COVID-19 update

COVID-19 update


Attention OSSD Community: While the OSSD schools are closed due to precautions surrounding the Coronavirus, we will be communicating updates here as they become available.

3/30 Update: School Specific information can also be found on here:

RTCC COVID-19 Info

RUHS COVID-19 Info

RES, Braintree and Brookfield Elementary COVID-19 Info

3/30 Update: Letter to Elementary Families

RES Letter to families

Braintree Family Letter March 2020

Brookfield family communication March 27, 2020

3/27 Updates:  The OSSD Central Office will be closed until further notice. To contact the Superintendent's Office, Business Office, or Special Education Office, please follow the instructions you'll find here: OSSD Special Announcement

Governor Phil Scott has announced that schools will remain closed for the balance of the school year. Click here to read the full press release regarding school closure from the Governor's office:  Schools Closed for Balance of School Year

RTCC Director's update:  Directors Letter to Students March 27

3/26 Updates:

From Supt. Layne Millington:

Dear OSSD Community,

We are just hearing that Governor Scott has ordered all schools to remain closed in terms of in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year, or until a counter order is given.  Learning will continue remotely.  Our district submitted its continuity of learning plan last Sunday and most processes have already been implemented.  Those that have not been implemented (which were waiting until after April 6th for possible implementation) are set up and ready to go.

Further guidance will be coming from the Agency of Education on this new order in the next few days and any changes that guidance suggests regarding our continuity plan will be implemented at that time.  We’ll keep the community in the loop on new information as we receive it, especially if it impacts how we interact in this new remote learning environment.

I am proud of all the district has achieved through the work of the staff and its administrative team.  As we work more deeply in the remote learning environment, weaknesses will be revealed. It’s important that those weaknesses are brought to our attention and discussed so that we can make corrections and make this system the best possible given our current circumstances.  Your feedback is important, and we welcome it.

3/24 Updates:

Governor Scott has updated his executive order. The new directives require all businesses and not-for-profits to suspend all in-person operations at 5 PM (Wednesday, 3/25).

Our food pick-up program and child-care program for essential workers will continue as scheduled and will remain operational unless further guidance or directives require their closure.

Additional Resources:

Click here for ideas and resources from Prevent Child Abuse VT: PCAVT Resources

Click here for ways to reduce stress and anxiety as recommended by the CDC: Managing Anxiety and Stress in Difficult Times

RTCC families: click here to read recent updates from Director Jason Gingold and the guidance office:

Directors Letter to Students March 27

COVID-19 Letter

Note from Ms Jolls

RU Middle and HS families: click here to read recent updates from Principal Elijah Hawkes andthe Student Services office:

Office hours update (3/24):  As part of the district’s efforts to have as many people as possible working remotely, we are going to reduce the hours of operation of the RU Main Office to the hours of 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM each day.  Drop-off, Pick Up: As we did last week, we ask that students and families call ahead or email if they need to pick up or drop off something, such as school supplies, or chromebook.  We will arrange to get what you need.

Call or email Lisa Jacobs or Donna Collette:
Donna Collette: dcollette@orangesouthwest.org 728-3397
Lisa Jacobs: ljacobs@orangesouthwest.org 728-3397

Donna and Lisa will answer the phone between 11 – 1, and will be checking phone messages daily. Response time will vary depending on when the message is left and received.

RU - Extended & Distance Learning Expectations

Note from RU Student Services

RU Middle and HS Chromebook Distribution: At the middle school and high school level, we are now ready for you to comepick up your student’s assigned chromebook and charger, if you need it.
 
To allow maximum flexibility for you, and ensure we do not have any crowding, we ask that you call to let us know when you would like to come by.  We will make sure that the computer is ready at the appointment time. This can happen between the hours of 11 AM and 1 PM.
 
Pick-up appointments can be made for other items as well. Just call ahead to let us know so we can make arrangements.  Call 802-728-3397 and ask for Lisa Jacobs or Donna Collette.
 
This process will allow us to practice social distancing and to follow other procedures for keeping these exchanges sanitary.
 
Food Distribution Update: New Update as of 3/20

The food distribution team is here to serve all OSSD students.  Students will simply need to provide their name at the time of pick up.

We are making adjustments to our food delivery program based on feedback from a number of families:

Beginning Monday, March 23, we will only be providing food pick up services on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  On those days you will receive a two-day supply.  This will reduce the exposure risk to our staff by cutting down on the number of times they come into contact with folks each week and reduce the amount of driving families have to do.

