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Are Washington Township Schools Closed Today

author
Danielle Fletcher
• Saturday, 14 November, 2020
• 24 min read

Washington Township Schools COVID-19 Operations Planck here for all communications and posts related to the Washington Township Schools COVID-19 Operations PlanIntroduction This plan for WT has been developed in collaboration with Indiana Department of Education (IDOL), Mayor Hog sett’s Office, Indiana State Department of Health (ISDN), Marion County Public Health Department (MC PHD) and with the benefit ... Spanish Translation Arabic Translation To: WT Families From: Student Services & Technology Division Date: July 25, 2021 Re: Technology Support for Successful Launch into Virtual Learning We are excited to start school virtually Thursday, July 30 for the official first day of school.

Contents

School will be closed beginning tomorrow, Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16, for the completion of teacher planning as we finalize plans to transition to “At Home Learning” beginning Tuesday. Friday to parents and their children in order to retrieve personal belongings and any instructional materials being prepared by the teachers.

In addition, please note that all 8th grade transition meetings will take place tomorrow as planned. A separate communication will be issued to parents on the topic of “At Home Learning” tomorrow evening.

At this time schools will be closed through Spring Break and an assessment will be made whether to open on Monday, April. “I know this is a difficult time for our families, faculty, and Nation and I know we will all do our best to reassure and care for our community's children,” More said.

There have been more than 1,300 confirmed U.S. cases of the new coronavirus as of Thursday morning, which said the disease also has killed 38 people nationwide. The strain that emerged in China in late 2019, now called COVID-19, is related to others that have caused serious outbreaks in recent years, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Its symptoms include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, and many patients develop pneumonia. To avoid spreading any respiratory illness, the CDC recommends staying at home when you are sick, covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing the tissue in the trash, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. A winter storm with heavy, wet snow and high winds led districts in Morris County to announce school closures and other schedule changes for Thursday.

Many school districts were already operating on virtual learning plans or a hybrid of in-person and online classes due to the coronavirus outbreak and some have elected to continue with virtual classes when they might have otherwise given kids a snow day. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm on Wednesday and urged residents to stay off the roads.

Here’s a list of schools that have made announcements related to weather in the county. We wanted to remind our families that report cards are available for review via Skyward as of May 29.

Thank you to our families and staff who participated in our second community engagement forum on May 27 regarding summer learning in WT. We cannot stress enough how critical it is going to be for your child to take advantage of continued instruction provided to all students throughout the district this summer.

We will continue these forum opportunities for parents and students to engage with District leadership. Students and parents will be able to submit questions live and the leadership panel will address them.

Date Wednesday, June 17Wednesday, July 15 Topics TBD (based on new information and released guidance)TBD (based on new information and released guidance) LocationTime 5:00 – 6:30 PM5:00 – 6:30 PM Summer School, Summer Enrichment & Learning Opportunities All students will have access to literacy, math, and social emotional learning activities.

If you are having difficulties logging into Canvas, please contact the Help desk (317) 254-5566 during support hours (M-F 9:00a.m-4:00p.m. Teachers will be available during their posted office hours to assist or answer any questions students may have.

Resource and/or ENL support will be available through grade level Canvas pages. This opportunity is to support students and review critical standards in preparation for their next grade level.

Middle school lessons will start at 9:30am and 10:45am every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (June 2nd-25th). Once students log in to their Canvas account, they will see they have been enrolled in 2 summer courses according to their 2019-2020 grade level: Math and Language & Literature (English Language Arts) All middle school lessons will include live lessons each week.

Teachers will be available during their posted office hours on their Canvas page (60 minutes per Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) Students will not receive grades for summer classes. This opportunity is to support students and review critical standards needed for their next grade level.

We are excited for our students to continue engaging in virtual learning opportunities throughout summer! Summer work packets for students who just completed kindergarten through fifth grade will be available at each elementary school on Monday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

Walk-up service: We ask that you walk-up keeping 6 feet from any staff member when requesting meal packets. The staff member will place the meal packets on the table so that zero contact can be maintained.

