COVID-19 InformationCorrespondence released to our families regarding COVID-19 can be found below:
December 4, 2020
We have embraced a position of keeping an in-person learning option available for students as long as possible. We have been monitoring the situation carefully on a daily (hourly) basis in order to make decisions about a move to eLearning. Today we hit the point where we need to move to eLearning.
Effective December 7, 2020, all Sheridan schools will move to eLearning for two weeks, which will take us to the holiday break. Our teachers have been preparing for the possibility for this and are ready to provide the best possible remote learning experiences they can for students. We know that eLearning cannot replace in-person learning. We also recognize the hardship eLearning places on families, which is why we did not make this decision lightly.
More information about support services will be going out this weekend, including options for breakfast and lunch, office hours, and student supports.
Thank you for your support. Our hearts go out to you, our families, through this challenging time! Please feel free to reach out to me with questions.
November 29, 2020
Dear SCS Families:
I wanted to write to you this Sunday afternoon to send greetings to SCS families. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
We appreciate that families were careful with how they celebrated the holiday weekend. Experts have warned us about the potential spread of the virus following the holiday weekend, and we are concerned. We need your help!
We are again stressing the need for students to stay home when they are sick. We also know that people can carry the virus and be asymptomatic, which is why our mitigation practices are so important. Please help us stress to your children the need to wear face masks, to use hand sanitizer and wash their hands frequently, and to practice social distancing.
The next week or so is critical, and we will be vigilant. We are trying to keep learning in person as long as is safely possible. Research continues to support that the academic, social, and emotional impact of in-person learning is immense.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me. Thank you for helping us keep our students and staff safe!
November 3, 2020
Thank you for your continued efforts to help us mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Coming off of two eLearning days, I wanted to do a quick follow-up with you. The eLearning days did help with staffing issues, and our numbers are improving slightly. We are concerned that as numbers increase across the community and country, we could experience issues. That is why it is more important than ever to follow the protocol we have in place. Overall, we are not seeing the virus spread at school.
A couple of reminders:
If your child is asked to quarantine, they are not allowed to attend school or any function on school grounds (including games, rec programs, etc.) According to CDC guidelines they should stay home. I have attached the Quarantine Guidelines from ISDH.
Another important part of our plan is staying home when symptomatic. I have attached a flyer with symptoms that preclude students from attending school until they have a doctor excuse or negative test.
I know this is a very difficult time for families, and I don’t mean to sound like a broken record. This is such a critical time, and I want us to stay vigilant so that we can keep students and staff as safe as possible. We are grateful for your cooperation and support.
Dear SCS Families:
Thank you for your continued support and patience while we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and its associated challenges. Our goals throughout have been to offer full transparency and solid communication. The safety of our students, staff, and the community are our utmost concern, while we also recognize the need to keep students in school as much as possible for the social/emotional and intellectual development.
In the last week, we have had a slight uptick in positive cases, which have increased the number of staff and students quarantining. Although any positive cases are a concern, and the health of our community is important to us, our numbers are not at a level that should cause alarm. Unfortunately, there are some associated challenges, including a shortage of substitutes, and in particular issues with transportation. In addition, we believe that enhanced cleaning would be a positive step in mitigating the spread of the virus.
For these reasons, Sheridan Community Schools will have eLearning days this Friday, Oct. 30th and Monday, Nov. 2nd. We want to stress that the major reason for this is staffing and not a need for concern because of infection numbers. We are taking an abundance of caution and want to do some deep cleaning, but overall, we continue to be pleased with our mitigation practices.
- Grab and Go pick-up of breakfast and lunch will be available at the Middle School driveway on both Friday and Monday between 7:30 and 1:00. There is no charge for student lunches.
- eLearning practices will be in place, with instruction being delivered via Canvas on student Chromebooks. Students in grades 1-4 will be taking Chromebooks home. Kindergarten instruction will be unique by teacher. Teachers and instructional assistants will be available to help students remotely.
- At this time, the Sectional football game is still scheduled to be played Friday night.
The Hamilton County Health Department is concerned about virus spread over Halloween. Thank you for being extra careful this Halloween weekend – making sure to practice social distancing, wear face covering, and surface contamination (i.e., reaching into a candy bowl where others have touched).
