Welcome to the 2020-21 school year. With the recent storm, I hope and wish that all is well with each of your families. Over the past few months and days, I have visited with many students and parents and it is amazing to observe all of our communities coming together to support each other during the pandemic and storm clean up. Great job Vikes!
Each year we make adjustments to handbooks, curriculum, and procedures to help ensure each student has a great high school experience and this year will be no different. Below are a few changes I want you to be aware of prior to school beginning.
Start of the 2020-21 School Year
Due to the recent storm damage at Tilford Elementary, Shellsburg Elementary, the town of Shellsburg, and the damage many VS families have endured, the start of the school year has been delayed until Monday, August 31st.
The high school will be transitioning from their current traditional 8 period 45 minutes per day schedule to a 4 period 90-minute block schedule per day. We are transitioning to a block schedule to reduce the number of passing times per day, reduce the amount of student/student & teacher/student contacts per day, increase lunch time, and allow for a smoother transition between learning formats. The block schedule is also set up to more effectively contact trace if needed. This transition will not affect graduation credits or course offerings. Class periods 1, 2, 3, & 5 will meet on Day 1. Class periods 6, 7, 8, & 9 will meet on Day 2. Advisor, which is P-4, will meet every day. With our block schedule, Day 1 & Day 2 will meet every other day. Please refer to the link below to view the bell schedule.
Monday, August, 31st (First Day of School)
High School students will meet and stay with their Advisors on the first day of school. We will be conducting multiple zoom meetings with staff/students on the first day of school, covering items such the schedule transition, school wide procedures, connecting students to software programs, and assisting with other needs that arise. Day 1 schedule will begin on Tuesday, September 1st.
To help with social distancing and overall space during lunch, we plan to open up the media center for additional seating. We will only be allowing 6 students per table during lunch with 3 students sitting on each side and alternate from each other. Tables in the media center will also be spaced out to accommodate social distancing. Seniors still have the privilege of open campus lunch if they choose.
“Wearing face coverings by students and staff is required in hallways, indoor common spaces, on buses, and when physical distancing is not possible. Students may remove face covering if they are distanced 6 feet apart or per teacher instruction. Face covering breaks shall be provided throughout the day”.
Various face coverings will be provided to students once they have all been delivered. Students will be allowed to wear their own personal face coverings as long as they are school appropriate. High School students will be responsible for sanitizing, cleaning, and washing face coverings.
Hallways, Lockers & Restrooms
Students will still have access to their lockers and restrooms. Each high school student is assigned to an individual locker and can not share with any other student. Restroom breaks will be allowed during class time, but on an individual basis to limit the number of students in the area. Students will be instructed to walk on specific sides of the hallway to help social distancing during passing time… While students are in the hallways, at their lockers, or using the restroom face coverings will be required.
We will be implementing new, more frequent cleaning procedures throughout our building. The common touch areas (door handles, light switches, etc…) will be wiped down multiple times a day. Teachers and students will have access to disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizers to regularly clean surfaces between groups and activities. Our custodians are going to be disinfecting our restrooms and classrooms on a more frequent basis with specialized equipment.
All water fountains have been turned off, except for the water bottle filling stations. The high school added two additional water bottle filling stations in the hub area for more access. Students are welcome to bring a water bottle and use the bottle filling stations throughout the day. Water bottles need to be taken home each night and cleaned. Please stress to your child, not to share water bottles with other students.
At this time, visitors will not be allowed in the building in order to reduce exposure. Parents will be allowed to stop in the main office to pick up their children or to visit with administration. Volunteers will be limited and need to be approved by the principal.
High School Open House
Students are welcome to attend open house on Tuesday, August 25th to place school supplies in their locker and to locate their classrooms. Open house times are: 9th grade from 4:30 pm to 6 pm and 10th-12th grade from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Face coverings will be required for parents, students, and staff during open house.
We know and understand this school year has the potential to be very fluid with the changing environment. Our staff appreciates your patience and understanding as we enter and move throughout the school year. While we all have different views on learning formats and school procedures/policies, I know we can all agree that VS students are deserving of the best education we can provide them and that is what our staff plans to do. We will continue to communicate with you concerning any changes to our learning formats or procedures, if the need arises.
We are all looking forward to having students in our building again learning and being actively engaged with our staff and their peers. Our staff is very excited for the 2020-21 school year to begin.
If you have any questions pertaining to the above information or any other school related items, please feel free to contact Mr. Kingsbury or Mr. Islas.