Drive-up service: Prior to pulling up to the meal distribution area, please open your trunk or rear lift gate. Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield.

Walk-up service: We ask that you walk-up keeping 6 feet from any staff member when requesting meal packets. The staff member will place the meal packets on the table so that zero contact can be maintained.

Drive-up service: Prior to pulling up to the meal distribution area, please open your trunk or rear lift gate. Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield.

We will continue to update you on the specifics of our summer school learning opportunities at both the elementary and secondary level. This program is open to all families and focuses on minimizing learning loss, offering social and emotional support, and providing virtual field trips for your kids while you’re at work.

Students and parents will be able to submit questions live and the leadership panel will address them. If you have not yet received the absentee ballot for which you applied, and it has been more than 7 days, please call your county election board at 317-327-VOTE.

You can also vote at North Central High School on Election Day June 2 from 6am to 6pm. Meal packet swill be available for pick-up ONLY at North Central High School.

Walk-up service: We ask that you walk-up keeping 6 feet from any staff member when requesting meal packets. The staff member will place the meal packets on the table so that zero contact can be maintained.

Drive-up service: Prior to pulling up to the meal distribution area, please open your trunk or rear lift gate. Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield.

District owned devices will be returned following the summer learning opportunities. Different lessons and activities will be on Canvas on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays starting June 2nd.

The focus of the activities will be on literacy and math critical standards as well as spiral review of the previous year’s skills. More information will be sent to families in future parent newsletters regarding how to access the Canvas sites for each grade level.

We encourage your child to take advantage of this opportunity so that he/she can put him/herself in a good position to be successful in math and English next year. Lessons and activities will be delivered through Canvas on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays starting June 2nd.

District owned devices will be returned following the summer learning opportunities. More information will be sent to families in future parent newsletters regarding how to access the Canvas sites for each grade level.

At-Home Learning and COVID-19 Closure Forum with District Leadership The community engagement forum on May 12 was a success, and we plan to continue this opportunity for parents and students to engage with District leadership. The forum on May 12 focused on at-home learning where we separated school levels for specific discussion.

Students and parents will be able to submit questions live and the leadership panel will address them. TBDTBDLocationTime 5:00 – 6:30 PM5:00 – 6:30 PM5:00 – 6:30 Small registered voters are able to safely vote at home by mail this election.

The current online education model puts a great deal more responsibility on students and staff to explore this new “world” and to push themselves to be more active learners and inquirers. Given the broad spectrum of students we serve in WT, we understand there will be a wide variety of logistical and other obstacles that all of us partners in education will need to be mindful of and address wherever possible.

While we strive for continuous improvement, I would like to invite students and parents to complete feedback and engage with us. Students and parents will be able to submit questions live and the leadership panel will address them.

The current online education model puts a great deal more responsibility on students and staff to explore this new “world” and to push themselves to be more active learners and inquirers. Given the broad spectrum of students we serve in WT, we understand there will be a wide variety of logistical and other obstacles that all of us partners in education will need to be mindful of and address wherever possible.

Our meal distribution on Monday, May 11 is changed to the evening from 5:30 – 7:30 PM in order to provide an opportunity for those families who are potentially unable to come in during the previous daytime hours. Our normal procedures and processes for meal distribution remain the same; the only difference is the time.

However, virtual summer learning opportunities will be offered at the elementary and middle school levels for the month of June. High School students may register for online courses through the Indiana Online Academy (IRA), and North Central will be offering virtual summer school courses in Speech, Physical Education, and Health Education.

Once we have the ability to safely open schools for students to pick up personal belongings while adhering to safety mandates we will notify families. Eastwood and West lane are under construction resulting in most of these buildings being inaccessible.

The middle schools are in the process of developing virtual celebrations for each eighth grade class. This is an important update regarding this week’s Curbside Meal Distribution, Zero Contact Enrollment, and At Home Learning Packets for kindergarten and 1st grade students.

Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield. Please carefully review our enrollment web page for specifics if you are planning to register your child for school in MS DWT.

