Superintendent Welcome 2019

Brodhead School District COVID-19 update: 3-26-20
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I wanted to take the time to express my sincere debt of gratitude to each of you for the incredible patience and understanding you’ve demonstrated the past few weeks.  I cannot fully comprehend the challenges and stress this time of uncertainty creates for you and your family.  I have never used the word “unprecedented” so much as I have lately, however I’m not sure of another word which describes what we are all experiencing.  We can get through this together.

 

As we continue to adjust to the ever-changing conditions of this situation, please understand that the school district will work to provide learning enrichment and resources for all our students, including mental health resources.  All Teachers/Counselors should have set office hours.  Please reach out to staff or administrators if you have issues or concerns, we are here for you.  It is imperative that students continue the learning process so that they do not fall behind in their learning levels as well as miss important learning targets that will prepare them for grade/class advancement.  The delivery of Home Based learning will start March 30th.  We will continue to follow the Governors orders and there has been no decision in regards to closing schools the remainder of the year.

 

We will also continue to provide our Food Service program for all children under the age of 18.  We will be adjusting our times to 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM.  Please consider participating in this program.  A link to sign up for the program will be provided each week.  You can use the following link for next week’s meals.  This link is also provided on our Facebook page or you may call the district office, 897-2141 or 558-2220 if you do not have internet access.  You must sign up by March 27th 6:00 PM for next week’s meals.

 

Link for Food Service- https://forms.gle/1AbVkQV4TMfqZkxg8

 

Last Tuesday the Governor issued Emergency Order #12, Safer At Home OrderThis order will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. The order requires all individuals present within the State of Wisconsin to stay at home or at their place of residence unless there are essential needs that require travel.  Only essential staff will be working and the buildings will remain locked during this time period.  If you have something that you absolutely need from a building you can arrange a time through your building office or the District Office to pick it up.

 

Also, under this order, schools may be used for essential government functions.  A school district may determine its own essential government functions and identify the employees and contractors necessary to perform those functions.  In addition, schools may continue to perform Minimum Basic Operations, including human resources functions such as processing payroll and employee benefits and preserving the physical condition of the schools and its equipment.  Schools may also continue food service programs. 

 

As I said earlier, it is hard to truly comprehend the magnitude of this situation.  While some continue to downplay the importance of following regulations and guidelines provided by the government, every precaution we take helps slow the spread of this virus and we all need to take this situation seriously.

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Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, all Brodhead school activities, including daily face-to-face instruction, before and after school activities, and all athletic and co-curricular practices, competitions, and weekend events are
canceled/postponed indefinitely/until the school closure mandate has been lifted (per Governor Evers’ order). This includes all community use of the facilities.

The Brodhead School District has sent out and will be posting its updated Pandemic Plan.  This can be found on the District website.  On Tuesday, March 17, the District Pandemic Committee developed the following recommendations regarding our plan moving forward. The Brodhead School Board approved these recommendations Wednesday night. 

During this mandated closure, the following plans will be in place:

School Building Access/Communication:

 

  • All schools are currently locked but are allowing access to mail, deliveries, and essential staff.All buildings will be locked and no access will be allowed March 25-April 5.Starting Monday, April 6 through the remainder of this mandated closure, only essential staff will be allowed in the schools.There will be limited staff in the District and building offices.If there is an emergency, you can contact the District Office at (608) 897-2141 or (608) 558-2220 and we will respond as soon as possible.All communications regarding the home-based learning program should follow the directions that will be supplied in the near future from each school.

 

Medications/Student Belongings:

 

  • If your child has medications at school and you need them, you may come to your child’s school Monday, March 23 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to pick them up. If you need to make alternate arrangements outside of these hours, please contact the District Office and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. Since the closure has been extended indefinitely, we will be opening the schools one last day, Tuesday, March 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for students to pick up items they may need.Students should follow the 6-foot social distance rules, go to their locker/locker room only, and leave immediately.They should not go to the office or any other area of the building.They should not be in groups, loiter in the building, or congregate outside the buildings.

Home-Based Learning:
 

  • The District will be transitioning to home-based learning. We feel that it is important to continue the education of our students during this mandated closure.Our staff has developed enrichment activities and resources for students to use. Home-based learning will look a little different for each building because of the age levels. You will be receiving details from your specific school/teacher early next week.Those details will include teacher office hours so that you can communicate with them regarding your student’s learning.We sincerely hope that you will encourage your students with their continued learning.Since a majority of the work for grades 6-12 will be computer-based, we will be communicating a plan to check out Chromebooks for MS students.HS students already have Chromebooks and they should have brought them home with them before break. This home-based learning program will begin March 30.

