To: CCSC Students and Parents Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: Free Meal Period Extended
On September 16, the school corporation announced that student meals would be provided free, through the end of the calendar year. I am pleased to announce in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extending its’ waiver periods, the free meal window has been extended through the end of the CCSC school year (May 28, 2021) or up to the time funding is removed, whichever occurs first.
Thank you. Kevin
CCSC: Athletics Update
To: Staff, Students, Parents, School – Community Members Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: Athletics Update
Earlier Wednesday, confirmation was provided of a COVID positive case, with a direct impact on our athletic program, involving the football team. The possibility of such a situation came about Monday evening, when a member of the team began having COVID symptoms. Steps were taken to immediately quarantine team members, including coaches.
Following careful consideration, and consultation, the risk of allowing our team to continue to compete in the IHSAA post season tournament has been determined to be too high.
While I regret that we have reached this point, the decision to withdraw from the tournament was made only after giving careful consideration to a diverse set of factors. These included the fact that a great deal remains unknown regarding the impact of COVID, as well as what we don’t know about the long-term impact, thus taking into account the fact we have a positive case, it is important that we act with an abundance of caution when making decisions regarding our students.
Additional aspects taken into account included the possibility of an increased risk of exposing another community to the COVID virus, discussing the experiences of other individuals who have faced similar decision points this fall, the recent spike in and around our school – community, and the desire to sustain in – person instruction. During the decision-making process I reached out to review our situation with Cloverdale. I appreciate the support and understanding their superintendent and his team provided us, regarding the situation.
I want to take a moment to state how proud I am of our coaches and student – athletes. From the first discussion, regarding the possibility of the season concluding early, coach Tyler Campbell has been a class – act. Certainly, he is disappointed, as I am, that we are not able to proceed forward, however he gets it. Coach understands the big picture and I am so proud to have him leading our Trojans through and into the future.
Moving forward we will maintain a focus on taking the necessary pre-cautions in an effort to ensure the safety and well – being of students and staff, while providing the best opportunity to sustain facility operations.
CCSC: Returning to In – Person Instruction
To: Staff, Students, Parents, School – Community Members Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: Returning to In – Person Instruction
Following an extensive review of available data, and with the support of the Fountain and Warren County Health Department, Covington Community Schools will reopen facilities for in-person instruction on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. With the return, we encourage all individuals to continue to adhere to the established protocol, including remaining at home if ill, maintaining social distancing (6 feet or more) whenever possible, adhering to the identified guidance for face masking, conducting handwashing frequently, and continuing to communicate with school nurses if symptoms develop.
The school corporation will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation on a daily basis, with decisions on school operations being made as deemed appropriate.
Your patience and understanding, as we have worked to identify a date for reopening our schools, has been appreciated.
CCSC: Return to School Plan
To: Staff, Students, Parents, School – Community Members Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: Return To School Plan
From the launch of the school year, our goal has been to provide the opportunity for in – person instruction, while minimizing the need for the use of our E–learning process. Obviously, there are many variables that play into whether or not our schools can remain open in a safe and effective manner. These range from the level of impact the COVID-19 virus may be having on our schools, at any given point in time, to the availability of personnel to meet the needs required to sustain facility operations. We have seen a wide array of the referenced variables play out, creating the recent need for E–learning instruction.
While recognizing our desire to return to in – person learning as soon as possible, the school corporation values the importance of understanding where the current COVID-19 situation stands, prior to re-opening our facilities. Our goal is to return to the classrooms by no later than Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
On Monday, October 19, CCSC will operate under our E-learning protocol, with my team and I analyzing data for the period covering our fall break. We will review this data and discuss with the Fountain and Warren County Health Department. It is possible we may resume in person schooling on Tuesday, October 20. If this occurs, notification would be made early Monday evening.
In conjunction, and with a plan for return in place, the suspension of our extra – curricular activities has been lifted.
The decision to return to school in the above manner was made after much deliberation, collaboration, and analysis of data. While we (the board and I) believe our plan to be in the best interests of the child, we understand there may be, not only disagreement, but questions around how we arrived at this decision.