We understand that eLearning can create challenges for parents, especially for childcare. We apologize and are grateful for your understanding. We are doing our very best to keep school open. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
October 19, 2020
Welcome back from Fall Break! We hope it was a time for students and families to relax and recharge. We continue to be grateful for the efforts of staff and students in practicing protocol to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus. As numbers in our state and country climb, we know it is important to stay vigilant. We may tire of hearing all this, but I think it is good for us to be reminded of the strategies we have in place. Face covering is an important part of our plan. Please help us in reminding your children that when wearing their face covering, it is important that it cover both their mouth and nose. I am attaching a quick guide as a reference of the practices that are still in place.
For our students who are enrolled in virtual learning, we will be releasing information in late November about plans for second semester, which will include re-entry plans or plans for continued virtual learning.
Thank you for your continued support. We consider it an honor and a privilege to partner with you for your children’s education.
Updated Protocol 8-26-2020
One thing we have said since this pandemic began is that the only constant is change. We have received updated protocol from the Indiana Department of Health about how to deal with symptoms. We understand that the strict “stay at home” protocol is a challenge to families, and we are grateful for your patience and understanding.
We are sharing the documents in their entirety, but to quickly summarize: symptoms have been clarified (some symptoms that previously excluded students, like a stuffy nose, have been removed), a student can return to school with after receiving a negative test (before they also had to be cleared by a doctor), and the final big change is that if one student in the family is excluded from school because they are symptomatic, all siblings in the family are excluded.
Specifically, here is what is new:
- Person of interest and anyone who lives in the same household should quarantine while waiting for test results
- Anyone with a negative test who is not a close contact may return to school if:
- Fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications
- Symptoms resolved.
- No doctor’s note required.
- Temperature 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth
- Sore throat
- New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
- Loss of taste or smell
- Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 who had a negative test and is not a close contact of someone with confirmed COVID-19 may return to school:
- Must be 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications
- Other symptoms resolved
- No doctor’s note required
- If also a close contact, must complete 14-day quarantine
- Anyone with symptoms who is not tested must isolate, and anyone in the household (including siblings) are considered close contacts and must quarantine.
- If a someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 tests positive or does NOT get tested for COVID-19, then siblings and household members should be considered close contacts and advised to quarantine. If the symptomatic person without a positive test is diagnosed with another condition that explains the symptoms, or tests negative, then no quarantine for close contacts is necessary
- If not tested, a provider’s note with alternate diagnosis will be needed to return to school.
- A symptomatic person and anyone living in their household should quarantine while waiting for test results.
We wish you well.
Dear Sheridan Families:
This has been and continues to be a challenging time for all of you. Over the last months, we have worked diligently to study the guidance from national, state, and local officials, as well as seeking input from parents and stakeholders. Attached is our reopening plan: Sheridan School Reopening Plan During this trying time, a couple of constants have been the fluidity of this situation and the fact that with every answer comes more questions. With this in mind, we know that in presenting this plan, it may change and as you read it, you will likely have more questions.
This is a complicated issue, but we have done our best to use a common sense approach to the development of our plan. Keeping our students and staff as safe as possible is our top priority.
Families have the option to start school in person or virtually. Within the in-person option, we know that there is a strong possibility that there will be intermittent periods of virtual learning based on guidance from the health department if there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 among staff or students.
Thank you for your patience. Even if you do not agree with every point in our plan, I hope you will know that we care deeply about our students and that we will continue to work hard to do what is best for them.
Many of you have reached out to me over the last few months, and I have attempted to email all of you back. If I missed any emails, please forgive me, and follow-up with me. My intent is to always reply, but I admit that my inbox is pretty full. I care about each of you and this community and want to be responsive.
We are asking that you read the plan and then respond to our survey as soon as possible. The survey is not binding. We understand things can change, but before we can move to our next level of planning – like assigning teachers to virtual or in-person teaching, we need your survey data.
Our students and families make our school community the caring place it is! We will get through this together. #BlackhawksCareTogether
May 13, 2020
Dear Sheridan Families,
On February 1st when I joined the wonderful Sheridan community, this is not the way I expected we would be ending the school year. I know that it has been a challenging few months, especially for you, our families, juggling work, homelife, worries of a pandemic, economic concerns, all the while supporting your children with eLearning. What you are doing is truly remarkable, and we applaud you!
Typically the last day of school feels celebratory, and we picture students bursting out of the school doors ready to embrace the freedom of summer. It is a particularly special time for seniors, and we all are sad that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot recreate these final days for our seniors. I do hope that students can feel a true sense of accomplishment for what they done. They are living through history, and this last week of school is something they deserve to celebrate.
