OCTOBER 22, 2020

WE are Ready! 

Today, students in Integration A at Southern, George Read, and William Penn; Communication and Social Learning (CASL) at Southern, Intensive Learning Center (ILC) at Southern returned for face-to-face instruction.  Director of Student Services, Holly Sage, says,  “The teachers, paras, therapists, administrators, and other staff members eagerly awaited the arrival of the students on Thursday!  They are so excited to get started with students in school.  Students thrive in the building when they have the support of the staff and the relationships with their peers; therefore, face-to-face instruction will be beneficial for the students!”

Director of Schools Division Jim Comegys says, “We were so excited to see students arriving in person!  Thank you to all the support staff who have worked tirelessly to support transportation, facilities, nutrition, registrations, and more in our efforts to open our school doors.”

All students and staff must follow new safety guidelines. We encourage everyone to view this instructional video called The Safe Return to School.  https://youtu.be/thBbzZ1hGxY

Our Colonial Virtual Academy will continue to offer a great educational option for families who selected our remote option.  Colonial is proud to meet our families’ needs in person or virtually!

Mobile Feeding Schedule is Changing

Now that buses are transporting students to schools, some changes in the locations and times for the Mobile Feeding Program have been made. Our weekly schedule is not static and is subject to change so it is imperative to check our website at http://www.colonialschooldistrict.org/community/remote-food-program/ for the latest locations and times.

Remember, students who are participating in virtual learning will be given the appropriate time to retrieve meals. It is suggested that those picking up the meals bring something to assist with carrying the bags as they will be heavier than usual and the distance to the bus stop may be farther. As always, you MUST wear a face mask and practice social distancing when approaching the bus.


Middle and High School Updates

First Marking Period Interims
Middle and High School families should have received their first Marking Period Interims this week.  Parents can use the Home Access Center (HAC) to review.   We encourage families to contact your child’s teacher to discuss concerns or to schedule a time to meet with them if needed. Email is the best way to connect with a teacher to set up a conversation.  Your child’s school counselor is also available as a resource as well.  Contact information is available on our school websites at http://www.colonialschooldistrict.org/contact/contact-schools-departments/
Get Those College Apps In!
Delaware’s College Application Month (CAM) will run from October 1st – November 30th. During that time, Delaware high school seniors can apply to all of Delaware’s colleges & universities for free. As we do every year, the William Penn School Counselors are available to Seniors and their families during this exciting and important time. CAM information will be shared with families through emails and Schoology messages. While School Counselors will be checking in with Seniors on their application progress, it’s VERY important that Seniors and their families keep their School Counselor in the loop and aware of any questions/concerns they’re having. The Counseling Department put together a slideshow specific to CAM steps. Click here for a link to the slideshow
Communities in Schools Virtual Event
William Penn students and their families are invited to check out this event. Speakers include Delaware US Senator Lisa Blunt Rochester and Chef Dana Herbert.

A Message from Your School Nurses:
COVID-19 Updates

Please be mindful of the following considerations when your student returns to school during face to face learning:

Emergency Medications
If your child has emergency medications (ex. asthma, seizure, diabetes, or severe allergy) you will need to contact your school nurse via email to schedule an appointment for medication drop-off.

Here are the forms that will need to be completed before medication drop off occurs.  Please click below to download the form.

