09 – COVID-19 Update – April 17 – School Closure

Dear Families,

Yesterday Governor Evers announced that he has ordered our school buildings to be closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year as part of Emergency Order #28 (Safer at Home).  As we shared in a previous letter, we have been planning for this potential decision, and earlier this week, our board of education took action to approve educational plans for the remainder of the school closing.  Yesterday you should have received communication from your child’s principal outlining the educational programming you can expect. Please know that the members of our team stand ready to work collaboratively with you and your child to ensure that you receive the support you need to be successful for the remainder of the year.  

As part of our proactive planning, we have been brainstorming potential courses of action related to how we might conduct graduations, award/scholarship ceremonies, yearbook distribution, and other end-of-year activities.  We will be reaching out to you during the next days and weeks to provide you with plans that address these challenges. In each situation we will be thoughtful that our processes keep to the forefront the safety of our students, families, and staff.  During this same timeframe, we anticipate that you will have many questions and concerns. Please review your child’s school and our district website where we are regularly posting information. If further assistance is needed, please reach out to your child’s teacher, building principal, or me.  

I recognize that this news may be very difficult for you and your child.  As a school district we, too, are struggling with this news. However, over the past few weeks, I have been lifted up by student and parent feedback when they’ve shared examples of how this difficult situation has positively impacted their family as it relates to time together.  I am thankful for the way that these challenges have brought our school staff together with our families, and have strengthened our relationships. You have my word that our school district family will continue to provide both educational and emotional support for our students and you as we navigate through these challenges.    

Please accept my appreciation for the manner in which you and your family are following the stay-at-home guidance.  Although tragic, the data shared by Governor Evers yesterday is also hopeful and supports the theories that our stay-at-home actions are having a positive impact to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  With that understood, it is important that we stay the course and continue to support this extension of the Safer at Home order. This link to the Safer at Home FAQ  document provides answers and practical feedback to many frequently asked questions.  Through everyone’s willingness to make sound decisions aligned with this guidance, we can save lives during this public health emergency.      

We are in this together, and together we are stronger!

Dean R. Hess
Superintendent of Schools