The principals have been communicating logistical directions, and if you have questions about assignments, building access, returning materials, etc., please do not hesitate to reach out to them.
Our teachers did a tremendous job with eLearning this year, and we tried to work out challenges along the way. We also know we have room for growth. We have learned a lot during this time, and we will use what we have learned to make any eLearning experiences in the future even more effective.
There is still much uncertainty about next year. The Governor has stated that an announcement about K-12 learning for the fall will come July 4th. I can assure you of a few things:
We are working now on multiple contingency plans that can be put into place based on guidance from the Governor and our community’s health needs.
- The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority.
- We will work tirelessly to provide the best possible education, however it is delivered.
- We understand that there are unique situations, and we will be sensitive to individual needs. As a small school we pride ourselves in meeting individual needs.
- We respect the needs and wishes of you, the parents.
We understand some families are eager for students to return to school, while others because of health concerns prefer virtual learning. Our plans will be sensitive to all of your needs. I wish I could offer more details, but at this time all we can do is create multiple scenarios and wait. Thank you for your patience. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team or me, personally. We are here for you!
I want to end by again reminding you and your children to take time to celebrate this last week of school. You all have earned it!
All my very best,
May 4, 2020
Dear SCS Families:
We are in the final stretch of eLearning. We know this has been an extremely challenging time for families, and we are grateful for your patience. Our caring community has been amazing!
Attached is a FAQ document we have prepared for you that compiles common questions parents may have.
In the next month, we will be reaching out to you to get your input on how we can improve and also start getting insight that will help us plan for the fall.
Although we have been working on COVID-19 planning, we also have been busy making plans for next school year. Soon we will be sharing some new exciting opportunities we will be offering for our students. We will continue to strive to provide the best possible experiences for our students because they deserve nothing less!
Thank you again for your support and patience through this time.
All my very best,
April 16, 2020
As we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation, I wanted to share our plans for grading for eLearning.
We have looked at the guidance from the Indiana Department of Education, as well as best practices. We understand that the purpose of grades is to provide meaningful feedback on student progress. With eLearning this can be more of a challenge, and we want to remove as many barriers as possible for students.
For this reason we have decided that grades for fourth quarter in grades 1-8 will be Pass/Fail. Students in grades 9-12 (and any 8th grade courses taken for high school credit) will continue to have traditional grades due to IHSAA and graduation requirements.
We want students to continue to put in their best efforts. Some teachers are still recording traditional grades in order to provide feedback. At the end of the quarter, grades will be changed to P/F in grades 1-8. Mr. Rick Davis will be sharing more information regarding how grading and semester grades will work at the HS level soon.
We understand this is not ideal, and may even be a disappointment for some students or parents. Please understand that these are very unusual circumstances. Many universities have made the same decision, and when we look back historically there will be many extraordinary anomalies on transcripts, sports schedules, etc.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you for your support and understanding.
I hope your family is staying safe and well. We are working to provide the best possible educational experiences, understanding that there are many other challenges families are facing. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We miss our students!
Wishing you all the best,
April 3, 2020
Yesterday I sent you a quick email, promising more details.
The Governor’s Executive Order closes all Indiana schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. With that in mind we will go to Phase 3 of eLearning. We will utilize state allowed waiver days so that eLearning occurs M-W-F and waived days (free learning days) occur on T-Th from April 13 through May 1 (Phase 2), with the same schedule through May 15th. We will use 4 waiver days for the last scheduled week of school, so that the last official day of school will be Friday, May 15th.
Yesterday was an emotional day for most of us. Although we had somewhat anticipated this was coming, yesterday the reality of what the pandemic is taking away from students and families became very real. We cannot recapture all of what has been taken away, but we want to do small things to help minimize the emotional toll. To this end, we are tentatively planning on an unofficial “last day of school” on July 24th, with a tentative graduation date of July 25th. This day would allow all students a chance to see their friends and teachers, collect their belongings and have some sense of closure from their exiting grade level. Sadly, we know this is still tentative, but we want to have hope! More details will follow.
The state has announced that seniors who were on track to complete the requirements for graduation (completed seven semesters and enrolled in classes to complete their requirements) will be meet state requirements. State testing is waived for seniors who were retesting. Students enrolled in dual credit and AP courses will need to continue progress to receive that credit and/or be prepared for the AP test.
