October 2020 HHASD Newsletter
Inspire. Persevere. Grow.
~ Volume up to hear the video below. ~
(The video is the same; linked two different ways.)
We did it, we made it a whole month! Congratulations, and thank you for being outstanding partners in education!
On behalf of the School Board, and all of us at HHASD, thank you for all you are doing to support your children’s education and help students adapt to new routines. We are off to a great year and are so excited to be reconnecting with your children, whether online or in-person.
Our team is working hard to help stem the spread of COVID-19 and prevent quarantines of staff and students - but as part of the larger community we are not immune from positive cases.
We are asking families to do your part to help keep schools open by physically distancing when out in public, increasing hand-washing, and following safety protocols. The District will continue to implement and improve our health and safety mitigation strategies. We want to maintain our current learning model and to do that we all need to do our part.
I am so proud of everyone in our school community-- Thank you for your empathy and grace with our teachers and staff who are learning new tools and juggling new responsibilities to keep students safe, engaged, and learning. Thank you students for your dedication to learning whether you are face-to-face or virtual. And families, thank you for all of your help supporting us from home, and especially helping during our Learn from Home day. Just as we praise you for your efforts, if you get a chance to send a kind note to one of our staff, it would be greatly appreciated.
Be well and here’s to a fantastic year ahead!
Welcome HHASD Team Members!
Ms. Paige Schneider, RMS Paraprofessional
Ms. Kristina Windisch, District Health Office Assistant
Kristina Windisch joined the district on September 14, as our new health office assistant. Kristina is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and is continuing her degree to become a Registered Nurse (RN) in December. She is excited to be working at HHASD as it combines her two passions: working with children and nursing!
Adam will be with us Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
Alex will be with us on Thursdays and Fridays.
We welcome Anne Peters and Erin Resheske to our Food Service family! Anne Peters joins our RMS group on Mondays to help serve hot lunch to students. Anne is no stranger to hard work. Anne and her husband own a farm in a neighboring community. She also has food service experience by her work for a regional catering company. Welcome Anne!
Erin Resheske has started training this week at RMS and will be working at our Friess Lake School. Erin had noted she was interested in working with children and has that experience already by helping out with her children's various sporting activities. Welcome Erin! (Photo will be shared in the future.)
It's National School Lunch Week!
On 8/31/2020 the U.S.D.A. announced waivers nationwide to allow districts to offer free meals to students through the National School Lunch Program's Seamless Summer Option. Through this program, meals are served at no charge to all students and the waivers are allowed through December 31, 2020, or until funds are exhausted.
The HHASD, at the time of this announcement, was not equipped staffing wise to offer this type of program. The district now finds itself at a point where we can offer free meals to our current face-to-face students and our virtual students only under the 'closed enrolled' status. The district can not be an open site at this time due to staffing constraints.
The offering of free meals will start October 1, 2020 and end on or before December 31, 2020. Students that have taken a lunch or breakfast in the month of September will have those meals charges reversed. Milk purchases are exempt from this program.
Our district will be working on a meal menu and with HUHS on a survey so virtual families can order multiple meals for pick up at our Richfield Middle School location. Once aspects of the meal pick up have been finalized, families will be notified via email, school website, Facebook and word of mouth on how to participate in this program.
Due to the annual meeting and release of information from DPI, our October board meetings will be held on October 19th and 26th. Both will be held in person with a virtual option to attend. (To vote on the 26th residents must attend in person.)
Board Meeting Notes
At our September Board meetings the following key discussions were held:
- Policy 5410 - Promotion, Placement, And Retention
- Discuss Handbook Updates to both the Student-Parent Handbook and the Employee Handbook, and NEOLA Memo and Policy 5200 - Attendance (related to Covid symptoms, exposure, and face coverings)
- Payroll Tax Deferral Option (the district is not pursuing this)
- Free Meal Program (also called the Seamless Summer Program and we have an exciting update!)
