COVID-19 FAQs For Families and Parents of Students with Disabilities Created March 25, 2020
DEAR FAMILIES AND PARENTS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES,
During this time of uncertainty there are some important things to remember. Any actions taken by Madison School District regarding closures are for the safety of all students and school personnel working with students. As districts and schools are determining the most appropriate steps to ensure student and staff safety, we want to take this time to provide guidance relating to students with disabilities and their services. It is extremely important for families and schools to collaborate and communicate together regarding services for our students with disabilities.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY CHILD’S SERVICES WHEN SCHOOL IS CANCELED FOR ALL STUDENTS DUE TO COVID-19?
1. If a school closure causes educational services for all students to stop, then the school/district is generally not required to provide services to the affected students eligible for special education services during that same period of time.
2. After an extended closure, districts are responsible for reviewing how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to students eligible for special education services. Students may need compensatory services to make up missed services. IEP teams will review the needs of each student to determine if this is necessary.
3. If annual IEP reviews or eligibility reviews are due during a school closure, please work with your school closely to meet as soon as school is back in session or through alternate means, such as video or audio conference calls.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY CHILD’S SERVICES WHEN A SCHOOL IS CLOSED BUT EDUCATIONAL SERVICES CONTINUE TO BE PROVIDED TO ALL STUDENTS?
1. If a district has extended school closures but continues to provide educational services to all students, the district will remain responsible for the free appropriate public education (FAPE) of its students eligible for special education services with an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
2. Districts should be communicating with parents and guardians prior to, during, and after a school closure regarding their child’s IEP services. Districts and schools will work to ensure that all students receive services to the most appropriate extent possible.
3. Although special education or related services may need to be adjusted, IEP teams should work to ensure that a student on an IEP receives services comparable to all other students. Services might include schoolwork packets, online learning, or some other learning adapted to the student’s needs and location.
4. After an extended closure, districts are responsible for reviewing how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to students eligible for special education services. Students may need compensatory services to make up missed services. IEP teams will review the needs of each student to determine if this is necessary.
5. If annual IEP reviews or eligibility reviews are due during this time, please work with your school closely to meet as soon as school is back in session or through alternate means, such as video or audio conference calls.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY CHILD’S SERVICES IF SCHOOL REMAINS OPEN BUT MY CHILD IS UNABLE TO ATTEND SCHOOL DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS?
1. Students who need to stay at home for more than ten days may need to receive homebound instruction. With the consideration of protecting the health and safety of the student and those individuals providing services to students.
2. The IEP team must meet to determine how to provide services for your child. This may include school work packets, online instruction, or some other type of learning adapted to the student’s needs and location.
State of Idaho Resources for Schools, Parents, and Students
U.S. Department of Education Q&A on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak
After discussions with district administration and our amazing Food Services department, we are excited to announce we will be continuing our 'Grab n' Go' breakfasts and lunches beginning after spring break (April 7). We have had to scale down to THREE locations, which are:
-Madison Jr. High
-South Fork Elementary
The pick up time of 8 am-11 am will remain the same.
We want to send out a special thanks to our Food Services department for their willingness and desire to do this given the choice. Our district never wanted to discontinue this program, only ensure the safety of our employees, due to the high volume of interaction each day.
These ladies love the kids, what they do, and the community, so, this program will be reinstated, starting April 7! #wearemadison #wecare
Dear Staff, Parents, and Patrons,
Effective immediately, as per the Emergency order as issued on Wednesday March 25, 2020 from Idaho Governor Brad Little, all employees of Madison 321 will be working from home until further notice.
Parents, please communicate electronically with your respective teachers. Until further notice, “Grab and Go” food service will be suspended.
All staff will continue to be compensated during the “At home” phase. Please be safe and stay healthy.
Thank you for your service, support and cooperation.
Dr. Geoff Thomas
Dear Staff, Parents and Patrons,
As you are well aware, we are living in unprecedented times. On behalf of the Madison 321 Board of Trustees and district administration, may I extend my heartfelt thanks for your patience and support as we are all making adjustments to address the COVID-19 situation.
In this correspondence, I desired to include all parties, so we are all working from the same page.
I am impressed with parents who are juggling dual roles at home as parent and teacher. These responsibilities are magnified when there are multiple children enrolled at several levels of schooling. I recognize the challenges you have been facing and empathize that you are shouldering these heavy responsibilities.
Thank you for all the great work you are doing. It is noted and appreciated.
To the MSD 321 staff, my gratitude for the incredible work you are doing in transitioning your content into an online format. You were given mere days (Hours) to facilitate this transition and you have performed marvelously.
Thank you for heeding my requests to be “Content rich and Very assignment light” during this difficult time. We need to be sensitive to the needs of very busy parents.