Food Service:
 

  • Brodhead School District will be offering breakfasts and lunches to all students who wish to take part. These meals will be free to ANY resident 18 years old or younger (even those younger than school age). Beginning Monday, March 23 and continuing throughout Governor Evers’ school closure mandate, we will be providing grab-and-go cold-bagged meals consisting of lunch for the day along with breakfast for the following day. These meals will be available for pick up at Brodhead High School between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Meals will be handed out in a “drive-up” format. We ask that people pull up to the front of the High School and the meals will be brought out to each vehicle. Meals are to be picked up and taken away, not eaten on site. If you would like to take part in our lunch/breakfast program during our extended time out of school, please use the following link https://tinyurl.com/s4w8rl6 to sign up so we know how many meals to prepare each day.We will deliver meals to families that do not have transportation or have extenuating circumstances that do not allow for pick-up.Please contact the District Office to request this service.

     

  • Our Brodhead Backpack Food Program will continue through this time as well. Backpacks will be available every Friday, just as they were during the regular school year. Plans will be worked out with the families we support regarding whether backpacks can be picked up at the school or if they need to be delivered to students’ homes. If families have any questions about our Backpack Food Program, contact David Novy at (608) 897-2146.

Volunteer/Donations/Child Care:
 

  • Several people have inquired as to how they can help support families in need.We are currently working with our local groups/organizations to identify what, how, when, volunteers are needed.If you are interested in volunteering/donating you can contact Erin Menzel through bridgingbrodhead@gmail.com.They can be contacted through their Facebook page as well.There are other organizations that are still working out some details and we will be forwarding that information to you as we get it.

     

  • Local childcare provider Chelsea Andrews has offered to take in more children and there are other local providers as well.Parents looking for child care can check the Department of Children and Families website for regulated providers if the local sites are full.

     

Internet Access:
 

  • For our families that do not have internet access at home and have not already communicated this information to the District, please contact Tonya Buttke or Tracy Lueck at (608) 897-2141.We will work to accommodate all residents of our District.We will need to know if you have Charter connection options or any other carrier options.For families that do not have internet access, printed packets/learning materials will be either mailed or delivered.

 

Just a reminder that you will be receiving further details next week regarding the home-based learning program.  Please watch for this information and encourage your student’s participation.  Also, it is imperative that we practice social distancing procedures and keep students home as much as possible.  The only way to slow the spread of this virus is to limit the opportunities for the spread of this virus.  If you have any specific concerns about your child’s needs, please contact the District Office or your building principal.  We will continue to provide updates via School Messenger, our school website, and social media pages as we navigate this situation together. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

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Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, all Brodhead school activities, including daily face-to-face instruction, before and after school activities and all athletic and co-curricular practices, competitions and weekend events are canceled/postponed through April 5, 2020 (per Governor Evers’ order). This includes all community use of the facilities.

 

The Brodhead School District has sent out and posted its current Pandemic Plan.  This can be found on the District website and will be updated today as well as Thursday.  On Tuesday, March 17, the District Pandemic Committee will be meeting to make decisions/Board recommendations regarding our plan moving forward. The School Board will be meeting Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m.  While this is an open meeting, only essential personnel, media, and Administrators will be invited.  No more than 50 total people will be allowed to attend this meeting.   A very important Pandemic Plan update will be sent out and posted Thursday, March 19.

 

We recognize that closing our schools will impact our families, but we also recognize there are a lot of unknowns regarding this virus. During this mandated closure, the following plans will be in place or are in the works:

 

  • This plan may include a transition to home-based learning. Since the District has extra days built into our school calendar, this would not begin immediately.If the District chooses this route, staff members will meet early next week and collaborate with each other to develop the best available options for home-based learning.More information regarding these possible plans will be forthcoming.  If we choose to implement some form of home-based learning, students will not be required to participate until March 30.

     

  • Although students were instructed to take all personal belongings and academic materials home with them last Friday, we will allow families/students to come to the schools and collect items the next few days, March 16 and 17.The schools will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.Students should only go to their lockers/locker rooms to collect materials.They should not enter any other areas of the building.All clothing, backpacks, and materials needed for home-based learning should be taken home.

     

  • If your child has medications at school and you need them, you may come to your child’s school Monday, March 23, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. to pick them up. If you need to make alternate arrangements outside of these hours, please contact the school office and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

     

  • We will be preparing a meal program plan.This plan would begin Monday, March 23 and running Monday-Friday, March 23-27, March 30-April 3. We will be sending out more details regarding this program on Thursday March 19.

     

  • Several people have inquired as to how they can help support families in need. Again, once we have developed our plan, we will have a better idea of what needs we have.If needed, we will have a volunteer sign up which will be organized through Thursday’s update.

