We now know that schools will be closed until at least April 30th, and we also know that this will create many challenges for families. We would prefer to be greeting your children at our doors over the next few weeks but in the interests of community well-being, that will not be possible. Elkhorn Public Schools is committed to supporting families as we work together to continue learning experiences for students during this extended closure.
Over a very short time, district office staff, principals, and teachers have come together to develop a Temporary Distance Learning Plan (TDLP). Our official launch date will be Thursday, March 26th. We know that many of our teachers have been anxious to connect with their students and you may have already received communications; however, due to the fact that we are still working to get Chromebooks to some families we will officially begin the TDLP on Thursday. Our goal is to have at least one district-issued device available per family. If you have not already received specific communication, teachers will reach out to you over the next couple of days with more information about the plan.
The purpose of the TDLP is to provide a meaningful continuation of learning for students during this extended closure. It will also provide structure and predictability during a time that will feel very uncertain for many students and adults. The plan includes a schedule for each grade level. Distance learning will be a combination of independent practice for students, along with times for live online interaction that will allow students to see and talk with their teachers and classmates in grades K-12. For our earliest learners who are younger than five, teachers will be interacting with caregivers on a regular basis. In addition, special educators will reach out to families to provide ongoing support during this closure.
Independent practice will occur all five days of the week unless there is a scheduled vacation in the school calendar. The live online learning experiences will take place Monday through Thursday each week. The plan involves a schedule that includes morning hours for elementary students and afternoon hours for middle school and high school students. Staggering these schedules allows for older students to share their district-issued device with younger students should this be needed.
Again, it is understood that the current situation creates many challenges and hardships for all families. As a school district, we count ourselves as very fortunate for the strength of our community and the dedication of our families. We will get through this together even if we have to do it at a distance.
Update: April 1, 2020 On Wednesday, April 1, Governor Ricketts issued a Directed Health Measure stating that all Nebraska schools are to operate without students in their buildings through May 31. Following this directive, EPS buildings will remain closed and Distance Learning will continue for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. We know that this decision is not the end result that was hoped for, but we also understand that continued social distancing is necessary to protect the health of our community. As a reminder, April 9-10 are scheduled No School Days for students per our school calendar, and we will honor those prescheduled days off.
The official last student day will be Friday, May 15th. Schedules and processes to return Chromebooks and materials including student check-out will be set for the following week. More communication will be forthcoming as we approach the end of the school year for students and staff.
New resources have been added to the Temporary Distance Learning Plan (TDLP) Parent Website including updated steps to submit a ticket for all technical issues and required repair appointment information. See the above website or the email from your building principal for full details.
Additionally, grab-and-go breakfast and lunch meals will continue to be offered through the end of the school year. To place your weekly order, please use this Google Form. This link can always be found on the Parent Resources webpage under Food Resources, but will not continue to emailed out on a weekly basis.
We remain committed to doing everything we can for our students and families during these uncertain times, and we appreciate your continued partnership. Your support matters!
Update: March 17, 2020 In continuing our commitment to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and community, Elkhorn Public Schools will extend our current closure effective immediately per the Nebraska Department of Education. At this time, we do not have a tentative return date, but we will continue to work with state and local officials to evaluate the community’s situation every two weeks to determine next steps. We will continue to monitor and communicate with public health officials to determine when it is safe for our students and staff to return.
As was mentioned in a previous communication to our families, EPS is committed to continuing learning experiences for our students during this closure. An email is forthcoming later today from your principal with next steps.
As a reminder, the effectiveness of an extended school closure as a public health strategy to prevent the spread is predicated on limiting contact with others and following social distancing guidelines when travel is essential. We ask that staff, families and community members follow the guidance of the CDC and Douglas County Health Department to limit exposure to others to best assist in stopping the spread in our community.
Update: March 12, 2020 In a proactive effort to limit possible exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Elkhorn Public Schools will be closed beginning tonight at 6:00 PM through Monday, March 23, 2020, noting that spring break is scheduled for March 19, 20, and 23. The closure affects all programming throughout the District, including all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, weekend events, and EKC before- and after-school programs.
This situation is fluid; thus, we plan to communicate weekly on our closure status and will provide an update on Friday, March 20th. If this closure is extended, remote learning plans will be communicated to families by Monday, March 23rd. We affirm our commitment to continue learning objectives during the closure if extended beyond next week.
We are in a serious community health crisis and global pandemic that requires extraordinary measures. It is important to communicate that the effectiveness of this public health strategy to prevent the spread is predicated on limiting contact with others and following social distancing guidelines when travel is essential.
It is important to note that at this time, there are no active COVID-19 cases within EPS. However, the well-being of students and staff remains a top priority; thus, the decision to close. Please know this was not an easy decision and we do not take it lightly. We realize that we are making decisions that sometimes create new questions but please continue to be patient and supportive as we work through the issues together. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will monitor and adapt our plans as new information and guidance are provided.
Parent/Teacher Conferences for all EPS buildings will be held on Wednesday, February 19 and Thursday, February 20. Time frames by grade level are listed below. For building-specific information, please refer to your building principal’s most recent Newsletter.
The month of January is nationally recognized as National Mentoring Month when programs honor mentors for their service and the impact they’re making by simply being there for students.
In honor of National
Mentoring Month, TeamMates of Elkhorn would like to thank the more than 80
mentors who have dedicated their time to being there for our students. The commitment made by mentors is an
impactful one, as the relationships they are building are long-lasting and
incredibly beneficial for our students.
“We are grateful for every TeamMates mentor,” TeamMates Executive
Director Sarah Waldman explained. “Every TeamMates mentor I speak with
talks about how mentoring has been an incredibly positive experience for them.
I hope more caring adults will join us so they too can experience the positive
impact of mentoring.”
TeamMates mentors fulfill the mission of the TeamMates Mentoring Program of impacting the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential by meeting with their mentee one-on-one weekly during the school year. The TeamMates Mentoring Program is a school-based program, providing meeting times only during school hours.
Mentees are students in grades 3-12 who can be nominated to participate
in the program in one of three ways. They can be nominated by a parent or a
school staff member, or students can self-nominate. Mentors are not tutors or
counselors, nor are they there to “fix” anything— they are there to be friends.
Matches are relationship-based, and mentors
are matched with mentees based on similar interests and life experiences.
Several students were recently chosen to represent EHS at various upcoming leadership opportunities, giving participants an opportunity to develop their skills.
After demonstrating outstanding leadership potential, Alden Mays was selected to attend the Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) Leadership Seminar. The HOBY Seminar, a yearly summer event held at a Nebraska College or University, will be held at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation.
Elijah Larson was selected to attend the Nebraska Leadership Seminar (NLS) at Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska this summer. Nebraska Leadership Seminar, Inc. (NLS) is a nonprofit organization focused upon helping students recognize their leadership strengths. Each year, NLS hosts a four-day seminar for high school sophomores to challenge, empower and inspire them to become the leaders Nebraska needs.
Both students were selected to represent EHS after completing an extensive application and interviewing process, and both are actively involved at EHS and have numerous volunteer and leadership experiences in our community.
HOBY also facilitates an outstanding freshman leadership experience called HOBY Community Leadership Workshop (CLeW). CLeW offers students a one-day HOBY-style experience about leadership and community service. Students interested in attending CLeW go through an application process at EHS. This year, Vansi Singu was selected to attend CLeW.