- Review the 2020-21 Friess Lake Elementary School String Orchestra & Band Handbook
- Review the 2019 ACT 185 Survey - Data Collection for Virtual Instruction Report (this replaces our assessment and report card for 2019/20)
- Board Values Review (the board held initial conversations regarding this and will adopt next month if there are no further changes)
- Pandemic Updates (‘Learn From Home’ Review, Technology Rental, Calendar Updates, Health Dept. Information)
- Snow Removal
- Budgetary Updates (FEMA, ESSER, Preliminary Budget)
The following key items were approved:
- Updates to the Student-Parent Handbook (in reference to extending face coverings and covid symptoms and exposure)
- Updates to the Employee Handbook (in reference to extending face coverings)
- 2020-21 Friess Lake Elementary School String Orchestra & Band Handbook
- HHASD Chromebook Handbook for Students and Parents Grades 4K-8 (Technology Chromebook Handbook)
- Snow Removal Contract
- Act 185 Virtual Report (this is in place of the testing last spring and report card)
- 2020-2021 HHASD Preliminary Budget (this will change after the final numbers are received in mid-October)
- HHASD’s participation in the Closed Seamless Summer Option for Student Meals (This means our students -- both virtual and face-to-face, will be able to eat breakfast and lunch free of charge through December 2020, or when the funding is no longer available.)
Monday, Oct. 26th, 6pm
3117 Wisconsin 167
As a resident, you are a voting member! However, your vote can only be counted if you are physically in attendance. (The meeting link is on our website so that you can join virtually, but remember, you can only vote if you attend in person.)
Title IX Updates
1. The previous regulations did not address or even mention sexual harassment at all.
2. The Department received more than 124,000 public comments on its proposed regulations.
3. The new regulations took effect August 14, 2020.
The HHASD Title IX policy was updated in August in response to an update to the law.
Our Title IX Coordinator is Ms. Cyndi Tomich, Director of Pupil Services.
The information listed below will also be available on our website as part of our legal notices.
Below are several messages and communications regarding covid testing, burden levels, and information from DHS and our county.
COVID Testing Requirements to Return to School:
If your child is at home because they are experiencing symptoms found on the COVID-19 Health Screening Checklist for Children, please WAIT 4-5 days before being tested per guidance from the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department.
There is currently more than one type of COVID test available.
A PCR test is currently the ONLY accepted NEGATIVE test result in determining whether or not your child can return to school earlier than the 10 days + 24 hours quarantine period.
Please see below for an explanation of the COVID tests currently available.
Monday, Oct. 12th, 8:15am-3:15pm
FLES & RMS
Ms. D has found her calling! She cheerily dismisses students to buses and pick-up daily.
Fun connecting with friends during our Learn from Home day.
Ms. Cichoski helps her students stay calm and connected with these physically distanced friends.
Is there a daily routine I should follow?
In being partners in education, we have a few expectations and procedures designed to keep everyone at school safe and healthy.
Everyday before-school please review the list of general illness and covid symptoms and check your child's temperature. Please keep children home if they are experiencing any signs of illness.
Send your children to school with a mask. If students and staff wear masks appropriately, we have a significantly better chance to remain open for face to face instruction. (You may choose to send a few masks.)
This year more than ever we need your emergency contact information in Skyward to be up to date so that if a student is ill and must be sent home, we can reach you or your child(ren)'s emergency contact. The expectation is that he or she will be picked up within 30 minutes.
If you have questions please check the district website or contact your school office. This year will be different but we are committed to providing a high-quality educational experience we wish all of you a successful healthy new school year
What if we have a positive case?
The Holy Hill Area School District has informed staff and families of two confirmed COVID-19 cases within the district since the start of the school year. As a district, we will continue to identify the impacted building, but due to our small size, will not include any further identifying information.
- Parents, if you or a child, tests positive, please notify the school office as soon as possible. Your early notification allows us to more quickly respond and mitigate through contact tracing.
- Staff members are asked to notify a building or district-level administrator if they, or a family member, have a confirmed, positive test result, or if they learn of a student or family impacted by covid.
The health department will report confirmed cases to the school district.
In cases when staff or students were in close contact with the individual who was confirmed positive, an additional letter outlining information and next steps was sent out to impacted families. (If you do not receive a second letter, it means you/your child were not found to be in close contact with the individual who tested positive.) In close contact cases, a 14-day quarantine is necessary.
The sample letters and guidelines for quarantine and isolation are below. We look forward to partnering with you and keeping everyone informed as we navigate through the 2020-2021 school year.
DHS & County Guidance
We have been in communication with the county on a regular basis-- often daily, though at minimum, weekly. We have been carefully monitoring the burden rates in the five zip codes that our district covers. In general, they have been rising since the beginning of the school year, however we received some good news last night that the average rate fell.
While our rate average is within the critical threshold, the health department has commended our district for our mitigation efforts and indicated that we can continue to offer educational programming the way we have been. Should this change at any time, we will give families as much notice as we are able to.