Upon the return of students to school, I would urge you to please not overwhelm students with a deluge of assignments as they reenter for classroom instruction.
Under the guidance of Governor Brad Little, all Idaho schools were directed by the Idaho State Board of Education to stay in "Soft closure" mode until Monday April 20, 2020.
A "Soft" closure is similar to what Madison 321 is currently facilitating, whereby teachers and staff report to work, but students remain at home.
I was sincerely hoping we could return to normal operations on Tuesday April 7, 2020 following our spring break, however, we will comply with the directive from the State Board.
Obviously, the COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and no one may predict with accuracy what may occur in the near future with the virus. However, barring unforeseen circumstances, changes, or state directives, Madison 321 is setting a target date for all schools to be open on Tuesday April 21, 2020.
As a parent, you have the right to keep your children home if you are not comfortable with the April 21st date.
In addition, the district will continue to provide a “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch at Kennedy, South Fork, Madison Middle, Madison Junior High, and Madison High School for any and all students from 8-11 a.m. Monday through Friday.
The Grab and Go food service does not include the dates that MSD 321 is officially on Spring Break which are: Monday March 30, 2020 - Monday April 6, 2020
Special Needs Children:
If your child is on an Individualized Education Program or (IEP), your respective case managers will be in contact with you to devise a plan to provide the best services possible for your child.
As per the direction of the Idaho State Board, MSD 321 will not administer the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test or SBAC. (ISAT)
The state has also waived Senior Projects, and the college entrance exams as requirements for graduation.
I recognize the significant impact these changes have been on our district and community. I appreciate the professionalism, dedication and flexibility of our MSD 321 staff. I would again like to express my thanks to all of our parents during this unsettled time.
I am grateful to live in the United States, to be an Idahoan, and serve in a family oriented community that is education minded, supportive and collaborative.
I look forward hopefully to reuniting our students and staff on Tuesday April 21, 2020.
Dr. Geoff Thomas
Dear Staff, Parents and Patrons,
As mentioned in previous correspondence, the situation regarding COVID-19 is very fluid, with conditions changing quite rapidly.
Therefore, the following actions are being taken by Madison School District 321:
1. All Madison 321 schools will be closed from Wednesday March 18, 2020 - Monday April 6, 2020
By closing on Wednesday March 18, 2020 this will provide time for parents that work outside the home an opportunity to secure daycare or babysitter services for their young children.
2. There will be a "Soft Closure" From Wednesday March 18 - Friday March 27, 2020. This means that:
No classes will be held.
All employees will report to work.
Starting Wednesday, no faculty or employee gatherings of over 50 people in the
same meeting or room will be permitted.
Teachers will begin building their online content.
Deep cleaning and sanitizing of all of the buildings will continue.
Students are permitted to visit teachers on an individual basis accompanied by a
parent or guardian. Please contact teacher prior to visiting the school.
During the "Soft Closure," "Grab and Go" Breakfast and sack lunches will be
available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Kennedy, South Fork, Madison Middle School,
Madison Junior High and Madison High School.
3. All extracurricular activities have been cancelled, including all practices from
March 18 - April 6, 2020
4. No transportation will be provided.
5. No community events will be allowed in MSD 321 buildings.
6. No private rentals of MSD 321 buildings will be permitted.
7. Spring Break will be expanded from Monday March 30- Monday April 6, 2020
During Spring Break, no school will be held, no food provided, no assignments or homework required.
If staff members have any concerns about their health, please immediately contact your health provider and building administrator.
During the above-mentioned school closure dates, I would encourage parents to assist in the effort to contain the potential spread of COVID-19 by keeping their children at home, by avoiding large private gatherings, reinforcing proper hygiene techniques, and maintaining social distancing.
Please continue checking the MSD 321 website (msd321.com) and Facebook page for further updates.
On behalf of the Madison 321 Board of Trustees and district administration, I appreciate the overwhelming support we have received from staff, parents and our patrons.
We look forward to the passing of this virus and the continued health of our community.
Dr. Geoff Thomas
Dear Parents and Patrons,
COVID-19 or the Coronavirus has dominated the national as well as state and local news.
Over the weekend, the Madison 321 Board of Trustees and I have been discussing whether or not to close our schools.
While formulating our decision, we have spoken with various local and state government and health agencies, all the way to the Governor’s office. In addition, we have closely followed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control or CDC.
We have read your emails and monitored opinions and postings on social media.
This was a very difficult decision, but agencies at every level of government urged us and other districts to continue school next week.
The CDC + state leading epidemiologists have made recommendations for schools. First and foremost is to teach proper hygiene to students. This includes:
Proper and frequent hand washing (At least 20 seconds using both soap and water)
Frequent and liberal use of hand sanitizer
Sneezing into a Kleenex and then throwing it away immediately in a trash receptacle
Coughing into sleeves
Staying at least six feet away from those who are exhibiting cold or flu like systems
Staying home in case of the flu, fever, cold like symptoms, pneumonia, or vomiting
Regardless, the district will definitely close our schools if and when state or local health authorities suggest we do so, and when closing will be the best or most effective method for slowing the virus.
