Park County School District #1

PCSD1 COVID-19 School Closure Update 4/28/2020

Dear Staff, Students, Parents, Guardians, and Community Members,

As you are all aware, last week, we announced that the current remote learning plan would remain in effect for the remainder of the school year, and our buildings would remain closed during that time. I can’t tell you what a difficult decision it was to make, as we want to have our students back in the buildings!

At this time, I need to clarify several issues in relation to these closures as follows: 

  1. Graduation ceremony.
  2. Student grades during our remote learning period.
  3. Questions surrounding in-person instruction for some special populations during our remote learning period.

First, graduation is set to occur on the originally scheduled day of May 24 at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony will be drive-in style and will occur in the high school parking lot with students and their families being allowed one car per student and assigned parking. Each senior (weather permitting) will get to walk across the stage to receive their diploma, which will be set up on the edge of the parking lot. Once all seniors have received their diploma, they will have a parade through town, where spectators will get to celebrate with them. The ceremony itself will be broadcast live on Facebook, and hopefully through our local radio station. Should there be inclement weather, the ceremony itself will be adapted but will still occur at the same place and same time.

As for grading, please see the PCSD1 COVID-19 grading policy document which details the protocol and philosophy that we will use for grading during this incredibly challenging time. Please note that there is a heavy focus on “good faith effort” when decisions are made to grant grades. Attendance is still mandatory for all students, and their effort will be very important when assessing their grade-level content. If your student is struggling at this time, I can’t stress enough how important it is to contact your child’s school and/or teacher. If you have any questions regarding the grading document, please contact your school principal.

Lastly, in the press conference last week, the state superintendent of public instruction announced that schools could open to limited in-person instruction for some special populations. We are currently reviewing that need, and how we can accomplish that equitably. As I said last week, we will be in direct contact with those parents of children who may need in-person instruction. I am asking that parents do not call their teachers to “sign-up” for this. Please remember that we do have over 1800 students, all of which could benefit from in-person instruction. I am asking parents to please allow us to work through the process of identifying those students who could most greatly benefit. Also, as I said last week, this will likely not occur in our school buildings. Please stay tuned for emerging details.

Thank you all for helping us get our students through this crazy challenging time. I am so proud of our staff, students, parents, and community for how well we have come together to support our kids. Stay safe, everyone!

Sincerely,

Jay Curtis, Superintendent

PCSD1 COVID-19 School Closure Update 4/24/2020

Hello PCSD1 Parents/Guardians, Staff, and Students,

Yesterday afternoon Governor Mark Gordon held a press conference where he announced that he is not extending school closures beyond April 30. He instead transferred that decision to public health and local school officials. At that same conference, State Health Officer, Dr. Alexia Harrist announced the continued health orders of social distancing and most businesses to remain closed. Though they are opening some businesses slowly. Park County School District #1, working in conjunction with county public health officials, has determined that any type of opening of the schools is still a ways off.

After consulting with local health officials, school administration, and neighboring districts, it has been decided to continue our remote learning plan for the remainder of the 19–20 school year. This decision does not come lightly, but we do feel it is the best decision for the health and safety of our students, staff, and community. We may modify some services for special populations to provide limited in-person instructional delivery, but likely not within the school buildings. Our staff will be in direct contact with parents whose students may need a modified delivery.

In order for our school district to re-open, whether that be to some limited degree this school year, during summer school, or for the 20–21 school year, we will first need to develop a re-entry plan and have it approved by our local and state public health officers, as well as the Department of Education. We have already begun the process to determine components of a transitional re-entry plan.

We are currently making plans for a robust summer school option for students K through eight, and credit recovery for students nine through 12, which will tentatively begin on July 6. This will clearly be dependent on public health orders, the current status of COVID-19, and approval of the WDE. We are extremely hopeful that we can get kids back in the buildings on that date!

Parents, please continue to work with your students in helping make sure they are staying engaged with their educational activities. Students, please commit to finishing the school year in a strong manner by continuing to attend and participate in your classes. Staff, please plan on finishing the school year under our current delivery model, knowing there may be a very limited number of you that may be expected to work with a small number of students on a limited basis.

We will continue to keep the health and safety of our students, staff, and community as a top priority. We will continue to work with our local public health office in order to ensure any plans to return students and staff to school will be designed in such a way as to protect the health and safety of all involved.

Further communications will be forthcoming as more details are available.

