As of yesterday, April 2, 2020, there was an announcement from Dr. Jennifer McCormick, our State Superintendent, declared that as of now the rest of the 2019-2020 school year will be only through e-learning and the use of waiver days. As you are aware, we have sent out a calendar for the remainder of April and we will put out another one for May very soon.
That being said, the administrative team has been working closely with all teachers to ensure they are prepared and ready to give your child/ren the best academic experience we can through online communication (zoom, email, etc.)
I know the bulk of concern surrounds seniors and our parents of seniors. We will be posting a FAQ on our website and Facebook in the very near future that will give you answers to some of the pressing questions you may have.
In the same light, most of the parents and students that are reaching out is in regards to the graduation ceremony. The administrative team is meeting, again, this morning to discuss all possibilities and options. We have to consider everything from a delayed ceremony to creative measures if we are still under the guidelines of a quarantine. I want to reassure all of you that it is our intent to hold a ceremony that will honor every graduating senior in the highest degree. We have discussed some very creative measures and, as this is not ideal for anyone, we feel it is extremely important to declare every eligible senior a graduate.
The administration will keep you updated as Governor Holcomb and Dr. Jennifer McCormick determine the course of our state and county's quarantine guidelines. Look for additional documents to be posted very soon to our website and Facebook page for further guidance.
I thank each and every one of you for understanding the state of education and the health of our county/state.
As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, our primary goal is to keep staff, students, and families safe as we literally receive new information by the hour. Please know that JAC-CEN-DEL COMMUNITY SCHOOL is continuing to work very closely with the Ripley County Health Department and Emergency Management, and heeding the advice from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Here are Jac-Cen-Del Community Schools next steps:
- All buildings will be closed after spring break for one week, March 30-April 3. Governor Holcomb is allowing all school districts to have twenty Covid-19 waiver days that are not required to be made up. This five-day break from March 30-April 3 will utilize five of the twenty Covid-19 waiver days. After the five days, we will continue with the below schedule:
- Monday No School
- Tuesday E-Learning
- Wednesday E-Learning
- Thursday E-Learning
- Friday No School
- All April field trips are cancelled. May field trips will be reviewed towards the end of April or unless advised earlier.
- All April after school activities are cancelled. May after school activities will be reviewed towards the end of April or unless advised earlier.
- No outside visitors will be permitted unless approved by the building administrator.
- All extra-curricular events and practices are cancelled until further notice.
- Food services will continue to operate on every Tuesday and Thursday. More communication will be posted on Facebook JCD Parents page and our updated website as we gather information.
- Any Jr. /Sr. High or Elementary parents that need to pick up their child's device or homework on days off will call the office between 8:00-12:00 to let the front office know they are coming to pick it up.
All devices will be handed to parents in their cars so no one is entering the schools. Any parent that cannot pick up a student device during these times needs to call the school's front office and confirm a time they can pick up the device later that day.
Everyone is aware of the alarming rate at which this situation is changing. We promise to update everyone when local, state, or federal health department's recommendations create a change in our educational world.
Again, I appreciate your partnership in keeping our students and staff safe and healthy.
At our regular monthly board meeting on 3/16/2020, a decision was made to postpone prom. We understand this was not the outcome we intended, but it has been advised per the CDC, Indiana Governor regulations, our lawyer, and the Ripley County Health Department to cancel/postpone such events. With every day bringing a new challenge, we will continue to do our best to make you aware of changes. The administration and Prom committee has been working hard to change the date to May and working to contact all third party contracts associated with prom. Thanks again for understanding this difficult decision that has been forced upon us.
In a continuing effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Eric J. Holcomb has announced additional efforts.
Here are additional directives from Governor Holcomb.
- Indiana will adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for large events and mass gatherings. The guidance recommends no in-person events of more than 50 people. Here is a link to the guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/large-events/mass-gatherings-ready-for-covid-19.html
- Under the current guidance for schools, 273 public school districts are closed, using e-learning days, or on spring break and have announced a future closure. The Department of Education is working with the remaining 16 school corporations to determine their next steps and needs
- Bars, nightclubs and restaurants are required to close to in-person patrons and may provide take-out and delivery services through the end of March
- Hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers should cancel and/or postpone elective and non-urgent surgical procedures immediately. This action will help the healthcare system conserve resources and personnel necessary to meet emerging health needs
- Physicians should continue to perform critical procedures necessary to prevent short-term and/or long-term adverse effects to their patients' overall health
- The state’s Emergency Operations Center has been raised to a Level 1 status and will work in conjunction with the incident command center at the Indiana State Department of Health for planning, coordination, predictive analysis and other functions
- State employees will maximize the use of remote work and meet virtually whenever possible while maintaining operations. Non-essential in-person meetings will be limited to 10 persons or less and should meet virtually whenever possible. High-risk individuals should not attend meetings in person
- State employees over the age of 60 with underlying health conditions are advised to work from home, and agencies should identify work that can be accomplished remotely for those individuals
- The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, which are closed on Mondays, will close to the public beginning Tuesday
- The visitors center at White River State Park will close
- Indiana state parks and recreation centers, including state park inns, remain open. Restaurants will convert operations to take-out and delivery
- State agencies already are developing remote work plans for employees and will continue to implement them while maintaining necessary state services. Employees who work outdoors are encouraged to practice social distancing
- The Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has suspended rules requiring certain unemployment insurance claimants to physically appear at a Work One location to engage in reemployment services for the next four weeks. This will ensure that individuals who may be symptomatic do not have to physically appear to continue their unemployment insurance eligibility
- The DWD will also request flexibility under federal and state law to expand eligibility for claimants and ease burdens on employers.
- The Indiana Economic Development Corporation will postpone the inaugural Indiana Global Economic Summit, scheduled for April 26-28
- Communities are encouraged to work together to provide child care options for all who need assistance and delivery services of meals and other necessities for senior citizens
- Hoosiers who can donate blood are encouraged to visit local blood centers. Blood supplies are low. Please follow the guidance at www.redcross.org
It is no surprise at this point that our nation, as well as our state, is feeling the effects of the coronavirus. The administrative team at JCD has been diligently working on plans to subside the virus. The maintenance and custodial staff have also been working on measures to disinfect and sanitize both buildings every night. Our bus drivers are taking great care as they are wiping down every seat twice a day.
As Governor Holcomb came out with a statement on March 12, 2020, all activities involving 250 or more participants are to no longer exist. This includes many activities in both buildings. It is still early for us to understand the magnitude of the virus, but we must start preparing for all events. After discussion with the Ripley County Health Official, Dr. Welsh, he immediately recommended that we cancel our band trip to Orlando, FL. As of yesterday, Disney declared they were closing, making the decision a little lighter.
However, as most of you are aware, we still have Title/PTO nights, senior trip, prom, and graduation. All of these events will be guided and directed by Dr. Welsh and our Indiana State Department of Health. We are looking to make this decision as soon as possible if we can hold them or if we have to cancel. In fact, I have a consultation later today with Dr. Welsh and will communicate with letters on our website and through our Facebook account.
This is new to everyone. Changes may be abrupt. There is potential the school could close at some point and we will not know when this may happen. Again, these decisions are out of the hands of the JCD School Board of Education and administration. Dr. Welsh and/or the Indiana State Dept. of Health will tell us when to close and for how long.
The administrative staff will continue to work diligently to be open and communicate as soon as the information is provided. We want to thank you for your continued support through this very difficult time.