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School Buildings Closed; Studies to Resume April 6


Posted Date: 03/25/2020

School Buildings Closed; Studies to Resume April 6

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Dr HartzlerToday, the Oklahoma State Department of Education made the decision that Oklahoma students will not return to the classroom for the remainder of the current school year, as our state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19. While all Union school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the school year, the state has recommended that learning continue for our students.

 

As a result, Union is developing a plan to ensure your student will continue to have opportunities to learn and grow academically. We want to keep your student engaged as much as possible so they do not experience learning loss during this period. These lessons and activities will look different by grade level, as students and families have varying levels of access to technology and other resources. We will be working with teachers next week to ensure they are ready to transition into remote learning beginning April 6.  Next week we will also be sharing with parents the format - by grade spans - what our continuous learning plans will look like. Just know that while it will not be a perfect solution, we are going to fully utilize all available resources to do the best that we can.

 

(Download this letter. / Parents, you may wish to see our updated FAQ Sheet also.)

 

While many questions remain, we will share what we know today so that you can begin to prepare accordingly for your family. We fully understand the strain this places on working parents; however, we also understand this recommendation is in the best interest of everyone’s health, which is our greatest priority as a district.

 

Today’s decision also means that all extracurricular activities and special events will be canceled. We have already made the difficult decision to cancel prom at Union High School. This will be disappointing for many, but given the CDC’s recommendation on keeping crowd sizes down, we do not have a choice at this time. High School graduation remains an open question for now, as we wait to see what things look like in the next 30 days. We are looking at various scenarios in the event we need to make adjustments, but our desire is to hold commencement exercises in some format.

 

Other key things to know:

 

  • School buildings will remain closed. If your student has personal items at school, we will provide instructions on how to claim belongings at a later date. If there are emergency items such as medications, please email your student’s principal. 
  • The State Board of Education will not require districts to make up days missed due to the Coronavirus episode.
  • Ensuring that all eligible seniors graduate is one of our top priorities. We are in the process of determining how work completed during this “down” period will be graded and credits assigned. Please know that we are consulting with area and state colleges to ensure we are consistent with their requirements. We will also continue to support students’ transition from high school into college or vocational training. 
  • Student access to technology: In the event the district is able to provide digital devices to more students in grades K-8, more information will be provided at a later date.
  • 3rd Grade Reading:  Promotion decisions for 3rd Grade students will be made according to data collected prior to March 16, 2020. As always, we will work closely with parents when making the decision to promote or hold back a student.
  • Pre-K enrollment: We are revising the online application process so parents will not be required to present documents in person at Union’s Enrollment Center. Deadlines for application will be extended.
  • Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs): Teachers will make arrangements for IEP meetings to take place with parents by phone or videoconference to ensure your child’s progress.
  • Union’s Extended Day Program will be applying credits to accounts with payments for the school closing time period. If you requested a refund for spring break camp, we will issue those refunds once school business operations resume.
  • Union will continue to provide FREE drive-thru meal pick-ups for children at three locations. The hours for pick-up are from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on weekdays at these locations: Ellen Ochoa Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, and at Union's 6/7th Grade Center. Two meals, breakfast and lunch, will be available for FREE drive-through pick up for any children.

 

We will continue to provide updates about our district’s response to COVID-19 on our district website at https://www.unionps.org/Coronavirus. In addition to the website, we will continue to provide updates via phone, email, Facebook and Twitter.

 

If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. We will respond just as quickly as possible.

 

I know it will be sad and disappointing for students to learn that school as they know it will not resume this year. Please give them a safe place to express their feelings. For our seniors and their parents, we know it is an especially difficult time. This is an unfair situation, but it in no way diminishes their achievement. We will do our best to celebrate and congratulate them in special and unique ways.

 

Making these decisions has been extremely difficult, but it is simply the right thing to do for our students, staff and community, given these extraordinary circumstances. More information will be forthcoming next week regarding remote learning.

 

Sincerely,

Kirt Hartzler, Ed.D.
Superintendent

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