For Children with Asthma
To manage students’ asthma during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that students use inhalers with spacers (with or without a face mask, according to each student’s individualized treatment plan) over nebulizer treatments whenever possible.”  This recommendation is to decrease exposure to aerosolized droplets and therefore decrease the risk of spreading germs. Please work with your child’s physician to update their care plan accordingly, and provide your child’s inhaler and spacer for school use in an asthmatic emergency. The following link provides further information.
For Children with Food Allergies
In order to maintain social distancing and limit movement throughout the building, students will be eating in their classrooms.
  • Please make sure to communicate with your school nurse any updates to your child’s Food Allergy Action Plan, and whether your child will need further accommodations to remain safe during mealtime.
Routine Medications
In an effort to prevent the exposure of your child to illnesses in the nurse’s office, we are trying to limit the frequency of administration of routine daily medications. Please consider administering these medications at home before/after school if possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your school nurse directly
Masks at School
In the State of Delaware, all students in grades kindergarten and above are required to wear a face-covering in school except while eating and napping.
  • Please make sure your student comes to school wearing a mask and has an extra mask in their backpack if needed.
  • Please label your child’s mask with their initials or name on the front or inside the mask.
Help Stop the Spread
• Please screen your child every morning prior to attending school using the Student Health Daily Screener
• If your child is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or you have answered yes to any of the COVID-19 screening questions, do not send your child to school.   Instead, contact your child’s primary healthcare provider and school nurse for further guidance.
– A return to school note will be required.
• If a student is currently experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is awaiting test results, the student must not attend school, in person.  The parent/guardian should communicate with the school nurse regarding the status of test results to determine return to school clearance
• A positive COVID-19 case will require a clearance note from Delaware Public Health.
• If anyone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, your child will be considered a close contact and will not be permitted to come to school until a clearance letter is sent to your school nurse by Delaware Public Health.
• If a student begins to experience COVID-19 symptoms while at school, the student must be referred to the school nurse for assessment.  The school nurse will evaluate the student’s symptoms.
– If it is deemed necessary to send the student home, the school nurse will discuss a return to school clearance with the parent/guardian.
– A return to school note will be required.
Emergency Cards
Please complete the emergency card for your child as soon as you receive it, and send the form directly to the school nurse.

Testing Resources

We strongly encourage all Colonial families to take advantage of free COVID-19 tests offered by the state. To find a testing event near you click the link below:

An Update about CSD Technology

As the world moved to a remote learning environment due to the Covid pandemic, the Colonial School District has needed to make many changes to the ways in which we operate.  One of the changes has been the mass adoption of online learning platforms and technologies such as Zoom, Schoology, and more.  Like numerous districts throughout the country, Colonial has risen to the occasion and provided high-quality online learning technologies for students and staff alike. We would like to address some issues around challenges with some of those technologies and our efforts to support staff and students with them.

CSD has chosen Zoom as our remote meeting/teaching platform due to its ease of use and cross-platform compatibility.

Since March, Zoom has seen unprecedented growth in its customer base.  As a result, they have had some difficulties maintaining the integrity of their service.  This has resulted in numerous outages, dropped connections, inconsistent video and audio, and classes being ended prematurely.

Schoology (Grades 2-12)
CSD has also chosen Schoology as our learning management system platform due to its widespread use and innovative functionality to support in-person and remote learning. With integrations of services like clever as well as a mobile capability, Schoology has become a go-to platform for schools.  As is the case with Zoom, and have many related technologies, Schoology has seen enormous adoption by schools and educators alike. With growth comes challenges, they have had some difficulties with their service during high traffic times.  This has resulted in numerous outages, dropped connections, access issues, and others.

Unfortunately, when Zoom or Schoology has these issues operationally, we do not have many options to correct the problem.  Generally, if we have not received an alert from Zoom/Schoology or other customers that an outage is in progress, we will recommend general troubleshooting tips.  These include things such as:

• Moving closer to wireless routers
• Making sure there are a minimal number of devices on your wireless network
• Close extra browser tabs to ensure enough resources are available on the device.We apologize for these intermittent issues and continue to press Zoom, Schoology, as well as other providers we use, to improve their service and reliability. We have confidence in these platforms and will constantly be evaluating these and related services as needed. CSD Technology staff will continue to provide as many technology resources as possible and troubleshoot issues in our control for our students and staff with the same level of outstanding service as always.

Thanks for your patience and your role as family members, and child care providers in making online learning as successful as it can be.

Make Your Choice

Tuesday, October 27th, is Choice Night– an opportunity for families to choose which school they’d like their child to attend outside of their feeder school. This informational session will be held from 6:00-7:00 PM by accessing our website at http://www.colonialschooldistrict.org/registration/school-choice/.  There will be a question and answer session following the presentation. The Choice window this year runs from November 2, 2020, to January 13, 2021.
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