March 17 COVID19 2020

COVID19 March 17, 2020

Please see www.csdecatur.net/covid19 for CSD district updates

Please see the RMS webpage, then scroll down to “Announcements” for each Renfroe-specific COVID-19 communication.

 

March 17, 2020

Dear RMS Community,

I hope everyone in the RMS community is well. It’s been hard getting used to our new normal, which seems to be changing everyday as we learn more about the pandemic we’re facing. Again, thank you for all the supportive messages we’ve received over the last few days. It is greatly appreciated. Also, thanks in advance for your patience and flexibility as we move forward. On behalf of the entire Renfroe staff, I just want to say that we miss you and we hope we are able to resume some kind of normal school day soon.  Working from home is not all that it’s cracked up to be. Please read below for important logistical matters.

Sincerely,

Greg Wiseman

Principal, Renfroe Middle School

Wednesday, March 18 School Access

Tomorrow will be the last time in the foreseeable future when students and families will have access to Renfroe Middle School. I need to stress that we want as few of you as possible coming to Renfroe Middle School tomorrow for the health and safety of my staff and your families. Other than medication, there are very few reasons why students and guardians need to come to school. Please come at the following times:

Medicine Pick up - 1:00-4:00. All others,

12:00 PM-1:30PM: Last names beginning with A-H

1:30PM-3:00PM: Last names beginning with I-P

3:00PM-5:00PM: Last names beginning with Q-Z

Please do your best to ensure you stay 6-feet apart from one another.  Only 10 people will be allowed entrance to school at a time. Please see below for specific scenarios.

Medicine Pick-up:  

Due to our uncertain timeline for school reentry,  ALL stored medication must be picked up by families from 1:00-4:00 tomorrow.  This includes prescription and over-the-counter medication. If you prefer not to pick up your child’s medication, please contact nurse Sinkfield by email to let her know.  We cannot guarantee that Renfroe will be accessible at a later time to collect this medication. If it is not retrieved at the designated time, it may be inaccessible for an undetermined amount of time.  Please take that into consideration when making your decision as to whether or not to retrieve your child’s medication. Legal guardians will be permitted to enter the school for med pick-up. No students permitted. If driving, please park in one of the spots in front (don’t pull up and park at the curb) and walk to the front door, where you will be let in. Come to the front office.

 

Student Personal Belongings

The rumor that lockers are being opened up and cleared out is false. If your student can live without what was left in a locker, then please leave what’s there and don’t come into school. Library books, notebooks, sweatshirts, can all stay there. Again, we want as few people in the school as possible.

 

Band and Orchestra Instruments: 

If you need to pick up a band or orchestra instrument, please email Ms Kraemer tonight at ckraemer@csdecatur.net. She will forward me the list of students to expect.

 

Chromebooks: 

Students should only borrow a chromebook if there is zero or severely limited access to an electronic device at home. Siblings sharing the family computer will work. Students will be able to receive and deliver information via their cell phones (like they already do) with their teachers.  If your mindset is, “It would be nice to have a chromebook home”, then you don’t need to pick one up. This is a “Need-to-have,” not a “Nice-to-have” situation.  Ask yourself if your child really needs a chromebook before coming.

 

If you must borrow a chromebook, here’s how to do it: Queue up to the curb in your car in the front driveway. Stay in your car. Your RMS child must accompany you. RMS staff will address each car as it pulls up to the orange traffic cone in the front. Bring your own pen to sign off if you do not want to share a pen.  Please be patient. 

 

Meals For Students

Meal distribution will begin on March 18. The Nutrition Department will provide all students the option to pick up two meals a day from Decatur High School. These meals will be a cold breakfast and shelf-stable lunch. The program is open to all City Schools of Decatur students. We are unable to extend this meal service to siblings who are not CSD students, parents/guardians, or the general public. Meals will be available for pickup daily 9:00am-11:00am. Students may only pick up two meals (one breakfast and one lunch) per day and may not purchase additional meals. The CSD student must be present to pick up their meal. To avoid lines and to adhere to social distancing best practices, we ask that you take advantage of the full window for pick up. Families will not be allowed to linger after meal pick up.

 

All meal prices will remain the same as a typical school day and all approved free and reduced lunch applications will be honored. It is unclear whether this is something our students will take advantage of; we will evaluate this program throughout our closure to determine if participation is high enough to continue or require modifications.

 

Distance Learning Starting Tomorrow

Students should be hearing from teachers soon, if they haven’t already. Students should check their school email and Google Classroom regularly for information and assignments. Students will have the opportunity to complete work and activities for 30-minutes per day, per class. Questions about specific assignments or tasks can be directed to the teachers during the “office hours” they post. All CSD teachers were instructed to begin providing students review and enrichment activities beginning tomorrow, Wednesday March 18th.  Thanks in advance for your patience as we roll this out for the first time.



Plans for work going forward

As teachers plan review and enrichment work and activities for the next seven days, they are also gearing up for a longer time period. Over the next several days, we will be working to make sure that all students have access to instructional materials in preparation for assigning mandatory work, beginning Friday, March 27th. By then, we will communicate how we will grade student work in the event of a closure that lasts beyond Spring Break.

 

Starting Friday, March 27th, you can expect to see

  • Students being assigned mandatory work in all of their classes
  • Teachers assigning work that will be graded
  • Some assignments that were paused last week picking back up where they left off

 

Starting Friday, March 27th, you should not expect to see

  • Expectations for students to follow the RMS bell schedule from home
  • Expectations that teachers follow the RMS bell schedule from home

 

Our teachers and our students are wearing many hats right now. Many of our teachers are not only teaching their RMS students, they're also homeschooling their own kids. Many are also taking care of family members in other ways. Many of our students have responsibilities to younger siblings and other family members during the day, as well. We will create a system that sets reasonable expectations of our teachers and students that gives all students rich learning opportunities.