After a virtual meeting with PTO Presidents from each school on Thursday, we developed answers to some frequently asked questions that may be valuable to all parents. Continue to keep staff, parents and students negatively impacted by COVID-19 in your thoughts.

Students will receive updates on the standards portion of the report card for the fourth quarter. Given that a teacher’s ability to re-teach or individualize instruction is limited significantly through At-Home Learning, we will only count grades that are equal to or greater than the third quarter percentage received by a student.

At the same time, we strongly encourage you to insist that students stay connected and engaged in order to put themselves in the best possible position for future academic success. A: It is important to remember the purpose behind these extended school closures is too slow the spread of COVID-19.

Students, staff members, and families in WashingtonTownshipSchools have been negatively impacted by this deadly virus so please continue to practice physical distancing and only travel if essential. As a result of this, no students are allowed in schools under the current directives of our state and local government.

We realize this is inconvenient, but public health directives and safety are more important than convenience at this time. We will notify families when social distancing orders allow us to offer students an opportunity to return to school to pick-up their things.

Meal Distribution will be at one location: North Central HS between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM We ask that prior to pulling up to the meal distribution area, please open your trunk or rear lift gate.

Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield. If you do not have a trunk or rear lift gate, stay in your vehicle, and the volunteer will place the meal packets on the hood of your car.

A: Dr. Woodson, with the approval of the School Board, has committed to paying all certified and classified MS DWT staff. The efforts of staff whose roles require them to still physically report to work during this closure window are being recognized with additional compensation.

Each distribution, regardless if it is meals or technology, takes days of preparation by a large amount of staff. Additionally, these distributions require us to have staff report to buildings and interact with large numbers of people.

We have taken every step we can to respect social distancing and minimize these risks as food or technology is prepared and distributed, but no amount of work in this area can guarantee that staff and community members will not be exposed. We have an obligation to our staff and to our community to respect the Governor’s Executive Order and to minimize the number of times we organize events that require large numbers of people to come together in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Meals are packaged for 5 days of food supplies (breakfast and lunch) to minimize exposure and the number of times we have to bring large groups together to prep and distribute. To date we have distributed over 94,000 meals and 3,500 devices to WT students since school closed.

Contact your school social worker to determine if there are specific needs you might want to support. Principals may implement alternative virtual ways to recognize students as determined at each school individually.

Teachers will provide a variety of learning opportunities each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Teachers would prefer to spend actual time with their students, but if we all put our best foot forward, we can make this work well.

Grades & Report Cards Given that the initial closure of school did not allow the district to adequately address the fact that not all students had access to the technology needed to access lessons in a virtual learning environment, grades were not assigned to students for any work or assessments completed between March 13 and March 27. Once the Governor determined that schools would be closed through May 1, the district developed a plan to provide devices where needed so that students had the ability to access instruction virtually.

We realize and understand that this unforeseen extended approach to virtual learning will create challenges for students, families, and teachers. Since the district provided an opportunity for students and families to pick up technology to accommodate students in grades 2 through 12, teachers will assign feedback and grades at least once weekly on submitted assignments.

Students in kindergarten and first grade will continue lessons from their teacher and their packets. Teachers will communicate when assignments are due, and students should strive to meet all deadlines just like they should during a typical school situation.

Due to the fact that the last round of testing had to be canceled, students are not required to earn a passing score on the Graduation Examination (STEP). Those expectations include satisfactorily completing the virtual lessons, quizzes, and tests assigned by each teacher between April 7 and May 21.

Wednesdays, and Thursdays, coupled with the fact that the Governor’s Executive Order prohibits non-essential travel, students should have ample time to meet the expectations of each teacher. We will still need to comply with directives for public health and safety, and it is expected that modifications will have to be made.

In addition, J. Everett Light Career Center students must still meet all applicable requirements to qualify for certification. At-Home Learning Information & Resources Website WashingtonTownship created a webpage that will be posted to our district website next week entitled, At-Home Learning Information & Resources for parents and educators to reference as necessary.

We ask that prior to pulling up to the meal distribution area, please open your trunk or rear lift gate. Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield.