Sack lunches will continue, although we may be working on a slightly different distribution schedule.
School offices will remain closed through April 10th. Beginning April 13th or after the Shelter in Place order has been lifted, whichever is later, offices will be open from 9-12. The plan is to still have elementary student packet pick-up beginning April 13th in the building lobby. When picking up packets, please plan to drop off completed packets so teachers can check student progress. Packets not picked up will be mailed.
Thank you for your patience with us and your kindness to each other during this unprecedented time. Every day I see beautiful examples of how a difficult situation brings out the very best in people. We will get through this together! Staying well emotionally and physically is our greatest challenge. I send my sincerest best wishes to all of you.
April 2, 2020
These unprecedented times have allowed us all to be reflective about what is important in life, and I am grateful to make my home in this caring community. My heart goes out to families trying to juggle work and home-life, along with eLearning. Thank you for your patience and dedication.
I also have to thank our teachers and staff for their hard work. Our school buildings are closed, but our teachers are still working diligently to prepare lessons, teach remotely, communicate with students in alternate ways, assess student learning, and cope in their own ways.
The Superintendent of Public Instruction announced today that schools will remain closed through the remainder of the school year. We anticipated that this could happen, so we have preliminary plans to put this order into action. You will receive more information within the next day or so about our plans to continue learning and support students and families during this difficult time.
Dr. McCormick also gave some reassurance about seniors meeting graduation requirements. We will be reaching out to seniors with this information soon. This announcement will also make it inevitable that we need to postpone our graduation ceremony. Our plan is to hold a traditional graduation ceremony at a later date. For now, we need to keep our community safe.
Please know we care deeply about our students and families. Thank you for continuing to practice social distancing, so that we can get through this storm. I am proud to be on your team as we navigate these unchartered waters together.
March 23, 2020
Each time I email you, I have stated that we know this situation continues to evolve, and again I am writing you with a change. The Governor announced a Shelter in Place executive order beginning at 11:59 PM on March 24th through 8 AM on April 7th. This will not create major changes for Sheridan Community Schools and our eLearning plan, but it will change a few things.
Beginning tomorrow, we will discontinue office hours until April 13th.
Meal distribution will continue, with some slight changes in order to reduce the amount of time families need to leave their homes:
Tuesday (tomorrow), March 24th – Regular distribution
Wednesday, March 25th: Distribution of meals for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
Monday, March 30th – Distribution of meals for Monday, March 30th through Thursday, April 2nd
Beginning April 13th – Regular daily distribution will resume
Reminder: Meals are free to all students and can be picked up at the High School, old IGA parking lot or west of the water tower between 11:00 and 1:00.
We hope that eLearning can continue through April 2nd as planned, but we also understand that Shelter in Place could create some barriers, such as teachers not having access to resources, tech personnel not being able to distribute technology if students have issues, school offices being closed, etc. Teachers will continue to do their best to communicate with students and keep things going, but with the understanding that these are unprecedented times requiring patience and flexibility. Phase 2 of eLearning will begin on April 13th after a two week break from March 30th through April 10th.
Beginning April 13th, we plan to go back to having limited office hours and the enactment of the plan for picking up of elementary packets that the elementary office sent out to families.
Sadly, the teacher parade planned for Wednesday will need to be postponed until after April 7th.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We want to do all we can to keep learning going, and most importantly to keep our students and community safe.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.
March 21, 2020
I hope your families are managing through these trying times. The optimistic spirit of the Sheridan community shines through in times like this. As you know the Governor announced that Indiana schools will remain closed through May 1st and all state testing has been cancelled. We already had a plan in place through spring break, and now we move to Phase 2 of our plan for providing educational opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During Phase 2 we plan to utilize eLearning, as well as the waiver days granted by the state. We decided to utilize alternating waiver days to give families flexibility to plan activities and for students to pursue personal learning and/or catch up on eLearning. We will provide suggestions for the waiver days, which we are referring to as “Free Learning” days, but we also want to reduce the stress on parents and students by not making students accountable for the work on these days. We understand that families are already under a great deal of stress, and we want to do all we can to ease the anxiety.
Here is what we anticipate for Phase 2:
April 13th through May 1st – Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will be eLearning days with Free Learning days on Tuesdays and Thursdays
As a reminder, Phase 1 of eLearning days will continue through March 27th with an extended “spring break” March 30th through April 10th.
We hope to return to school on May 4th, but the Governor suggested that school cancellations could persist even longer so we are prepared for that, as well.