Sincerely,

Jay Curtis, Superintendent

PCSD1 Weekend Meal Service During Closure Survey

Attention, parents and guardians! We are asking you to please fill out the form below to let us know if you have an interest in meal delivery for one weekend meal during the COVID-19 school closure. Please complete the survey by April 20, 2020.

This survey will allow us to get numbers for a Friday delivery beginning on April 25 and every Friday through May 29, 2020, or until school is back in session during this spring school term. We will not be providing meal service this summer, and we will not be providing any meals after May 29, 2020. Our plan is to offer a sack breakfast and a sack lunch at no charge to any child under 18 in our district that requests it during school closure. We will deliver meals to homes only. Each meal will meet USDA requirements. Our delivery people will knock on the door or ring the doorbell and leave meals on the doorstep but will not be in direct contact with anyone. Both meals will come together sometime between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. You accept responsibility for the food and agree to refrigerate immediately and keep refrigerated until consumption.

By completing this form, you agree that Park County School District #1 can share your address and number of household children with community volunteers who will be providing the delivery services on our behalf. 

Once you are sign up, you do not need to sign up again. Please contact Jill Queen via email with questions.

Park County School District #1 is an equal opportunity provider.

PCSD1 COVID-19 School Closure Update 4/6/2020

Good Morning Students, Staff, Parents, and Community Members,

As I am sure many of you have already heard, Governor Mark Gordon has issued a press release this past Friday late afternoon which extends among other things, the current school closure through April 30. We were expecting this extension as the federal government had previously extended recommended closures to that date. Our district is prepared for this extended closure as our remote learning plan was written to allow us to hold school on a virtual platform for the remainder of the school year if necessary.

As a reminder, PCSD#1 is implementing our remote learning plan starting today! This means attendance in virtual learning, communication with teachers, and schoolwork is now mandatory for all students just as if we had students in our buildings. If your family has connectivity issues, please contact your school as soon as possible as we do have some options, including paper/pencil options.

Please visit our website for several resources for students and parents as follows:

  • Parent tutorials
  • Frequently asked questions related to the closures (Including event cancellations)
  • Educational resources
  • Special services recommendations for students on IEP’s
  • Mental health resources for students that may be struggling during the school closures

Thank you for your patience. Please stay safe and healthy.

Superintendent Jay Curtis

PCSD1 COVID-19 School Closure Update as of 3/27/2020

Good Afternoon Students, Staff, Parents, and Community Members,

As I am sure many of you have already heard, Governor Mark Gordon has issued a press release today, which extends among other things, the current school closure through April 17. PCSD #1 will implement our “remote learning” plan on April 6, as communicated in the message you all received from me yesterday. The district will be providing more details on our ever-evolving learning plan on Monday afternoon.

Please visit our website for frequently asked questions related to the closures, optional educational resources to help keep your students in a learning routine this week and next, special services recommendations for students on IEP’s, and mental health resources for students that may be struggling during the school closures.

Thank you for your patience. Please stay safe and healthy.

Jay Curtis, Superintendent

PCSD1 COVID-19 School Closure Update as of 3/26/2020

Hello to Our Students, Staff, Parents, and Community Members,

I would like to provide a quick update on our closure plans. Park County School District 1 administrators and teachers are preparing a plan that will enable students to continue with their learning through remote delivery in the event the COVID-19 closure lasts beyond April 3.

This week and next, March 23 through April 3, teachers and counselors will be reaching out to families. We will invited students to refresh their learning, beginning with lessons they were working on before the closure. Kindergarten through fifth-grade students will focus on English/language arts and math. Teachers will embed other disciplines when possible. Teachers will streamline prioritized standards for students in sixth through 12th grade. We will teach electives in a creative manner due to the nature of the remote learning environment.

If the closure is still in effect, students will begin remote learning the week of April 6. At that time, teachers will begin teaching new material.

So that all students have access, remote learning will consist of a variety of communication methods. This will include not only learning packets and/or online instruction but may also incorporate phone calls, videos, mailings, etc. We will provide paper-copy packets for families without access to technology.

All work completed from today, through April 3 is optional, but encouraged! If the closure lasts beyond that date, on April 6, we will begin the process of online instruction making contact with all students and parents. This first week will include getting used to the technology and a new learning format. We will not grade students on work but will provide feedback. Staff will establish online office hours and communication processes.