     

  • For our families that do not have internet access at home and have not already communicated this information to the District, please contact Tonya Buttke or Tracy Lueck at (608) 897-2141.We will work to accommodate all residents of our District.We will need to know if you have Charter connection options or any other carrier options.We are currently working on possible hotspot arrangements as well.

 

If you have any specific concerns about your child’s needs, please contact the District Office or your building principal.  We will continue to provide updates via School Messenger, our school website, and social media pages as we navigate this situation together. Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

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This message is dedicated to providing as much information as I can about Brodhead’s current Pandemic Plan.  The sole purpose of this plan is the safety of our students, staff, and community.

 

  1. I’ve met with the Administrative Team, including Dana Wyttenbach-Food Service, Mike Krupke-Board President, and Nurse Laura and we are providing the following guidance based on information from our local, State, and national health resources.

     

  2. Both Green and Rock County Department of Public Health and the Wisconsin Department of Public Health believe that the risk of infection in Green and Rock County is still low. They have not directed us to cancel or close schools/events at this time. However, experts agree that following spring break travel, it is likely COVID-19 will spread further throughout our nation.

     

  3. If COVID-19 begins to spread in the Brodhead area, State and local public health officials would consider community interventions. A DHS news release issued Monday, March 9 said interventions could include temporary closures of childcare facilities and schools, workplace social distancing measures such as replacing in-person meetings with teleworking, and modifying, postponing or cancelling mass gatherings. Decisions about the implementation of community measures would be made by State and local officials based on CDC guidance as well as the scope of the outbreak.

     

  4. Brodhead has not had to miss any school for inclement weather so we have surplus hours that would provide a temporary cushion if we had to close due to health concerns. WI DPI stated "Historically, the department has not waived the hours requirement through this process.”  DPI does not anticipate approving waivers for hours at this time. Districts do have local flexibility to determine the means by which they meet the hours standard. As this situation evolves, we will continue to discuss this with you.

     

  5. Wisconsin DPI allows districts to substitute virtual instruction for face-to-face instruction but Brodhead, like many districts, needs time to prepare to implement this strategy. Because a good portion of our homes do not have reliable internet, providing quality virtual instruction to all students may not be feasible. If schools are closed and we have used up our built in hours, we will determine whether providing some form of on-line learning for our students is feasible. In the meantime, as much as possible, we will make every effort to prepare for this possible scenario.

     

  6. Deputy State Superintendent Michael Thompson sent a lengthy email on Tuesday regarding the Forward & Aspire testing. Specifically, "Testing is both a Federal and State requirement. The Wisconsin Forward Exam and the Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) assessments run from March 23 to May 1. In addition, the ASPIRE assessment window is April 6 to May 6. Given the unknowns associated with the spread of this virus, we are considering our testing schedule and will be sharing any changes. We are not able to extend the testing window at this time. If there are allowed changes for testing or accountability purposes, we will take those into consideration.”

     

  7. As a precaution, all out of state school-related travel for students and staff is on hold. In state travel will be allowed as long as the destination is not in an area where travel is discouraged. It may be necessary to cancel a spring sport/extra-curricular event if the school where we are to travel is closed. Likewise, if a school is supposed to come to Brodhead and they are closed or have had exposure to COVID-19, the event may be canceled. We will also be restricting facility use by outside organizations. This situation is still evolving and these decisions will constantly be reviewed.
  8. Spring Break is here and I know some of you have plans to travel. As the leader of the District, my wife and I have chosen to cancel our trip to South Carolina.For your own safety and the safety of our students, I am recommending that travel outside of the state be canceled.With that said, the decision to travel outside of the state is completely up to you.The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has shared the following reference regarding travel: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel. Please check this out for up-to-date information on safe practices or restrictions on travel.

     

  9. Next week we will be doing a deep cleaning of the facilities.We will be making announcements and requesting your students to take all personal belongings home including textbooks and materials they may need if schools were to close.

     

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/workplace-school-and-home-guidance.pdf

     

  10. This information, and all future communications will be shared via our Instant Message system.Please read these messages carefully and help us prepare our students for any possible outcomes of this situation.

     

  11. Lastly, all District-related communications will come from my office.The Principals will be relaying this information to staff as well.I have attached some guidelines that will help all of us get through this trying situation.Please take the time to read and share these with your child/children.

We are all in this together and our main goal is to help prevent the spread of this virus and be prepared for any outcomes that may arise from this situation. This information and all updates/links will be posted to our District webpage as well: https://brodhead.k12.wi.us/. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the District Office at 608-897-2141. You may also reach me by email at llueck@brodhead.k12.wi.us.

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/disease/covid-19.htm

Thanks and have a good Spring Break.

Leonard Lueck
Brodhead School District Superintendent