Elementary teachers will be developing packets that will be available for pick-up or possibly mailed. An email from the elementary will detail the process. We have a couple weeks for teachers to develop these packets, so we appreciate your patience.
Office hours: We understand that you may have a need to pick up materials or call the office, so we are having limited office hours, while practicing social distancing. We urge you to stay at home as much as possible, but if you need our offices, here are the hours they will be staffed:
March 23rd - March 27th – office hours 9-1
March 30th through April 10th – offices closed
April 13 – May 1 (and possibly beyond) – offices hours 9-noon (The elementary also has a plan for the lobby to be open for extended hours for pick-up and delivery of packets.)
Free Learning Days: Teachers will be providing some ideas for students on their free learning days. We also are working on a landing page for Canvas that will have suggestions. We trust you as parents, and we hope this will give students and their families time that is less stressful.
Graduation: These uncertain times are especially difficult for our seniors. We want to assure seniors that we do not want eLearning to jeopardize their progress towards completing graduation requirements. We urge seniors to stay on top of their work and to reach out to their teachers and administration if they have any questions. As of right now, our graduation date has not changed. In the event it needs to be postponed, we want to assure seniors and parents that it is our sincere intent to hold a traditional graduation ceremony even if it is later in the summer.
Lunches: We plan to continue to distribute sack lunches for students during Phase 2.
We want to encourage our families and staff to practice social distancing, so we are working to only provide essential services at this time. We want to keep our staff safe, as well, as we all do our part to stop/slow down the spread of COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding.
We can get through this together! We wish you well.
March 19, 2020
Just a short time ago Governor Holcomb announced that all Indiana K-12 schools will remain closed through May 1st, and he indicated this date may be extended. He also announced that all state testing for the remainder of the school year is cancelled. See the attached memo from the DOE with details about testing cancellations.
COVID 19 Spring Testing Decision
Within the next twenty four hours I will be meeting with the Hamilton County superintendents and with our Sheridan team to develop a plan about how we will be handling the closure through May 1st. We will communicate with you as quickly as we can.
Any plan that is rolled out will include our best efforts to meet students’ needs during these trying and unprecedented times.
The Governor stressed the need for us all to practice social distancing.
I cannot imagine the burden this is creating for families, and my heart goes out to all of you. Please know we care deeply about our students and will do our best to support you during these difficult times.
March 17, 2020
I wanted to provide a update in the constantly changing landscape. I also wanted to try to make you smile with Sheridan Elementary comfort dog, Perry.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Perry!
I hope students and families are managing with eLearning and the COVID-19 pandemic that is disrupting everyday life.
We know remote learning is not an ideal learning format. Our teachers are available to help remotely any way they can. We also have resource teachers to provide remote support. Please do not hesitate to send questions our way.
Social distancing: Governor Holcomb addressed our state with these words, “This is a time when we must do all we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect our most vulnerable populations and reduce their potential to acquire or spread this virus. While some actions are drastic, now, not later, is the time to act.” These are very difficult and unprecedented times. I urge all of you to heed the advice of the experts who are urging people to not gather in groups. What we know is that any contact increases the chances of spreading. People who may not be exhibiting symptoms can spread the virus to others. We are most concerned about vulnerable populations. I know this is difficult for children who are missing their friends, but staying home is the best practice for the health of our community and for a quick return to normalcy. I know it is tempting to allow students to gather or to allow for play dates for younger students, but the reason school is not in session is to limit this kind of contact. We are grateful for your cooperation.
Meals: Sack lunches are being provided for ALL Sheridan students at three drop off locations between the hours of 11-1 daily through April 2nd. The sack lunch also includes a breakfast item for the next day. The drop off points are the HS gym lobby, old IGA parking lot on Main Street, and on the west side of the water tower.
Office hours: As the situation continues to unfold we are decreasing office hours. Today the school offices will be open from 9-2. We may cut this back even a little more, so if you need to pick something up, please call or email first. We want to be sure your students have the resources available, but it is also important that we follow guidance and keep our employees working from home as much as possible.
SCS employees: I have asked that all non-essential duties to be conducted from people’s homes. In addition to a limited office staff, our custodians are here disinfecting all buildings, and our cooks and a couple bus drivers are helping with meal preparation and distribution. We feel it is very important to follow the guidance of state, local, and federal agencies calling for extreme measures of social distancing.