As stated, if the closure extends beyond April 3, beginning April 6, students will be engaged in lessons for each scheduled class. All lessons will include a learning target, instructional component, student practice, and a demonstration of learning. Resource teachers and case managers will ensure IEP students receive all assigned work and will work with parents for accommodations.

By working together, we can make a plan that works for everyone.

Thank you,

Jay Curtis, Superintendent

PCSD1 School Closure Update as of 3/20/2020

Dear Staff, Students, Parents, and Community Members of Park County School District #1, 

I wanted to once again thank you all for your patience and support during this unprecedented time. I want to take a moment to reassure you that our district is doing everything we can to keep our staff and students safe during this unprecedented time and to do our part to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. District leadership has been in close contact with state and local health officials as well as state and federal education officials to determine how to best support our students, staff, and families over the closures.

During the next few weeks, our teachers and principals will be reaching out to all students to assist them in accessing optional educational resources and beneficial activities to continue their learning through the closure. High school and middle school teachers will also be assisting their students in completing any make-up work they may have. During this closure until April 3, these days will not need to be made up and will not be counted as school days. However, we do recommend that all students do keep a learning routine, as continuous learning is vital for our students to continue to grow and develop. We will have a Resource page up on our website by mid next week that provides grade-level specific recommendations and resources. To be very clear, there will be no required material during this time. Our teachers will be working collaboratively on those resources on Monday and Tuesday of next week, and we will make them available on our website as early as Wednesday. Again, our teachers will be making contact to assist you, but feel free to reach out to them via email as early as Monday with any instructional questions you may have. 

If you have an elementary-aged student that needs to check out a device for use over the closure, please be watching for protocols that will be communicated by each school principal. Our buildings will be closed to the public for the duration of the closure. Please do not go to the building unless specifically scheduled with your principal. Elementary principals will be communicating their check-out procedures to all parents and students. Likewise, any middle school or high school student that needs a device or materials from the school, please contact your building principal, and our staff will collect the items from inside the building and schedule a curbside pickup. 

Please remember that we will be serving free breakfast and lunch in a bag for all children under the age of 18 that reside within the borders of Park County School District #1, regardless of income status. Due to federal requirements, those will be served drive-up style at Southside Elementary from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. starting on Tuesday, March 24 and continuing every weekday through the closure. Please see the announcement on our website for more details. 

Also, as a reminder, all activities are canceled until further notice. We will be placing a link on our site that lists all cancelations, but please reach out to your school principal via email if you have any specific questions not already answered through our communications. 

We have created a document for students and parents to bridge the gap until teacher contact is made. Please view our frequently asked questions for more information.

I just want also to express how truly sorry I am for the missed experiences and opportunities experienced by your children. I have particular sympathy for our senior class. Though no one could have predicted this devastating virus and the impact that it would have on our schools, community, and country, it saddens me deeply that so many senior experiences will be missed. My very best wishes to our senior class in this unprecedented time and to all of our students who are missing learning opportunities as a result of the virus.

Lastly, I urge you all to help prevent the spread of the virus by keeping your students from congregating with others. I think we are all now aware of how quickly this virus spreads and the methods we need to use to slow it down. Social distancing is one of the most important tools we have. Please help us in this effort by doing just that. 

Thank You,

Superintendent Jay Curtis

PCSD1 Update as of 3/17/2020

Beginning on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. through Friday, April 3, 2020, or until students are physically back in school buildings, Park County School District #1 will provide a free breakfast and lunch meal for any child under 18. Park County School District #1 has received approval for a non-congregate serving of free meals at Southside Elementary School during the time of our school closure due to the COVID-19 virus. While school is in session our district serves over 1400 student meals/day and we recognize the importance of children to have nutritional meals available to them even in times of emergency school closures. Do not think that only those children that go to or live around Southside Elementary School are the only ones that can partake in this service. All children under 18 who reside within the borders of Park County School District #1 are eligible for these meals. Southside Elementary is the only location within the district that met the requirements necessary for the waiver.

These will not be hot meals as you know it but sack meals that have met the requirements set forth under the Summer School Lunch program. They will be packaged together in the same sack. Our school nutrition staff will be preparing the meals for distribution each day and they have all been certified in serve safe and the kitchens are all under strict hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) procedures. These same staff will be handing out the sack meals in a drive-through format at Southside Elementary School and taking counts of the number of meals. We will have a table set up for walk-up service and will provide signage. We do ask that you show common courtesy and practice the social distancing of six feet if you are in the line. You do not need to get out of your cars nor do you need to have your children with you in order to receive the meals. If you come through the line and tell us you need three (3) meals, you will receive three (3) breakfast and lunch meals and away you drive.