You may pick up food at any of our locations between the hours of 11 am and 1 pm. Please go to the one nearest your home. Food may be picked up at Braintree Elementary School, Brookfield Elementary School and Randolph Union High School.  The food is for any of the district’s students.

You may also pick up food for students outside your families – many folks have done this type of “carpooling” to save fuel.

This will be a drive through service, so please pay attention to the signs and the staff members on duty. Thank you for your patience as we all work together during this stressful time. If you have any questionsregarding the program, please contact:

Colin Andrzejczyk at 728-9595 or candrzdrzejczykzy@orangesouthwest.org
Karen Russo at 728-3397 x107 or krusso@orangesouthwest.org

Child Care Update:

Our emergency childcare team is now in place and will be providing free childcare for local health care workers, police, ambulance personnel, town wastewater workers, and road crews beginning Thursday, March 19th. This service is restricted to these categories of workers.

Our response team is communicating directly with these employers and will mail/email invitations to individuals whom the employers have identified.

The childcare service will run from 6:45 am – 3:45 pm and will be provided at Randolph Elementary School.
If you have questions please contact Pat Miller at 802-728-9555 or pmiller@orangesouthwest.org

Distance Learning Update:

The distance learning teams, which include all teaching faculty, have done exceptional work creating the means to educate the district’s students remotely during this closure.  Each individual school is sending out communications outlining how to access this system.

The focus of the first two to three weeks is maintaining current skills and learning through review, practice and engagement in meaningful tasks.  If the closure goes beyond this timeframe (which is a distinct possibility), the focus will change to new learning.

The district has enough Chromebooks for all students who need one.  It will take a short amount of time to prepare them, but once ready, instructions will be given on how to pick them up.  Each school is also surveying which families do not have access to the internet to assist them in getting access or by providing hard-copy alternatives that can be picked up at school or mailed home. 

On an ongoing basis, there will electronic and postal mailings outlining student work and tasks for the next two weeks. Each grade level will provide a suggested daily schedule/routine for students at home, with recommendations for time on various tasks/subjects. There will also be tech support for students and parents doing online work.

Students will receive regular communication - more than once a week - via phone or email from their elementary teacher, RU advisory, or RTCC program instructor. This Friday’s communication will include information about Chromebook pick-up opportunities, and info about Chromebook filters. Teachers will announce office hours so that students will know how and when they can be contacted.

Parents - it is vital that you assist us in this work. Together we can do this and do it well.  Please ensure your students are doing the work that is assigned to them and encourage them to reach out if they are having difficulties. 

Special Education Update:

Please know that the information below may change on a daily basis, as we receive more guidance from the federal and state government(s).

While the schools are closed, students will be provided with remote support via online conferencing, phone, email, or any other services found to be suitable by your child’s provider.  For those students who have specialized services (e.g. occupational therapy, speech therapy, one-to-one paraprofessional) that cannot be provided remotely, they will be provided with compensatory services after this crisis has ended.  We do not want to put your child or the teachers at risk by having them physically meet during this time.

Lastly, when things return to normal, all students on educational plans will be evaluated by their respective teams and compensatory services will be provided if needed and as determined by the team.

Again, this may change as further guidance is provided from the various agencies that oversee these types of services.

Guidance and Counseling Services:

The OSSD guidance team has been working overtime to support students and families during this time of closure and uncertainty. 

Adjustment and support counselors are reaching out to those on their caseloads and will provide services via phone or video chat.  RTCC and School Guidance counselors are sending out messages to all the district families on how students can access their services until schools are back in session.  Course planning, general counseling and connecting to counseling groups are all still possible.

Given that this can be a stressful time for both students and their families, help is available through these 24-hour resources to all members of our communities.

  • Text “VT” to 741741 from anywhere, anytime, about any crisis.

You can also call your local Mental Health Center:

  • Orange county: 800-639-6360
  • Windsor county: 800-622-4235
  • Washington county: 802-229-0591

To the OSSD community:

I respectfully ask the community to limit non-essential communications with the district and schools this week so that we can focus on the immense logistical challenge that has been placed upon us.  That said, we have an incredibly capable and caring team that will see it through.

Please check this page regularly for updates and information on when (or if) schools will re-open.

I want to send my thanks to Gifford Hospital for its support and guidance as we navigate this new challenge. Read about what Gifford is doing here:  Gifford Medical Center Coronavirus Update.

For those who would like more information, I also refer you the Vermont Department of Health’s website on the Coronavirus

Most Sincerely,
Layne W. Millington
OSSD Superintendent
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