March 25th Update on School Closures
On March 24th, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett issued statewide and local “safer at home” orders. Wisconsin residents are asked to stay at home until April 24, 2020 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In following Governor Evers’ “safer at home” mandate, our schools will remain closed through Friday, April 24th. We will continue our online learning program during this time. Updates will be provided via Facebook, our website, and Skylert notifications should any changes occur. We are supporting the governor’s mandate in hopes it will greatly reduce further spread of the coronavirus in the community.
Spring break is April 6th-April 13th and there will be no online learning or Grab-and-Go meals during this time.
We recommend that you continue to follow the CDC and public health department’s guidelines regarding social distancing and group size for gatherings, as well as the “safer at home” guidelines issued by the state.
Seeds of Health Elementary, Tenor High School, and Veritas High School
We will continue to provide Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch bags for families interested in this service. Daily pick-up will be Monday-Friday at the following sites:
- Seeds of Health Elementary, 1445 S. 32nd St. from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.
- Tenor High School, 840 N. Jackson St. from 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Grandview High School and MC2 High School
During the closure, MPS is continuing to provide meals for students. Please click here for more information including times and pick-up locations.
Additional AssistanceHunger Task Force anticipates food pantry and program closures and decreased access to emergency food as a result of the outbreak. In response, Hunger Task Force has created a list of confirmed, trusted sites that are providing food safely and reliably. Click here to see a map of the sites.
School Closure for Coronavirus
All students will move to online learning in conjunction with other instructional materials from home on Wednesday, March 18th. Our school hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Teachers will take periodic breaks and lunch throughout the day. Our teachers will be available during the school hours via online communication to help students with questions and concerns. Please have your child logged on by 8:30 a.m. to begin their school day.
Spring break is April 6th-April 13th and there will be no online learning during this time.
Below is some information regarding best practice during school closures. The impact of a single case in any one school is extremely significant, hence our decision to proactively close schools. If one student or staff member were to become infected, everyone who was in close contact would need to be quarantined for 14 days. Regarding community spread, the CDC and public health officials suggest a heightened monitoring over the next 14 days for any symptoms related to COVID-19. Symptoms include:
- Mild to severe respiratory symptoms including a dry cough
- Shortness of breath
Should your child exhibit any of these symptoms, contact your health provider and proactively take necessary steps to isolate yourself or your family. Close contacts include anyone who spends time, within six feet, of the positive case. When considering the proximity of a school environment, the contacts and exposures grow exponentially, and quickly. We are supporting closures because there is community transmission. If we all practice social distancing, we will return to school more quickly. Our goal is to reduce the spread of the virus and return to school and business as usual. We recommend you follow the CDC and Public Health Department guidelines regarding social distancing and group size for gathering.
Each morning, teachers will communicate the agenda, assignments, and expectations for the day on:
- For grades K4-3rd grade: Bloomz https://www.bloomz.net/
- For grades 4th-12th grade: Google Classroom https://classroom.google.com/
Students are asked to engage in the work as directed by the teacher, and to complete all assigned tasks for each of their classes daily. Teachers will be providing instruction through a variety of different methods including videos, screen sharing, audio files, slide decks, etc. Teachers will be available during regular school hours through email and Google Hangouts https://hangouts.google.com/ which provides both the option to chat or video call. We encourage parents and students to review Bloomz and/or Google Classroom and the student's email account daily for updates and assignments.
Completion of required work will indicate that a student “attended” class for the day, and will be reflected in our attendance records. Teachers will assume that students are engaged. If a student appears not to be engaging in the work over the course of a few days, a school administrator will connect with the parent via email or phone.
In addition to our daily instruction to all students, the special education team will continue to provide specially designed instruction as outlined in their individual education plans (IEP). These services will be through virtual face to face time on Google Hangout, email, Google Chat, and resources send home by their special education teacher.
Student Mental and Physical Health Resources During COVID-19
We recognize during these unprecedented circumstances this is a stressful time for all. Your school administrators and school counselors remain committed to serving students’ personal, social and emotional needs. We acknowledge that each person will cope differently and will have different needs. Below please find resources that address taking care of your emotional health and managing anxiety during this stressful time. If you feel you need to talk to a counselor or school administrator during you time at home please send an email to schedule a phone call.
- Child Mind Institute – Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus
- National Association of School Psychologists – Talking to Children About COVID-19: A Parent Resource
- Mental Health Links:
While school closure has everyone stuck at home, it’s important to remember to take breaks and stay active! Being active can even help reduce stress due to the endorphins that are released during activity. A few simple ways to do this could be, an indoor scavenger hunt, have a dance-off to your favorite songs, or do a chore you don’t normally do at home. Below we have provided a few links to even more ideas to stay active and healthy during this hard time.
Milwaukee Jewish Free Loan Association offers a hand-up instead of a handout, promoting self-sufficiency with dignity. Offering interest-free loans instead of charity, MJFLA seeks to empower people by furthering the concept of Gemilut Chasadim (acts of loving-kindness). MJFLA provides confidential loans on a non-sectarian basis to people who meet established criteria. As loans are repaid, MJFLA recycles those funds into new loans.Click here for more information.
Devices and Internet Access
Seeds of Health is committed to continuing education during the school closure by providing online instruction. For students that do not have access to a device or internet at home, Seeds of Health will be loaning the student a Chromebook and/or a mobile hotspot. If you do not have access to the internet or a Chromebook please contact your school principal.
Internet Offers from Providers
Several internet providers are providing free internet for families with students during the closure. Contact these providers for more information:
Charter Communication will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a subscription. A service of up to 100 megabits per second will be provided. The offer begins Monday, March 16th, 2020. Those interested in enrolling are asked to call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
AT&T said "we are waiving internet data overage" for customers not already on unlimited home internet plans. Additionally, the company said, its Access program will continue to offer internet data to qualifying limited income households for $10 a month. If you find yourself in financial trouble and unable to pay your bill, contact AT&T at 1-800-288-2020 for AT&T broadband, residential wireless or small business services and 611 from your AT&T device for wireless.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in partnership with the Public Service Commission is curating a list of Internet service providers in Wisconsin who in response to the Keep America Connected Pledge are offering resources to enable K-12 students to connect to the internet at home. Click here for the resource.
Internet Discount Finder
The Internet Discount Finder, created by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), can help low-income households find discounted internet service. Discounts are as deep as 80%. Click here to use the tool.
Staff are available throughout the school day (8:30 am-3:00 pm) through email and Google Hangouts
Chat or Video Call using Google Hangouts
During the closure, students will have access to Google Hangouts at https://hangouts.google.com/
Administrators will have access to their phones during the closure. Click here to see a list of contact numbers.