The following was used to help aid the decision – making:
+ The fact that our children need to be in school, with in–person instruction providing the best educational opportunity for growth and development; + We believe in a well-rounded educational curriculum; + The school corporation took precautionary steps by moving to E-learning for the period of October 7-14, including limiting athletic events during the previous eight days; + The school has not been identified as a significant source for the current spread of the virus, an indication our protocol, when adhered to, is working; o When violations of the school corporation protocol are noted, they are addressed in an immediate fashion; + Our students, instructors, administrators, and coaches have set an example for all of us, through their flexibility, understanding, and patience as we have faced a challenging time. We have full confidence in their continued support and adherence to the requirements that have allowed us to be in class and on the field. + Contact tracing has been performed, with individuals impacted by possible exposures to positive cases placed in quarantine; o 82% of the individuals involved will end their quarantine period on October 19, 2020; + Events originally scheduled to be hosted in Covington have been re-located from the community; + Health screenings are continuing with our students, student – athletes, and staff, with those not passing, being restricted from attendance and/or participation; and + Input provided by the Fountain and Warren County Health Department.
Our decisions are being made with the understanding that they are determined at a respective moment and time. The next moment may well require a different decision. The school corporation, as has been the case since March, continues to monitor the situation, as it relates to sustaining in – person instruction. When a need to modify our operational schedules arise the information will be shared with students, parents, and staff members.
As always, for the school corporation to sustain our operations we need the cooperation of not only those in the buildings each day, but also the school-community. Regardless of our individual opinions of COVID-19 and strategies to combat it, the reality is for our school to have the best chance of remaining open it is important that we all respect opportunities to ensure a healthy and safe environment. This includes, whenever possible, avoiding high risk travel and activities that may perpetuate an impact within and around the school.
Please know, this is not my attempt at telling anyone what to do, rather it is the superintendent of the school corporation sharing what we need help with, if we are to get back into the school buildings and sustain operations. For this to occur, the sooner the current spread is halted, the greater our opportunities of long term in–person instructional success.
Moving forward the school corporation will continue to work closely with Dr. Sharma and the Fountain and Warren County Health Department in a cooperative manner, with a shared goal of identifying the best approaches for keeping our schools open for learning. The county health team has a tough, tough job, a no-win in just about every aspect. I appreciate and thank them for continuously working in the best interests of the safety of our children.
In closing, I hope that everyone has been able to gain some enjoyment from our fall break. I want to thank students, staff, parents, and school – community members for the continued support provided on behalf of our children. I know the past two weeks have not been an easy time, but please rest assured your unyielding love, care, patience, and support is appreciated.
Thank you. Kevin
CCSC: Latest on CCSC Operational Plans
October 13, 2020
To: Staff, Students, Parents, School – Community Members Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: Latest on CCSC Operational Plans
The last week plus has been difficult for many individuals in our community. Children, parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors have been faced with the growing impact of the COVID-19 virus. Due to this, our school corporation moved to e – learning on October 7 and while I agree that this is not a long term solution that we want for our children’s education, the impact to the health, safety, and quality of education made the decision the right one to make. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 has continued to expand, with no immediate end in sight.
As of the morning of October 13, Covington Community School Corporation had experienced 11 positive cases involving staff members and 11 positive cases involving students. This impact has created the need for the quarantining of additional individuals – students and staff.
With the growth in positive cases has come the need for decisions to be made, many of which are ones that an educator takes no joy in having to make. The goal for every educator is to provide opportunities for children. Unfortunately, when decisions are being made in their best overall interest, it is possible, for the opposite to occur. From the bottom of my heart, I regret the decisions we have in front of us may cause our children to lose out on short term opportunities. Yet, I remain steadfast in that through adversity, we are presented with our greatest growth and development opportunities.
On Monday, October 12, I was informed by the Fountain/Warren County Health Department, expectations were that Fountain County would move to “Red” status when the next round of the state metric dashboard is updated on October 14. In conjunction with this, and in accordance with guidance from the state department of health and our legal counsel, further operational changes have been recommended and are being initiated.
With the above in mind, all extra – curricular activities have been suspended until a plan to safely and effectively return to in – person instruction is identified. Over the next several days, I will be working with the school corporation team, and the county health department in order to gather information to identify a return to school plan (date). Further, the volleyball sectional scheduled to be played in Covington has been moved to North Vermillion.
In order to assist with our return to school decision making process, I encourage and ask everyone currently quarantined to please remain in contact with our school nurse if symptoms develop and / or worsen. I appreciate the cooperation we have experienced from those impacted since launching our email@example.com contact resource. This information is critical to ensure effective planning for a return.
I will provide more detail in the coming days.
