for the remainder of this week. This means all athletic facilities including the track, Health & Wellness Center, gyms, etc. are closed. (KSHSAA has also suspended all practices for spring sports and activities this week, and we are still waiting on guidance from KSHSAA on how spring activities will continue.) The District Office staff will be working this week as well, but the office is closed to the public.
Please continue to check our district website (www.usd458.org) for the latest updates regarding Basehor-Linwood schools closing. The CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/
We are continuing to work diligently with KSDE and KDHE to make the best decisions for our students and community. As things continue to evolve with our response to the virus, please keep in mind that we will continue to update families as decisions are made. Thank you for your support and understanding with this closure, as we understand it comes as an inconvenience to many parents/guardians.
The Leavenworth County Health Department has made the recommendation to suspend all school classes, athletics and activities effective immediately in our district through March 22, 2020. They believe this time period will allow Leavenworth County Health Department to evaluate the health concerns and situations within our communities, and make further recommendations to help minimize the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Student success and safety is at the forefront of our planning at all stages. During this additional week, our custodial crew will be working to reduce the risk of spreading the virus and Easton Bus Service will be deep cleaning buses before school resumes again.
Due to the number of travelers returning to our district from out of state and out of the country, we are hoping that this additional week will allow our families to practice social distancing and monitor their health for possible symptoms. The Health Department reiterates that all families who traveled abroad to a high-risk country or on a cruise since February 28, 2020 check in with Leavenworth County Health Department and self-isolate, checking for symptoms anywhere from 2-14 days after returning. Also, please continue to stress with your children the importance of hand washing and use this time to stay home to limit exposure to the virus.
We have attached the directive from Leavenworth County Health Department for your information. We understand that this may bring about many questions, we hope to be able to provide answers to those questions in a timely manner.
Please continue to check on our Facebook page or here on our website (www.usd458.org) for further updates.
We understand that parents may be concerned about novel coronavirus (COVID-19), as there are still a lot of unknowns surrounding the spread and symptoms of the illness. The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority, and as of right now, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) still says that the health risk to the general public in Kansas remains low at this time. They are monitoring the situation closely and keeping in close contact with Kansas school districts. At the Basehor-Linwood District Office, we are receiving almost daily guidance from KDHE, the State Department of Education and/or Leavenworth County Health Department, and at this time, because we do not have a COVID-19 case identified in our community (even in our county), the most important thing we can do is plan and prepare.
Coming back from Spring Break travel, it is okay to monitor your health and that of your children, and even to limit interactions with others. At this time, we are not requiring self-quarantine before sending your students back to school unless you have traveled to the CDC’s list of high risk countries (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea), or if you have been exposed to a case of COVID-19 or are experiencing fever, cough or having trouble breathing.
Basehor-Linwood students or staff who traveled to high risk countries, or have members of their household who are returning from these areas, should self-quarantine and not return to school (including any off-campus student activities or athletics) for 14 days following their return to the United States and obtain medical clearance before returning to school.
If you have traveled on a cruise over the last 14 days, please see below for the CDC’s recommendation for cruise travelers:
Monitor your health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning to the United States.
If a case of COVID-19 was reported on your ship during the cruise, stay home during these 14 days and practice social distancing.
Stay home if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing and call ahead before you seek medical care.
When seeking medical advice, call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Do not travel while sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
Pay attention to your health for 14 days after returning to the US. Stay home and seek medical advice if you get sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
Our schools will work with any students who will need to self-quarantine after Spring Break to support their ongoing learning. As we work together to navigate the uncertainty and anxiety that go along with this rapidly changing situation, we must also take personal responsibility for the decisions we make for ourselves and our families. That could mean, whether you are a student or a staff member, staying home if you are sick. The health of our students, our families and our staff is our top priority.
We have been asked if/when schools may close, as COVID-19 hasn’t been showing serious symptoms in children, but we do understand they are able to carry and spread the virus to those who might be at a higher risk. At this point, the spread of COVID-19 in Kansas has not reached the point where health officials are recommending we close schools. However, should that become the recommendation, we are preparing to take that step. The plans we are putting in place will allow for continued learning with the use of technology from home. If there is a need for schools to close, we will communicate the plan and timeline to students and parents as soon as possible via our Skylert messaging system.
As a reminder, you can help by sharing strategies with your children that help prevent the spread of a wide variety of infectious diseases, including COVID-19:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick or if you suspect you may have been exposed to a virus.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
The next few weeks may show trying times for our school community and the state of Kansas, but we are confident we can work through this together in a way that will continue to allow our students to learn while also keeping students and staff healthy and safe. As always, we will share any news or changes that affect our school community with you at the earliest possible opportunity. We do realize that the uncertainty of how this may progress in Kansas, along with media exposure, can create fear and anxiety for parents and guardians. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your school’s nurse or building principal.