Health

Communication on the Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The message below is from the superintendent on May 21, 2020.

Good morning parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.

Parents, I am calling to remind you that today, Thursday, May 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. is a food distribution day.  With Monday being a holiday, there will not be food distribution on Tuesday, May 26th. Students receiving food today will get enough food for 7 days.

Second, contents of lockers will be bagged and tagged with student names for pick-up as part of our Thursday food distribution process on June 4th which marks the end of our school year. This is also the day when Chromebooks must be returned back to the school.

Last, we have set a graduation ceremony date of Thursday, July 16, at 7:00 p.m. Graduation exercises will take place on the football field with graduates and family members practicing social distancing by being in their cars on the field.  There will be a very limited number of guests allowed in the bleachers.  After the ceremony, the cars (and I am sure they will be decorated) will parade through town as by-standers can wave them on to their new life adventures.

Parents, thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.  We can only hope that we can get through this situation soon and get our lives back to normal.

Stay safe and take care.


The message below is from the superintendent on May 12, 2020.

Good afternoon parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.

Parents, our next food and learning packet pick up and drop off will take place this Thursday, May 14, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The procedure will be similar to what it was a couple of weeks ago.  You will drive up to the building where your child attends school and request food if needed, request a learning packet, and drop off a learning packet if your child is finished with it.  Please make sure your child’s name is on the returned packet. It will also be helpful for you to put your child’s teacher’s name on the packet if they attend Kindergarten through 5th grade and your child’s grade level on the packet if they attend 6th through 12th grade.

If your child has not completed the learning packet, the packet may be dropped off during any food distribution day and timeframe.  If your child is completing work entirely online and this is the agreement you have with the teacher, you do not have to turn in a learning packet.

Our last packet drop off will take place on Thursday, June 4th, which is the last day of school.  All Chromebooks will need to be returned on this date.  Food will continue to be distributed through June 30th, but we may have a different schedule for food in the near future.

Parents, thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.  We can only hope that we can get through this situation soon and get our lives back to normal.

Stay safe and take care.



The link below is information regarding the Pandemic EBT Program.

PDF DocumentPandemic EBT Program Information.pdf


The message below is from the superintendent on April 28, 2020.

Good afternoon parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.

Parents, our next food and learning packet pick up and drop off will take place this Thursday, April 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The procedure will be similar to what it was a couple of weeks ago.  You will drive up to the building where your child attends school and request food if needed, request a learning packet, and drop off a learning packet if your child is finished with it.  Please make sure your child’s name is on the returned packet. It will also be helpful for you to put your child’s teacher’s name on the packet if they attend Kindergarten through 5th grade and your child’s grade level on the packet if they attend 6th through 12th grade.

If your child has not completed the learning packet, the packet may be dropped off during any food distribution day and timeframe.  If your child is completing work entirely online and this is the agreement you have with the teacher, you do not have to turn in a learning packet.

Second, all students attending our school system regardless of income will receive additional financial support for food purchasing through a government program called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program.  Families with a Bridge Card will have additional funds added to their card soon.  Families that do not have a Bridge Card will receive a Pandemic EBT card in the mail sent under the name of their oldest child by the end of the first week in May. This card will look different than what the Bridge Card looks like.  The combined benefits for the March and April installment will be $193.80 per eligible child.  The combined benefit for May and June will be $182.40 per eligible child.  If you choose not to use this benefit, the State recommends the purchasing of food and donating the food to a local food bank.  The benefit is good until December 31, 2020.

The flier that explains this program will be posted on our website soon.

Parents, thank you for your continued support during this challenging time.  We can only hope that we can get through this situation soon and get our lives back to normal.


The message below is from the superintendent on April 15, 2020.

Good afternoon parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.  The information I am presenting can be accessed on our district webpage under the COVID 19 Badge for further review.

