(PRESS RELEASE/Chewelah School District)
District leadership including union leaders and directors have met and continue to meet as we focus on how best to serve our students and community in this time of crisis. The professionalism and dedication of all our staff is admirable. This pandemic remains fluid with new information coming out daily. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we demonstrate to our students and families how we can calmly carry on.
Student instructional days will be extended through June 19, 2020 per direction from OSPI. May 22 will become a regular school day. High School graduation is now planned for June 13, 2020.
Working during the Closure
While some specifics are still being worked out (and changing), the intent is that staff will still work and will still get paid. Some hourly staff may need to work in different capacities during the closure.
Administration, Directors, Secretarial, Maintenance, Custodial, Technology and Business Office staff: Regular schedule -normal leave can be applied.
Teachers: Off campus and no responsibilities during planned Spring Break – In addition, due to adding the week of June 15 –19 and May 22 nd as instructional days with students, six days need to be removed from the 180 day calendar for teachers. March 16-18 are designated as non-work days. Teachers will work with their principal to identify 3 additional days as non-working prior to April 24th.
Teachers have flexibility in working remotely – plans can be done by individuals, grade levels, or programs. This Thursday and Friday staff will work on developing these plans. Teachers will need to be onsite at least once a week. Teachers need to be accessible to parents and supervisor via email and respond in a reasonable time (no more than 24 hours) on scheduled work days. Schedules and calendars will be
developed at the building level. Schedules will need to be shared with building secretary to be able to share with parents who call.
180 day classified employees: 180 day classified will work an additional week in June and May 22. They will have normal Spring Break (unless modified by supervisor to meet employee request to remain whole in pay. Days with reduced hours on 2019 –2020 calendar (early release days) will be accounted for in the total number of hours. March 16-18, and three additional days to be agreed upon depending on work duties will be trade out days for working until June 19 th . Work activities may include: helping deliver meals, preparing learning materials, selecting and accounting for library books, organizing materials and workrooms, light cleaning under direction of custodial staff, and day care supervision. Staff will be on site regular hours unless scheduled differently by supervisor.
Bus Drivers: Bus Drivers – Meal and learning activity delivery routes. Additional hours and duties to make whole will be determined by Transportation Supervisor.
As schools close and we are quite frankly often “the glue” that holds our families and communities together, OSPI has directed us to look into providing childcare for our health providers. Kassi is working with Cindy on identifying Chewelah School District students that have parents that are health care workers that need childcare. Hours will be 8:00 to 3:30 Monday through Friday location TBD. Staff that are asked to work onsite may access the provided childcare. Staff will either need to access District childcare or make outside arrangements.
This is our mission and our purpose – our community does not have the capability to provide equitable on- line learning and we will not be able to provide this service for our students. An exception will be made for Seniors in credit retrieval who would be at risk of not graduating this Spring. However, we can provide activities that engage and enrich our students while at home. We are working on methods to allow
students to remotely check out books from our libraries and send them home on our bus routes along with learning activities put together by all of you. This will take much of your time for planning this Thursday and Friday. The goals will be for PLC teams to develop two weeks of optional learning materials or opportunities for students and communication methods during the closure.
At this time, Special Education timelines and processes are still in place. Accommodations may need to be made for parents and/or staff to attend meetings remotely.
Many of our students depend on the nutrition that our school meals provide. The District is applying for an emergency closure waiver to provide meals to any of our students who desire them. The plan is to start delivering meals (breakfast and lunch in the same bag) using our existing bus routes starting Monday, March . Para-professionals will be asked to accompany the drivers and deliver meals to our students one time daily Monday through Friday. Staff will be asked to count how many meals are handed out.
Free Breakfast and lunch will be given to any child ages 0-18. Chewelah School District will be running regular bus routes on a late start schedule every day (Monday through Friday) to deliver breakfast and lunch to children. Families may also pick up meals in front of Gess Elementary from 9-11 a.m. Gess Elementary parking lot will be coned off to support loading buses in the morning (Monday through Friday). To our families in the community who might not normally ride the buses, if you would like to be included in bus delivery please call Transportation Director Cory Foster 509-685-6800 ext. 1701.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Custodial staff are working together with maintenance staff to identify best practices for disinfection and deep cleaning in advance of the Summer break. Night custodians are working to develop a schedule so that night disinfecting is done in targeted areas used during the day.