Please know, that ultimately, as the parent, the decision whether or not to send your children to school is entirely up to you. As a district, we will diligently work to make sure your child is not penalized for staying home.
At this point, extracurricular activities are still approved. We are looking at dividing lunches, thereby reducing the number of students congregating at the same time, and we are discussing how best to address future large attendance activities such as springtime concerts / events etc…
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and district administration, I want to assure and reassure you that we are monitoring this situation very carefully, and are earnestly seeking to share the latest information we have with you.
I recognize that there is and will be a level of uncertainty as we address this fluid situation. As we have always done in Madison 321, we will face this challenge with calm and professionalism, helping and supporting one another.
The safety of our students, staff and community is our highest priority. Our hope and prayers are that we will work our way through this situation with everyone staying healthy, and that the virus will soon dissipate.
Thank you for all that you are doing in service for our students and community in this challenging time.
Dr. Geoff Thomas
Times of crisis allow us to come together, both as a nation and as a community. Right now, the current global crisis is CODIV-19. While this virus has not affected our state or community directly, we want to assure you that we continue to exercise caution in all decisions being made. This is a rapidly developing situation and we have a task force ready to take action for any number of scenarios should recommendations from public health change or should our students health and safety come into question.
Taking into account current recommendations, Madison School District, at this time, will be continuing school and scheduled activities as planned.
With the global attention the corona virus has received, rumors are running rampant. In hopes of squelching a few, here are a few 'as of this moment' facts:
-At this time, according to Eastern Idaho Public Health and Madison Memorial Hospital, not only are there NO confirmed cases in Madison County, there are no confirmed cases in the State of Idaho.
-Madison School District is prepared and ready with a plan if schools or extracurricular activities need to be cancelled for any amount of time.
-Parents, you are your child's advocate. If you have concerns for your child's health, you always have the right to take your child out of school. If this is a concern, please contact your child's school administration directly.
Decisions made concerning this issue are not made lightly but out of an abundance of caution and consideration for our students and staff. We want to remind you that school and student safety are our top priority. The school is working closely with the public health district and is monitoring this rapidly changing situation.
Several things we can not stress enough right now. amidst the panic:
- WASH/SANITIZE YOUR HANDS. FREQUENTLY.
- IF YOUR HOUSEHOLD IS SICK, PLEASE STAY HOME.
- COVER YOUR MOUTH WHEN COUGHING/SNEEZING
- AVOID DIRECT CONTACT WITH SICK PEOPLE
- IF YOU ARE SICK, PLEASE STAY HOME OR KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME
Madison School District continues to practice prevention by:
-Ensuring each classroom has hand sanitizer
-Reminding students through announcements and hung posters to wash hands
-Concentrating extra custodial efforts on sanitizing and wiping down surfaces that are highly utilized
-Sanitize the seats in the busses after use
-Have set hand washing breaks
-Meet with local/state officials to monitor and plan
We are ready and prepared to take any and all safety precautions necessary.
Stay safe and healthy!
"The Coronavirus is coming to the US...."
This is the headline that has filled the news for the last week and now and has many in a panic. We would like to reassure our parents that safety is always our top priority. Learning can not take place unless students are safe (and healthy).
Madison School District, like many, are looking at every scenario when it comes to the spread of this current virus and possible disruptions in public education. While doing this, we have already started taking extra precautions throughout the district.
Some of these things include:
-Adding/ensuring hand sanitizer is in every classroom in the district
-Hanging hand-washing reminder posters in all bathrooms
-Dispersing hand washing education district wide
-Concentrating extra custodial efforts on sanitizing and wiping down surfaces that are notorious germ spreaders
-Sanitizing the seats in the busses more frequently
With these efforts, we encourage parents to talk with their children about the importance of hand washing as well as covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing. We would also like to stress at this time, parents/caregivers, please keep your children home if they are exhibiting symptoms of the flu, including/especially a fever.
We appreciate Eastern Idaho Public Health for gathering and distributing information to our community in an effort to educate, not scare. Below are a few articles to keep yourself informed about the Coronavirus.
A little education and a little hand-washing can go a long way!
***On a side note, a HUGE shout out to our custodial crews who are and always put in that extra effort to make our schools sanitary and clean...which, with 400 kiddos in and out, is a commendable task!***
Eastern Idaho Public Health Resourceshttps://eiph.idaho.gov/Home/Hot%20Topics/Coronavirus/Novel%20Coronavirus.html
How can we prepare for the coronavirus?
Hand Washing Videos for Children