Parents, tomorrow, Thursday, April 16 we will have three important distributions taking place in the district.  All of these distributions will take place between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. and include picking up food, picking up student learning packets and picking up Chromebooks.  The first significant item is the timeframe.  Our normal food distribution time is from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is only tomorrow that this time frame will change to 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  All food distribution after that will continue to take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Second, we will be handing out learning packets during this timeframe at each of the school pick-up locations.  Kindergarten through 4th-grade students will have packets at the north side of the building at the Bell Tower entrance.  5th through 8th-grade students will have packets at the middle school office entrance on the west side of the building.  9th through 12th-grade students will have their packets at the high school office entrance on the south side of the building.  Parents who have children in multiple schools will have to go to each individual site to pick up their child’s learning packet. We will be mailing home packets not picked up by parents, so picking them up will save a considerable amount of postage.  Parents, for our progress monitoring requirements, completed packets should be dropped off in their original envelope two weeks after receiving them at your child’s building location.  Please refer to the calendar on the District’s webpage for further information.

Third, parents who were unable to pick up a Chromebook for their children on Tuesday and parents that are in need of an additional Chromebook for their family may pick one up during this time.  Again, because of limited resources, we are only handing out one Chromebook per family during this timeframe.

Parents, because of the nature of this event, you will have to exit your vehicles to get the packets, food, and Chromebooks.  Please adhere to social distancing protocols during this time.  We appreciate your patience as we move through this somewhat challenging process.

We hope all of your children get off to a good start with learning Monday.  We are all in this together, so if we work together, we can have the best outcome for our kids.

Thank you and have a great day.

The document below is the Educational Plan calendar.

/downloads/district_documents/hesperia_district_calendar_covid_19.pdf


The document below is the Parent/Student Device Checkout Agreement.

PDF Document/downloads/technology/device_checkout_agreement.pdf

The message below is a letter home from the superintendent on April 9, 2020.

Dear HCS Families,

I am writing to you in response to Governor Whitmer’s executive order to suspend face to face instruction with your children for the rest of the school year.  Under this order, we have developed a plan for instruction that will begin, Monday, April 20, 2020.  This plan will include virtual learning for those families that have connectivity and devices and packet learning for those that do not have virtual resources.  I have bulleted below the most important information for parents/students to know as we move forward.

Learning Packet Process:

  • All students will receive a two week learning packet either through pick-up at the food distribution sites by parents or sent through the mail.  The more packets picked up, the less cost for the school to mail them.
  • Pick-ups will be on the following days and times. (Thursday, April 16 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, April 30 from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m., and Thursday, May 14 from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m.  Beginning April, 16 the Elementary Office pick up site will be moved to the High School office across from the parking lot.
  • Packets will have student names on them and will be distributed at the building pick-up site associated with the student’s grade.  K-4th grade at the Bell Tower, 5th-8th grade at the middle school, and 9th -12th grade at the high school office entrance.

Teacher Communication and Access:

  • Teachers will reach out to students virtually or by phone offering communication and instruction clarifications. Some teachers will be utilizing learning platforms such as Google Classroom, Zoom, Google Hangouts, See Saw and other such resources for students that are able to access them through their devices.  Information will be included on the cover page of the learning packet regarding teacher communication/instruction techniques and office hour times for students to contact them.

Technology Distribution Plan:

  • We believe our district has enough Chrome Book devices to hand out one to each family that does not already have an adequate device.  Having connectivity and a device will be helpful as it will increase accessibility for teaching and learning.  However, we understand the challenges in our rural community with connectivity and this is why we have produced learning packets that are not dependent on this mode of instruction.
  • We have scheduled a time frame for picking up Chromebooks at school.  They will be loaned, one per family at the Bell Tower on Tuesday, April 14 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Parents must sign the Chromebook out, agreeing to the terms and conditions included on the form.  We will arrange a drop off time once school is out on June 4, 2020.
  • If we have Chromebook left over after this initial distribution, we may set up another date for families to pick up an additional device if they have additional needs.  This date is yet to be determined.

There will be some challenges with this process and we appreciate your patience and flexibility through the upcoming six weeks of school.  We can only ask that we all do our best during this trying time.

Message below is from the superintendent on April 2, 2020.

Good afternoon parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.

