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Superintendent Newsletter January 14, 2022

Dear Parents, Patrons, and Staff;

The Board of Education has reinstated the Mask Mandate in an effort to reduce the amount sickness and decrease the spread of illness that has swept through our district since our return from the Winter break. On Wednesday of this week over a third of our students at the High School were absent with COVID, Flu, or some other illness. The numbers in the other building were large as well. We also have a large number of staff members absent. (The numbers for today are listed below.) With the numbers of sick students and staff increasing at an alarming rate it became obvious that we had to take action. There are many opinions about the effectiveness of masks but what we know for sure is that a year ago, when everyone was wearing masks, our numbers were much lower.

We are doing everything we can to keep our schools open and as safe as possible. The “Test to Stay” program has been very effective in identifying individuals with COVID and Flu but our supply of test kits has been exhausted. KDHE is having trouble supplying us with more because of a national shortage so we are testing less often.  Our buildings and equipment are being cleaned and disinfected as much as possible. Staff and students are encouraged to use good hand hygiene, social distance and wear a mask.

We need your help! The new Mask Mandate is in effect inside all of facilities until February 9th and will be enforced for everyone. This includes all activities and outside groups using district facilities.

KDHE and the Osage Co. Health Department have instituted New Quarantine Guidelines. Our district is adopting these new guidelines immediately. These new guidelines can be accessed here COVID-19 New School Guidance January 12 2022. The new guidelines are less restrictive and hopefully will get students back to school and adults back to work sooner and safely.

Temporary Emergency Substitute Authorized License:

The State Board of Education has created a new category of substitute teacher licenses in an effort to help school districts with staff absences for the remainder of this school year. If you meet the qualifications listed below and would like to substitute teach please contact Amy Hill at the school district office for an application. Note: USD 434 will pay the $50 fee.

Qualifications:

  • Must meet the minimum age requirement of 18.
  • Have a high school diploma. Individuals with a general educational development (Temporary Emergency Authorized License) (GED) diploma/certificate aren’t eligible.
  • Have a verified employment commitment from a district or system.
  • Be fingerprinted and pass a background check which will require a fingerprint card and a $50.00 background check fee be submitted to KSDE.

Congratulations to:

JH Boys basketball brought home more wins this week.  Bravo to the coaches that are doing all they can to get kids on the court and learning the fundamentals.

High School Girls Basketball for their win over Wellsville

High School Boys Wrestlers finished 4th and Girls finished 5th at Wellsville

Best wished to the wrestlers competing at the Basehor Bobcat Classic.

Shout Out to:

OAC students are working on their lunchroom behaviors and manners.  They are doing an awesome job of visiting at a level one, using better manners, and cleaning up their personal space each day!  Way to go OAC Chargers!

Many thanks to our faculty and staff this week for pivoting quickly and helping colleagues, filling in duties, and just being calm and patient with our COVID response.  We couldn't have covered our days without you!

We have a well-oiled office machine at OAC!  Many thanks to school nurse Dusty Rolla for her knowledge and hard work handling our COVID needs, especially this last week. Megan Reynolds, our office manager, and Faith Schreiner, nurse's assistant, work side-by-side with Dusty, testing, calling and documenting their work. They are a rock star team of leaders!

~Vici Jennings

Shout out to all SAC staff for keeping all operations of the preschool intact during my absence.  Big thank you to Julie Flory lead teacher and chaos controller.  She is always stepping in to help wherever needed.  She took on testing, phone calls, and troubleshooting with me during this difficult week.  Kaitlyn Ball is again keeping our systems and communication working 100% while still conducting her daily duties as office manager.  Greg Sheetz is on top of all sanitation, health and safety, and COVID cleanup.  We really appreciate all your attention to detail Greg!

Thank you, preschool educators. I work with great people every day!

~Faith Flory

I just wanted to give a shout out to Megan Reynolds who does the work of two/three secretaries every day, along with helping to test to stay kids, and keeping the rest of the building in check.  

I also want to give a shout out to Dusty Rolla who has been running from the time she gets here to when she leaves with COVID testing, and of course the rest of the bumps and bruises and other "crises" that come with all of our little people.

~Jackie Beatty 

Paraprofessional Heather Waller has magical skill and calming patience that is enviable.  CAC is grateful to have her in our building to her work with our children.

Thank you to all the staff that helped cover others while they are out sick.  It shows the pride and connectedness in our schools.  Thank you for coming together when we need you!

~Lari Jarrett

COVID and Illness Report

SFTHS

Total Student Absences: 91

Total Staff Absences: 10

Positives: 38

Test to stay: 12

Home due to household positives:10

Quarantine at home: 0

Pending test results: 1

CAC

Total Student Absences: 88

Total Staff Absences: 16

Positives: 13

Test to stay: 27

Home due to household positives: 33

Quarantine at home: 3

Pending test results: 2

OAC

Total Student Absences: 37

Total Staff Absences: 4

Positives: 12

Test to stay: 40

Home due to household positives: 21

Quarantine at home: 8

Pending test results: 0

SAC

Total Student Absences: 28

Total Staff Absences: 7

Positives: 5

Test to stay: 3

Home due to household positives: 11

Quarantine at home: 1

Pending test results: 0

Quote for the Week

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
– Babe Ruth

 

Have a Great Weekend and Stay Safe,

Jim Lentz, Superintendent

Santa Fe Trail, USD 434