Since this is on an honor system, we ask that you do not abuse this free food service and you are only getting meals for your children or children that are in your care. Children do not have to be school age to qualify to receive these meals.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, we may make program information available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; fax: (202) 690-7442; or email: program.intake@usda.gov. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

PCSD1 Update as of 3/16/2020

Good afternoon Parents, Students, Staff, and Community Members,

First, I would like to thank the families and staff of our district for your patience and support during this unprecedented time. Though we do not know exactly how, and to what extent the COVID-19 virus will affect our community, one thing is certain, we have to do everything in our power to help minimize and slow the spread of this virus. After meeting with public health officials this morning, Park County School District #1 is cancelling school and all school related activities until April 3. The county health agency is raising our alert status to LEVEL 3, which means that schools, rec centers, libraries, and daycares will all be under mandatory closings. Experts all agree that very aggressive action is needed at this time to curb the spread and “flatten the curve” of infections. This gives our healthcare system an opportunity to treat patients without the system being completely overwhelmed. As per my discussion with Public Health officials, there should be no gatherings of students of any kind. Students should go home, stay home, and should not congregate.

During these uncertain times, our commitment to the education of our students will not change. The district will be launching a digital/hybrid learning plan to ensure that our students continue their education beginning next Thursday, March 26. We are also making plans to serve special populations, which will be case by case specific. Finally, we are also making plans to continue our breakfast and lunch program for our students that need it, and will be communicating with families within the next few days regarding how the distribution will occur. We will get through this, and be stronger on the other side.

As a final note, please remain vigilant in your prevention efforts by washing hands frequently, covering a cough or sneeze with a sleeve or tissue, and staying home if you are sick. It is incumbent on us all to take these preventative measures to help our community stay healthy, especially those over the age of 60 or with underlying health conditions.

We understand children and families may have heightened concerns about exposure to this virus causing stress and anxiety. The following resources may be helpful in visiting with your child about this situation:

As always, safety is our primary concern. Thank you for your support as our district works to ensure the health and well-being of our entire community.

Jay Curtis, Superintendent

Empowering Students to be Lifelong Learners

Since opening our first classroom in 1908, Park County School District #1 has benefitted from tremendous support and resources provided by the communities of Powell, Clark, Garland, and Ralston in northwest Wyoming. We operate seven campuses that encompass over 1,400 square miles. We are proud to call ourselves Powell Panthers and are all-in when it comes to providing an excellent education to the 1,700+ K–12 students in our care.

A Message from Our Superintendent

We are very fortunate to live in a community that values, supports, and sets high expectations for the performance of schools in Powell and Clark. Our commitment to investing in our most valuable asset, our children, is second to none in Wyoming.

Powell has a legacy of high performance in academics and activities. We continue to be "Driven by Excellence" to provide every student an opportunity to learn at high levels.

We offer a comprehensive, well-rounded curriculum from prekindergarten through twelfth grade. Our teaching and support staff are committed to the success of every student, every day.

The State of Wyoming provides the school district with exceptional facilities and general funding to provide this high quality service to the community. This level of funding allows the district to hire and retain the best professional teaching staff. Our teachers continually strive to improve the curriculum and enhance high impact teaching strategies in every classroom.

My door is always open, and I enjoy sharing how important our children's education is to us. I can share many examples of excellence across the district.

One of my goals this year was to start a district podcast to celebrate our district, talk about tough issues that we face as educators, and to show the human side of our district. It was a bit intimidating to get going, but I have it up and running now. I have launched them through Spotify and Apple Podcast. I am including the links and am happy to invite you all to listen.

Jay Curtis

Jay Curtis, Superintendent

Non-Discrimination Statement

Park County School District #1 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its educational programs or activities. Inquiries concerning Title IV, Title IX, Section 504, and ADA may be referred to Park County School District #1, Ginger Sleep, Civil Rights Coordinator, 160 North Evarts, Powell, Wyoming 82435-2730, or (307) 764.6186 or the Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, U.S. Department of Education, Federal Building, Suite 310, 1244 Speer Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80204-582, or (303) 844.5695 or (303) 844.3417.