Parents, Governor Whitmer today declared that schools will be closed for the rest of this school year.  This does not mean that education won’t continue. We will be challenged to develop a plan to educate your children while they are safe at home.  As I am speaking, I know I am far from answering the many questions you have.  My intent is to give you confidence that we will develop a plan moving forward that will eventually answer those questions.  This will take some time.

Let me begin with the calendar date of April 20th that Newaygo County Schools will use as a target for implementation of our Continuous Learning Plan.  Working back from that date, we will design the process that teachers will have in order to meet the needs of our students.  We will do this as a team, working cooperatively together of create best plan possible. 

We appreciate your input on our student internet and device survey. This was helpful for us to understand what online resources are available in our family’s homes.  Our plan will most likely coordinate a combination of both electronic and paper resources to meet the vast array of student needs. There is much work to be done, but a plan will be created and implemented.

I am offering some of the highlights that will help better understand the flexibility the Governor is offering as we move forward.  They include the following:

Students will not receive grades or assessments for online or packet learning.

Attendance will not be taken daily, but rather through the overall participation in the process. 

Students will not be taking the M-STEP, PSAT, or SAT at school this year.

All students who were on track to be promoted to the next grade or graduate will still do so.

Students will not be penalized in any way if they are unable to complete assignments due to lack of resources.

All Newaygo County school districts are brainstorming how and when to hold graduation ceremonies later this summer, if allowed to do so by the State of Michigan.

Parents, although academic support is important, I assure you our teachers and staff miss your kids very much and are very concerned for their wellness and safety during this crisis.    Please follow the guidelines put forth by our government in order to keep all of us safe and well in our district.

I appreciate your patience as we unfold this plan to you over the course of the next couple of weeks.


Message below is from the superintendent on March 31, 2020.


Good morning parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools.

Parents, it is with a heavy heart that we are expecting school will not be allowed back into session this school year.  The Governor may release an executive order soon mandating the close of all Michigan School Districts buildings. This predicted action is to prevent the spread of this very contagious virus.  I am sure the decision will be difficult for her to make, but made for the health and safety of all of our families.

We anticipate her order will direct school districts to attempt, to their best abilities, online instruction.  We realize this could be an overwhelming task for our teachers and families that do not have or have limited connectivity and devices.  This will not only be a challenge for our district, but a challenge for hundreds of school districts across our state.  Nonetheless, we will brainstorm ways to make this work for as many of our students as possible. This will require patience and support from all of us.

I know there are many unanswered questions at this point.  We will work to answer these questions as we gain more information to develop plans to address educational needs.  I am confident that seniors will receive diplomas if they were currently on track with credits before the closure.  It is unclear however, if or when, commencement will take place.  We just don’t know at this point.

In order for online instruction to have any chance at all, we absolutely need you to take the Student Internet and Device Survey found on our district webpage.  This information is critical for us to assess the resources available in your household.  Please fill out one survey for each child in your home that attends kindergarten through 12th grade.

Parents, I appreciate your commitment to our district as we work through the upcoming weeks.  We know this situation has been extremely difficult and our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Message below is from the superintendent on March 23, 2020.

 

Good evening parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.

Parents, the Governor enacted the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order today that places significant limitations on public gathering.  We have been fortunate to transport student meals to homes this last week, but now we are obligated to transition to a new process that will significantly reduce the opportunity for our volunteers to be infected by the virus.

We will no longer be distributing food on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Food will now be available at pick up sites on the district premises on Tuesdays and Thursdays to limit the amount of opportunity for exposure.  This process will begin on Thursday, March 26th and will follow each Tuesday and Thursday after that through, April 9th.  We will not be distributing lunches Wednesday, March 25th.

Distribution of food will take place at the bell tower entrance on the Northside of the building, at the elementary office on the Southside of the building and at the middle school office on the West side of the building.  Pick up will between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and students will receive a 3 day supply of breakfasts and lunches. 

It is important that those picking up food from the buildings stay in their vehicles and signal to the volunteers how many meals they need to feed their children.  You may choose what distribution point you wish to drive up to.  If the line is too long, just drive around the building to another site.

Parents, we are experiencing unprecedented circumstances.  We are grateful for the many volunteers that have helped through this process and thankful for their many tireless hours.  We can only pray that by obeying the Governor’s proclamation we can get through this crisis.   We truly miss our kids and hope we can see them in April!

