Superintendent's Update March 19, 2020 & FAQ

Dear Osage Students, Families, and Community-

 

We know there are many questions at this time about what it means to have the schools close unexpectedly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we do have a few that may be of interest to you. We are committed to answering what we can to the best of our ability.  We will keep these FAQs on our website and will update them frequently.

 

Thank you for your patience and support.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Laura Nelson

School of the Osage Superintendent 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) planning and response in School of the Osage

 

What is School of the Osage doing about at-home learning while school is out?

Teachers at all levels have developed plans for at-home learning that will begin after spring break. School administrators and/or teachers will contact students and families with instructions for accessing these on March 24. 

 

When will school resume?

Currently, plans are to resume classes on April 6. Prior to April 6, School of the Osage will meet with health officials from Camden, Miller and Morgan counties for an update to ensure this remains the most appropriate course of action. The closing of schools due to a global pandemic is uncharted territory for schools in the U.S. School officials rely on local health department partners to make decisions that will be in the best interest of student and staff safety and that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the region. As a precaution, School of the Osage is working on contingency plans for long-term at home learning if needed. If that were to occur, the district would communicate with families and staff as quickly as possible. 

 

When’s the last day of school?

The last day of school is currently May 20th. 

 

I left something at school I need. Can I come pick it up?

School of the Osage school buildings are closed. However, you may call your child’s school and request help. If possible, we will locate the item and make it available for pick up at a designated time. 

 

How often will teachers assign work to my student during the closure? 

At minimum each teacher will assign one assignment per week between now and April 3.

 

How is the district going to handle assigning credit for work students complete during the closure?

It is the district-wide expectation that students complete the work assigned to them by you, their teachers, to the best of their abilities. We recognize the challenge this poses both to you and to them. 

 

Here are the important points:

-Students will receive points for their work.

-Students will not be penalized for complications caused by factors outside their control.       

  1. Due to the nature of high school classes which are tied to graduation credits, teachers will assign grades for all assignments and include in semester grade. 

  2. If/when it becomes clear that the closure will last beyond April 3, BLTs will work to clarify expectations and next steps. 

 

Are the libraries going to be open?

No. All school buildings are closed. However, we would like to remind you that iPads contain the SORA app. If your student has a book on hold (or would like to put one on hold), it can be picked up in the office. Call your students’ school to request this option. 

 

My K-5 student uses an iPad at school, but he/she doesn’t bring it home. Can I check one out to use during the school closure?

Yes- you just need to call your students’ school and make this request. The device will be available for pickup within 48 hours. 

 

We have unreliable internet service. Can you help with this? 

Wi-fi will be available in 4 locations from 11-1 Monday -Friday. It is also available 24/7 in Heritage and UE parking lots. People will be able to the access the wi-fi from their cars. Buildings are closed to the public. All teachers will have non-web based assignment options. Additionally, Spectrum is offering free internet to new customers with a student in the household. You can reach Spectrum to activate free service and free installation by calling this number: 1-844-488-8395.

 

My student is on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504; will support services still be offered?

Special Education Teachers/Therapists will still provide work to students, based on IEP goals. Special Education Teachers/Therapists will also check-in with their students and parents regularly with opportunities for instruction and/or distance tutoring as needed. Students on a 504 will be provided accommodations according to their plans.

 

Will the state’s MAP testing and EOCs still take place?

It is unknown at present if state testing will be impacted. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is monitoring school closures and sharing updates as needed on the status of different state-related issues, including accreditation requirements. To stay abreast of updates, visit the DESE’s COVID-19 website at: https://dese.mo.gov/communications/coronavirus-covid-19-information

 

Will the upcoming ACT tests still be held?

No. ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. For more information, visit ACT’s website at https://www.act.org/content/act/en/covid-19.html.

As of now, we do not plan to give the junior census test on April 7. We will update you on the possibility of giving a junior ACT this year as more information becomes available.

 

Will high school students still be sitting for Advanced Placement exams?

Currently, AP exams are still scheduled on their national test dates in May.  We will share information from the College Board as it becomes available.

 

Are spring sports and activities canceled?

All after-school and extracurricular activities are canceled in School of the Osage for the time-being. In addition, sports and certain activities at School of the Osage are governed by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), which has also canceled activities. For updates on MSHSAA decisions related, visit the MSHSAA website at: https://www.mshsaa.org/.

 

Will scheduled OFP/PTA events and meetings, including Time to Rise nights,  be held on campus?

All meetings and events are canceled until further notice.

 

Will Punga (prom) be held as scheduled on April 18?

We have currently rescheduled it to May 9th. 

 

What about graduation for seniors on May 14th? 

School of the Osage has made no decisions yet regarding graduation or other end-of-the-year events to date. We know these are important milestones in a student’s life and the district will communicate on any necessary change of plans if needed as soon as possible.

 

My child is a senior. How does this impact my child’s ability to graduate and access transcripts, teacher recommendations, scholarship applications and other support for my child’s pursuit of college or post-secondary education?

Information regarding these various areas impacting seniors will be determined based on when students return to Osage High School and future educational programming.OHS administrators and counselors will provide families with frequent updates regarding these matters as information is available. It’s important that all students, including seniors, continue to complete assignments through the at-home learning procedures provided by teachers. Physical copies of assignments will be available to parents upon request. In addition, teachers, and counselors will be responding to emails from March 23 onward through the closure. Their email addresses can be accessed through our website at osageschools.org

 

How can my family receive services from Parents As Teachers?

As part of our emergency plan, all events have been canceled.  Parents As Teachers staff are still available for virtual visits with their families.  Resources such as diapers are also still available. Please contact the Early Childhood Center if your family is in need of assistance.

 

How can my child receive breakfast or lunch while school is out?

As part of our emergency plan to address the closure of schools, we have identified school sites, neighborhood sites, and/or community centers as distribution sites to continue school-based meals for our families. We will also provide free wi-fi and tutoring opportunities.

  1. We will be running buses to five locations every day of the closure starting on March 24. These buses will deliver grab and go breakfasts and lunches and on Friday’s additional groceries. All food will be shelf-stable and in compliance with local health guidelines. 

  2. Food delivery buses will stay parked for two hours so that people in parked cars nearby can access free wi-fi. 

 

Starting on Tuesday, March 24, we will deliver meals to our students at the designated locations.  The bus will be at each location from 11 am until 1 pm, Monday-Friday. This schedule will continue for an undetermined length of time.  Please spread the word to everyone with students in our district.

Any child 18 and under may receive a free breakfast and lunch. (Child must be present to receive meals.)

ON-Campus Meal Distribution 
11:00am -1:00pm 
Upper Elementary 
Heritage Elementary 

Meal and Support Delivery BUSES 

  1. Brumley Post Office-wifi Bus #36

  2. W Construction Site-wifi Bus #35

  3. Fish Haven Lion’s Club-wifi Bus #10

  4. Cat-Rock by Aztec-wifi Bus #27

  5. HH Carl’s-no wifi- meals and supplies only Bus #20