There is no set number or percentage of positive cases that would cause the district to close. While we waited for DHS's guidance, this was not an inclusion, and instead, they created a consistent but flexible approach to responding to outbreaks. In response, our local health department created additional frameworks for us to utilize, but again, no specific numbers are included. More likely than not, if we are to close at some point, it will be due to having too many staff out due to either positive cases or contact tracing, and not enough building coverage.
It is important for us to work together and continue to support our schools and local health department to allow us to make the best decisions possible for our parents, students, staff, and community. This support will help us to be prepared so that outbreaks can be addressed quickly and our school community can be as safe and healthy as possible.
DHS has reserved the term Critical for future use, without a definition of what this threshold will look like.
- All students must be wearing a mask on the bus at all times covering the mouth and nose completely.
- Students will ride one person to a seat unless there are siblings from the same household on the same route.
- If you have a sibling on the route, you will be required to sit together so that we have enough room for our single riders.
- Seats will be assigned.
Go Riteway has put together a nice set of information featuring our very own dispatcher, Patty! The attachment is embedded below, and an image of the posters that will hang on each bus follows that. We are appreciative of our partnership with Go Riteway and their efforts to help mitigate the spread of Covid - 19.
Pupil Services Updates, Ms. Tomich
Join Our Team!
The Holy Hill Area School District is currently seeking a few individuals to support our special education students at Richfield Middle School. These positions are part time. If you are interested please contact Cyndi Tomich, Director of Pupil Services or Ryley Laird, Principal at RMS at 262-628-1032. You can also apply online through WECAN at wecan.education.wisc.edu.
Search for: "Holy Hill Area School District."
A FEW FACTS FOR DOWN SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH
October is Down Syndrome Awareness month; its purpose is to raise public awareness of this common disorder and advocate for acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is named for Dr. John Langdon Down, who wrote the most prominent paper describing the disorder in the 1860s. The name Down syndrome was not standardized until 1975.
Down syndrome is far and away the most common condition involving chromosomes, occurring approximately in one out of every 691 births.
More than 400,000 people are living with Down syndrome in the United States.
The most common type of Down syndrome is trisomy 21, which means an extra copy of the 21st .It is not hereditary. The other two types are translocation and mosaicism, which account for around 5% of cases.
Each person with Down Syndrome has different talents and the ability to thrive.
Individuals with Down Syndrome are living long, happy lives. The life expectancy for these individuals has increased from 25 years in 1980 to over 60 years today.
Students with Down syndrome are now included in many classrooms across the country. In the past, special needs classes were the only option for learners with Down syndrome, but today most experts recommend full or partial inclusion in many standard classes.
While individuals with Down Syndrome experience cognitive delays, they are often mild to moderate. Most people with Down Syndrome lead fulfilling and productive lives.
To learn more about Down Syndrome please check out these websites and their resources:
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin https://www.dsaw.org/
National Down Syndrome Society https://www.ndss.org/
Wisconsin Upside Down https://www.wiusd.org/
Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention YouTube
Immunization Reminder to HHASD Families
As we prepare our district immunization report for the health department, we ask that you please submit your child's immunization records to the health room if you haven't already. Children that are attending virtually are also asked to submit their immunization records. You may send these records to school with your child, fax to 262-628-2546 or scan/email back to Jodie Dietrich at firstname.lastname@example.org
All meetings are scheduled for the third Thursday of the month from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. All meetings will be held virtually and are open to all parents. Due to the fluidity of the pandemic situation, we may add additional meetings.
All meetings can be accessed via Google Meet. Please visit our calendar (https://www.hhasd.org/district/calendar.cfm) to obtain the link.
We had our first Parent Sounding Board meeting of the year on September 17th. Below, find information about two topics that were discussed at this meeting.
Our “Learn from Home” day was September 25th. We have asked for feedback surrounding this day to reflect on the thoughts of our parents and students. Reviewing this information will assist us in learning more about how we can support you and may impact our practices.
The second is the face covering mandate. On Monday, September 14th the School Board approved extending the face-covering mandate with all of the same exemptions that were in the Governor's order, and the Governor's Mandate was renewed late last month. In speaking to other districts and the health department our best chance at remaining open for face-to-face instruction is to continue the mandate. We appreciate your support!
It's been a really positive start to the school year and that's due to the partnership we have with all of you, our staff, and students. Thank you so much and have a wonderful month of October! #TogetherWeCan
Join Our Team
- Band/Orchestra at RMS
- Guest Teachers (short-term)
- Guest Teacher (long-term - kindergarten and third grade)
Support Staff Vacancies:
- Food Service Worker
- Library Media Assistant