School facilities: With the exception of the quick pick-up of meals or other resources (or other approved reasons), school grounds are closed to students and parents.
eLearning resources: Please reach out to us with any questions. There also are a lot of resources available. Here is a DOE link of resources for families: Remote Learning
Talking to your children: Our social workers can be contacted if you are concerned about talking to your children about this situation. This is a great resources for talking to children: Talking to Children.
Timeline: Our current plan is to have two weeks of eLearning, followed by four waiver days, and then spring break, making our tentative return date April 13th. We know this could change, and we will communicate any changes immediately.
Important dates: Given the timeline, we are looking at important dates. High school principal Rick Davis is making the announcement today that prom will be postponed. At this time graduation date has not been changed.
This situation is still evolving, and we will keep you updated with any changes.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Superintendent-Sheridan Community Schools
March 13, 2020 5:00 p.m.
I apologize for all the emails; thank you for your patience and support. I just wanted to share a few more details about our plans for the next few weeks.
- Our plan is to resume our regular schedule on Monday, April 13th.
- We have two weeks of eLearning planned. We are not sure if the four days following that will be eLearning or waived instructional days. (We are awaiting guidance from the Indiana Department of Education.)
- We have been asked about state testing. We are awaiting guidance from the Department of Education on this also. This is really out of our hands, so there is no need to worry.
- Lunches will be available daily beginning Monday for SCS students at three drop off points in the community. Please see the attached flyer.
Sack Lunch Flyer
- School offices will be open if you need assistance with anything. You received an email from our tech director offering her help also.
- Your child’s teacher is always a good starting point for questions, but always feel free to reach out to the office or an administrator.
- All extracurricular events, including all practices and games are cancelled during the time school is cancelled.
I want to stress to you that the reason for our closure is due to guidance encouraging social distancing. We have not had any confirmed cases in our school, and we want to do all we can to ease anxiety among our students. We have a great staff and community! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. Feel free to email me directly. Again, many thanks.
March 13, 2020 7:30 a.m.
We will be continually sharing information about plans for eLearning. We know these are difficult times for families, and we want to be supportive. This email will be sent to our middle and high school students. I always like parents to see what their children are seeing.
Very best wishes,
Thank you for your patience as we have navigated these unchartered waters. Never in my seventeen years as a superintendent, have I been forced to cancel classes for this long of a time period.
Beginning on Monday, March 16th we will not have in-person classes, but instead will have eLearning. You will not return to campus until after spring break. All extracurricular events will also be cancelled.
We know this is very disappointing for everyone, but we also know that you understand the reasons behind the need to practice social distancing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You may still have worries and questions either about the disease or about our decision. I urge you to reach out to me directly or to talk with any trusted adult.
We care about you, and we want to do all we can to help you through this tough time. eLearning is not easy. We know that face to face learning is much better. This is going to take extra work on your part. I challenge you to do your best, and whenever possible go above and beyond. Don’t feel you need to stop with just the tasks assigned by your teachers. Please use this time away from campus to pursue topics of interest to you. Read, write, and pursue your passions!
Having extra flexibility with your time may be challenging, but it also presents an opportunity to practice a level of independent learning that will serve you well in life. Your potential is endless! I believe in you.
I am honored to be your superintendent. I look forward to seeing you in April. In the meantime, please use your time wisely and let me know if there is anything I can do to assist you.
Superintendent-Sheridan Community Schools
March 12, 2020 7:10 p.m.
Dear Sheridan Families:
I am very grateful for your patience during this uncertain time. I understand that the local and national news continues to evolve very quickly. One thing that we continue to hear about is how social distancing is a key factor to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your children’s safety is our top priority. We have been in continual contact with the Hamilton County Health Department and all other Hamilton County schools, as well as abundant state and federal resources. Through collaboration with other schools and the Health Department, we have made the decision to begin an extended period of eLearning effective Monday, March 16th.
School will be in session tomorrow so that students and teachers can make final preparations for an extended period of eLearning. We are continuing to practice good hygiene and are taking extra steps to disinfect our facilities. There are no documented cases COVID-19 among any of our school community members, and the decision to hold an extended period of eLearning is being made to promote social distancing.
We understand that this creates many hardships for parents, and we are sorry for this situation. We will do all we can to support you.
Many more details will follow, but we wanted to share this news with you immediately.
March 12, 2020
We know this is an anxious time for you as parents and also for our students. I just sent the email below to our HS students. Things are evolving quickly, but for now we want to ensure students and all of you that we are working with local agencies to make good decisions. We promise to keep you informed.