Stay safe and healthy my friends.    


Message below is from the superintendent on March 18, 2020.

*

Good afternoon parents, this is Vaughn White, Superintendent of Hesperia Community Schools with a brief message.

This afternoon we began the process of distributing school lunches to students using our bus routes. We also gave breakfast and lunch bags out at the bell tower on the north side of school. If your children do not normally ride the bus and you are unable to come into school to pick up a lunch, please contact the bus garage and we will try to get you on a route to drop food off. Simply call Dan Bailey, Transportation Coordinator at 854-9301 and leave a message with the following information: Student first and last names, the home address and your phone number. If you do not wish to take meals for your students, you may also call and leave a message.

Parents, this is a new process for us and it may take some time to get things honed into a good system. We are dependent on many volunteers and we greatly appreciate their support during these difficult times.

Remember to follow the State and Federal guidelines so we can beat this virus and get students back to school.

Thank you and have a great day.


Information regarding free lunches and snacks for students (document may need a pdf reader to view).

PDF DocumentLunch and breakfast distribution information


Update from Superintendent Vaughn White on March 13, 2020.

Dear Parents and the Hesperia Community,

I am writing with an update regarding the COVID 19 virus and what is known at this point regarding this ever-changing matter.

* Hesperia Community Schools will not be in session from Monday, March 16th through April 5th via the Governor's mandate.

* Hesperia Community Schools will have Spring Break from April 6th through April 12th unless mandated differently by the State.  Students and staff would return on April 13th.

* There are to be no events, activities, or practices on the HCS premises during this time.

* Cleaning and disinfecting in the building will continue to occur during this period.

* We are reviewing food distribution options for students but it is too early to clarify if or when this will take place.  In the meantime, if you have a critical food shortage, please contact the Hesperia Methodist Church at 854-5345 from 1 to 3 p.m. daily.

* It is yet too early to know anything regarding events scheduled in April.

This is such a difficult and challenging time for us.  I know we all can work together to get through this as we are a strong community of giving, caring people.  I will continue to communicate through Skylert with postings on Facebook and our webpage as new information is presented or clarifications need to be made.

Best Regards,

Vaughn White

Superintendent


 

The information below was sent home with students as a letter from the superintendent on March 3, 2019.

With the increased intensity of news reports and social media posts regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19), comes speculation about the impact this virus may eventually have on school communities. It is important for you to know the most accurate and timely information about this health concern.

1. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has published a Fact Sheet to explain what the virus is, how it is spread, who is at risk, and how to protect yourself.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdhhs/nCOV-2019_General_Fact_Sheet_v2-4-20_680266_7.pdf

2. There is also a CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Frequently Asked Questions document that specifically addresses concerns about children and the virus. It explains that so far there is no evidence to suggest that children are more susceptible to the virus than the general population.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/children-faq.html

3. Additional updates (including current case information for Michigan) can be found at the MDHHS COVID19 website (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website).

https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73970_5093_28508_76849-520225--,00.html

As always, our schools work closely with public health officials and follow all of their expert recommendations to best ensure the safety of everyone in our school community.

As you know learning at our school primarily occurs inside classrooms with face-to-face teaching by certified instructors. Any guidance on recovering the learning that may be lost during a potential school closing will come from the Michigan Department of Education. In the meantime, be assured that our schools are prepared to intensify cleaning practices throughout our buildings and will follow all directions provided by public health to prevent and limit the virus.

According to public health officials, the way COVID-19 is spread is very similar to the flu and common colds. For this reason, we are encouraging our students and staff to use the same precautions they would normally take to avoid these illnesses. Please encourage the following practices at home as we do in school to help prevent illness.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

Parents are encouraged to keep sick children at home for at least 24 hours after their fever is broken without the benefit of medication and contact their healthcare provider.

We have open and effective lines of communication with our public health officials and will alert students, staff and parents if we receive direction related to COVID-19. Any potential school closing due to illness will be guided by public health officials. While education is important, the health and wellbeing of our students and staff are far more significant.