Thank you. Kevin
CCSC: School Corporation Operational Update
To: Staff, Students, Parents, School – Community Members Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: School Corporation Operational Update
For the awareness of the school – community, this afternoon I was made aware of a new Positive COVID – 19 case involving a support team member. Following the completion of contact tracing and a review of the respective work schedule, a decision has been made to close the following facilities until further notice:
Covington High School Covington Middle School Covington Elementary School Annex Building Middle School Gym Corporation Offices Maintenance Garages
The plan, as it currently exists, is to close the facilities to all individuals through the weekend. On Monday, the maintenance team will sanitize each facility and advise when they are ready to be reopened.
To clarify, the high school gymnasium and the facilities located at the athletic complex are not being closed, as neither was involved with this week’s work schedule. There will be as needed access for these areas.
The meeting will be conducted via virtual (video conferencing), with the Superintendent hosting the session from Covington Elementary School, located at 1110 7th Street, Covington, Indiana 47932
Agenda IC 5-14-1.5-6.1 (b) (1) Collective Bargaining. IC 5-14-1.5-6.1 (b) (3) Assessment, Design, and Implementation of School Safety and Security Measures, Plans, and Systems.
Regular Monthly School Board Meeting Agenda
Regular Monthly School Board Meeting Agenda Mon October 12th, 2020 6:30pm – 8:00pm EDT
The meeting will be conducted via digital means, with the Superintendent hosting from Covington
Elementary School Conference Room 1110 7th Street, Covington, Indiana 47932
The Covington Community School Corporation Board of Trustees will meet in regular session on Monday, October 12, 2020, beginning at 6:30 p.m. During this meeting the board will consider the 2021 operational budget for adoption.
Due to the recent uptick in COVID – 19 positive cases in and around our school – community, the format of the meeting will be video conferencing. Individuals interested in attending are directed to the ZOOM video conferencing link provided:
Consent and Approvals a. Review and Approve Minutes b. Review and Approval of Claim Dockets c. Consideration of Human Resources i. New Hires ii. Retirements iii. Resignations
5. Old Business a. Administration b. Finance/Business i. 2021 Operating Budget Adoption ii. 2021 Capital Projects Plan Adoption iii. 5 – Year Bus Replacement Plan Adoption iv. 2021 Operating Budget Resolution v. Authorization to Respond to 1782 Notification c. Curriculum d. Technology e. Buildings and Grounds f. Transportations g. Projects h. Other
New Business a. Administration b. Finance/Business i. Resolution Approving Reduction in Appropriations for Operations Fund ii. Resolution Approving Additional Appropriations Request for Education Fund c. Curriculum d. Technology e. Buildings and Grounds f. Transportation g. Other
7. Comments, Announcements, and Other Business a. Public Comments b. Superintendent Report Out c. Board Comments
8. Dates of Interest
a. Next Board Meeting • November 9, 2020
b. E • Learning/Staff Development • October 13 – 14, 2020
c. Fall Break • October 15 – 16, 2020
d. Volleyball Sectional • October 15 & 17, 2020
e. Thanksgiving Break – November 25 • 27, 2020
f. End Semester 1 • December 22, 2020
g. Winter Break – December 23, 2020 • January 5, 2021
h. Begin Semester 2 – January 6, 2021
CCSC: Important School Operational Statement
October 7, 2020
To: Staff, Students, Parents, School – Community Members Fr: Kevin Smith, Superintendent Su: Important School Operational Statement
I am confident it goes without saying the COVID-19 virus has indeed introduced itself to our school – community during the past week-plus. The number of positive cases have continued to climb during this period of time, with two positive staff member cases leading the school corporation to move to E-Learning for Wednesday, October 7.
Unfortunately, the number of positive cases increased during the day, as the school corporation health and leadership team worked to evaluate the impact being caused to our ability to operate in – person instruction. Further, the number of individuals – students and staff – that are quarantined have increased accordingly
In addition to the two staff members who tested positive, we now have positive cases involving four students. Individuals identified through our contact tracing process for quarantine have been notified.
While I will provide detailed data under a separate communication, I wanted to take this opportunity to advise the following:
Covington Community School Corporation will continue with our E – Learning instructional protocol for the period of October 8, 2020 – October 14, 2020. This will take us through next week’s fall break.
The impact of COVID-19, in regards to school operations, will continue to be monitored closely, with decisions being made as deemed appropriate.
Thank you. Kevin
Grab & Go Lunches Provided for E-Learning – Oct. 7th
CCSC will be providing grab and go lunches for our students today. If interested in picking up a lunch please call 765.793.5615 by 11:30 to place an order. Lunches will be available for pick up between 1 and 1:30 p.m., at door 5 (Middle School).