Dear SHS Students,
I have not had the opportunity to meet most of you in person, but I am honored to serve as your superintendent. I take the responsibility very seriously, and keeping you safe is my number one priority.
I understand there is much anxiety around COVID-19. Your anxiety is certainly warranted given the fact of closings across the country and state. We are planning because we want to be ready for eLearning, but we are not there yet. I think planning increases anxiety, but we think it is better to be proactive and fully transparent.
We are working closely with local and state agencies and promise to make decisions in your best interest. For now, it is business as usual with extra care for hand washing, disinfecting, hand sanitizing, etc. If you are experiencing any symptoms, please see our school nurse.
There is so much information out there - and some are mixed messages. I know it is tough for all of you.
I know you don’t know me well, but I am asking you to trust me to work with our school team to make good decisions. I promise to communicate quickly if things change.
This is a moving target so things may change, and again, I promise to keep you informed.
Superintendent-Sheridan Community Schools
March 12, 2020
Thank your for your patience and understanding during this uncertain time surrounding the effects of COVID-19. We remain committed to student safety and following local, state, and federal guidance. Current recommendations from the CDC remain the same:
- Frequent, proper handwashing using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
- Avoiding touching your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands
- Practicing respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or upper sleeve).
- Routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces using usual cleaning/disinfecting.
- Staying home when ill.
We want to be fully transparent with parents and keep you informed of our thinking and planning. As confirmed cases in Indiana increase and cancellations among universities and public schools continue, we are acutely aware that it may become necessary for us to utilize eLearning for an extended period of time in order to maximize social distancing. Any decision on closing school will be made by or based on a recommendation of the Department of Education or the County Health Department. We will immediately communicate any decision with families. We understand the potential hardship that an eLearning platform places on families, so we do not take this decision lightly. Our plans will include support to maximize student learning.
Again, there are no explicit changes in our position, but we are making plans in the event that it becomes necessary to move to eLearning.
This is a difficult time for everyone. We know that your children may be experiencing some anxiety around the subject. This is a resource that may be helpful in talking to your children about COVID-19. Talking to Children.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. We will continue to communicate with you with updates.
Superintendent-Sheridan Community Schools
March 9, 2020
This update does not contain any new information, but given the dynamic nature of this issue I want to stay in contact with you. We want to give you continual assurance that we are following guidance from local, state, and federal sources on COVID-19. I am personally communicating with state associations and area superintendents. We are meeting as a district team to coordinate our efforts and to insure we are following the most up to date guidance.
At this time, our schedules for classes and events have not changed. We are taking extra care with practices to reduce the spread of respiratory viruses. To this end, I am sharing the following guidance from the Indiana Department of Education.
What preventive measures should be taken to help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, like COVID-19?
ISDH recommends that schools increase education on respiratory and hand hygiene. As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take daily to reduce the risk of getting sick or infecting others with circulating viruses.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Help young children do the same.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Limit close contact, like kissing and sharing cups or utensils, with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve (not your hands).
- Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected against influenza.
- Be aware that facemasks are not needed for the general public.
In addition, it is recommended that schools take these additional measures:
- Remind staff and students that when they are ill, they should remain home; persons who have been ill should be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to classes and work.
- Continue to encourage welcoming environments for ALL members of our community.
- Always check reliable sources for up-to-date, accurate information about COVID-19; local, state and federal authorities are listed below.
Do school events need to be canceled?
At this time, there is no need to cancel school or social events. There are no restrictions on public gatherings. Staff and students should be reminded that part of good health hygiene is staying home from events when they are ill.
The CDC has not issued formal guidance regarding staff or students traveling to countries with reported COVID-19 cases. This is a rapidly evolving situation and schools should refer to the CDC’s website for the most up-to-date travel-related guidance.
We understand that given the novelty and rapidly changing nature of the issue, there can be anxiety. I want to assure you that we are doing all we can to keep our students safe and to keep you informed. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
Sheridan Community Schools
March 6, 2020
This is a quick follow-up to the email you received on Monday. We continue to get guidance from local, state, and federal resources about COVID-19. I wanted to share the attached letter from the office of the State Health Commissioner, which reinforces the information I shared on Monday.
Always feel free to reach out to me. Thank you for the opportunity to work with your children.
Superintendent - Sheridan Community Schools