If you do not have a trunk or rear lift gate, stay in your vehicle and the volunteer will place the meal packets on the hood of your car. We believe these measures will increase the safety of both the driver and meal distribution volunteer.

Students, staff members and families in WashingtonTownshipSchools have been negatively impacted by this deadly virus so please continue to practice social distancing and only travel if essential. As a result of this, no students are allowed in schools under the current directives of our state and local government.

We realize this is inconvenient, but public health directives and safety are more important than convenience at this time. We will notify families when social distancing orders allow us to offer students an opportunity to return to school to pick-up their things.

Curbside distribution will be tomorrow, Monday, April 6th between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM at designated schools : Fox Hill, Greenbrier, Spring Mill, Willow Lake, Nora, and North Central. We ask that prior to pulling up to the meal distribution area, please open your trunk or rear lift gate.

Instead, please indicate the number of students for whom you are picking up meals with a show of fingers through the front windshield. If you do not have a trunk or rear lift gate, stay in your vehicle and the volunteer will place the meal packets on the hood of your car.

We believe these measures will increase the safety of both the driver and meal distribution volunteer. This announcement to close school for the remainder of the academic year is an indication of the serious approach we should all be taking to this public health crisis.

We also have faculty, staff, students, and parents fighting health concerns at home and in hospitals related to COVID-19. In the coming weeks, we plan to send a communication to all WT families with information regarding student expectations for May.

In the meantime, continue the at-home learning activities previously announced and planned through May 1st. Due to the public health concerns regarding COVID-19, the Governor directed all schools in Indiana to remain closed through May 1st.

March 28 through April 5 is still designated Spring Break, and there will be no expectations for student learning during this time. Teachers will provide a variety of learning opportunities each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Teachers would prefer to spend actual time with their students, but if we all put our best foot forward, we can make this work well. Students receiving special services will be contacted directly by their teacher of record.

We are awaiting guidance from the Indiana Department Of Education and additional directives from the Governor specifically related to seniors. The device and charger will need to be returned to the school at the conclusion of the at-home learning window.

The device and charger must be returned to the same shape it was received, or your family will be charged for the damages. Any devices unaccounted for past that date will be remotely disabled and all data erased.

If you do not have connectivity or Wi-Fi access in your home, you may reach out to the following Internet providers found on the Community Resources Page as many are offering free or significantly reduced rates for Internet service. Additionally, you are able to access Wi-Fi by sitting in the North Central High School parking lot while maintaining social distancing in individual cars.

We have explored Wi-Fi on buses being located around the District, and the signal is not strong enough to access outside the bus. Due to social distancing guidance we are unable to put people together on a bus.

As a result, our school nurses will be available at J. Everett Light Career Center (1901 E. 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN. Each family interested in picking up medicine will need to complete the following Google Form: Medication Pickup so that the nurses can plan accordingly.

Please arrive on Tuesday, April 7 between 5-6 PM at door 1 at J. Everett Light Career Center (1901 East 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240) REMAIN IN YOUR CAR and stay in your position in the car line You will be approached, 6 feet or more, to be asked your name and your student’s name Present your driver’s license or government-issued ID The medications will be retrieved for you and given to you through your car window Skyward will be updated to show you picked up the medication(s) If your needs align with any resources or supports offered by these organizations, please take advantage of it.

The one silver lining in this situation is that we are seeing a very “giving spirit” from a number of individuals and groups around the city and across the country. Cummins Behavioral Health wants to ensure that the needs of our students and their families continue to be addressed as we navigate this time of uncertainty.

The Indiana State Department of Health and the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission will enforce the restaurant and bar restrictions. The Indiana National Guard is aiding in planning, preparation and logistics with other state agencies.

For example, the Indiana National Guard assists in distributing hospital supplies the state receives. Essential businesses and services include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit, and public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0.

Law enforcement will not be stopping drivers on their way to and from work, traveling for an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, or just taking a walk. Yes, restaurants and bars can continue to provide takeout and delivery, but should be closed to dine-in patrons.

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. If you suspected you have COVID-19, please call the healthcare provider in advance so that proper precautions can be taken to limit further transmission.

Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild. If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately, but please call in advance if possible.

You should stay home unless your work is an essential function such as a health care provider, grocery store clerk or first responder. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing.

A list of essential businesses can be found in the Governor’s executive order at in.gov/coronavirus. Essential businesses will remain open during the stay-at-home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Hoosiers.

If you believe your business is nonessential but still are being asked to show up to work, you may discuss it with your employer. Although some businesses such as fitness centers and salons will be closed, essential services will always be available.

The administration wants to protect the health and safety of all Hoosiers, regardless of where they live. State agencies are partnering with community organizations to ensure the homeless population has safe shelter.

You may visit family members who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate food supply. You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it.

Practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets. State parks remain open, but welcome centers, inns, and other buildings are closed.

Families will be able to go outside and take a walk, run or bike ride, but they should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing spreading the virus.

Large gatherings, including church services, will be canceled to slow the spread of COVID-19. Religious leaders are encouraged to continue livestreaming services while practicing social distancing with one another.

However, gyms, fitness centers and associated facilities will be closed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. While exercising outside, you still should practice social distancing by running or walking at least 6 feet away from other people.

Yes, Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses. Yes, Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pickup and take-home basis.

On March 19, 2021, Governor Holcomb announced at a 1:00 PM press conference that all Indiana schools should remain closed until May 1, 2021 at minimum due to Coronavirus. In the meantime, there are no changes to the plan for WashingtonTownship students through April 3 that was communicated last Friday, March 13, 2021.

Again, we will be back in touch by the end of next week to share plans for April 6-May 1 to all families. In the meantime, continue the at-home learning activities previously announced and planned through April 3.

I appreciate everyone’s collaboration and pulling together as a community to support each other through this public health crisis. Under the direction of Marion County Public Health Department (MC PHD) and in collaboration with Mayor Hog sett’s office, the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township will be closed to students through April 3, 2021 due to Coronavirus and in an overabundance of caution.

Please remember that the purpose of the closure is social distancing to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Per guidance from MC PHD please refrain from unnecessary trips to public spaces and large gatherings during this closure time.

This is an update to families regarding Grab and Go meal packet distribution for this evening, Wednesday, March 18. For those families who did not pick up your meal packets this morning, meal packets can be picked up from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at Fox Hill Elementary School, West lane Middle School, and North Central High School. Please note that distribution sites have been modified from our originally published information.

Thank you to all the Child Nutrition workers and volunteers who have prepared and distributed meal packets today. Distribution will be held at every WT school through curb service pick-up due to social distancing recommendation: Wednesday, March 18 from 9:00 – 11:00 AM and 5:00 – 7:00 PM.

A: As you are aware, the Governor stated on March 12th that school districts are able to waive up to 20 missed instructional days due to Coronavirus. Since these are waived instructional days, the at home learning activities will be optional for students to complete, and grades will not be issued.

Again, our goal is to offer continued learning activities even though the days are waived. Your child’s teacher(s) will communicate at home learning opportunities by Wednesday, March 18.

The district will utilize online resources and opportunities for students through Canvas, Google Suite, etc. Additional information on virtual learning opportunities will be released in the event of extended closure.

Unfortunately, due to recommended social distancing requirements from MC PHD, we will not be able to bring students back to school to issue devices. A: Guidance for travel should come from up to date information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) at www.CDC.gov/COVID-19.

As this situation is rapidly evolving, health authorities may also impose international, domestic and/or regional US travel restrictions at any time. Please reference the CDC website on quarantine requirements based on your travel plans.

Students or staff members who return from ANY travel with COVID-19 symptoms should contact their primary care physician or MC PHD. MS DWT will continue to clean and disinfect schools, facilities, and buses in alignment with guidance from the CDC.

Custodial staff at all schools are focusing extra attention on sanitizing high traffic areas and commonly used surfaces including counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, light switches, keyboards, and tablets. Social distancing Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.

Stay away from people who are sick or not feeling well and avoid close contact with others through hugging, kissing, or shaking hands. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as toys and doorknobs.

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