July 2nd, 2020 The Safer School Reopening Task Force met today. This team consists of parents, health care professionals, teachers, administration and a Board member. Our first priority is to finalize transportation. We need to get our kids to school, 5 days a week (for those not opting to full virtual learning). In order to define our needs, a family survey will be coming out next week. Enjoy the 4th of July weekend!
Safer Start to Reopening Schools
June 22nd, 2020
Dear Richmond Families:Today the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) released Safely and Successfully Reopening Wisconsin Schools
, which is a guidebook for WI Public Districts. In addition to this guide, the Waukesha County Health Department and area superintendents, as well as superintendents throughout the State of WI, meet regularly to discuss implications and protocols for reopening schools in September.A local team has been assembled with staff, parents, and healthcare professionals. Great collaboration is starting as we review, prepare a plan, and set guidelines to start in the fall. I know there are several questions regarding buses, lunch, masks, attendance, screening, instruction formats, classroom layouts, facility environment and capacity, and staffing needs, etc. This team will help make decisions and provide information and address the changing conditions to support school operations and our learning environment. Our goal will be to keep our staff and students as safe as possible and recognize the various family needs that exist.Due to the complexity of this work, our detailed plan will be ready to be shared by the beginning of August. As we focus on starting school safety, I thank you for your patience and support.Sincerely,Dr. Jeanne Siegenthaler, District Administratorhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html
Graduation Celebration and Survey
, 2020Dear Richmond Families:Tonight at 7PM our 8th
graders were scheduled to graduate at Richmond. We would much rather gather in person, and know this format may not be ideal, but adhering to the required guidelines of safety is a priority. We are still tentatively planning for a possible modified graduation on July 28th
. For our current celebration, are excited to share the slideshow
of our graduating 8th
graders! Best of luck at Arrowhead! We know you will represent Richmond well and cannot wait to hear about your future successes!With the signs of graduation, we know the end of the year is nearing. It has been challenging to stay informed on all the updates and changes. Our staff has been outstanding through the past trimester, and as parents, you have been patient and supportive. As we plan for a “Safe Start” to the fall, we are in the planning process of what school will look like in September. In addition to our team at Richmond, DPI will be releasing guidelines in the next two weeks, which will provide greater guidance for us. To understand our parent needs, please fill out this brief survey
We will communicate more once plans are finalized. Again, thank you for your partnership.Sincerely,Dr. Jeanne Siegenthaler, District AdministratorDr. Randy Daul, Interim Principal
May 8, 2020
Dear Richmond Community:
I would like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has stepped up over the past two months to support the students, staff, and families of our district. It has been extremely encouraging to see residents, businesses, and organizations come together during this time of crisis.
Even while our building is closed, work behind the scenes continues. Our teachers are continuously preparing online learning opportunities and resources for their students, working to keep our young people as connected as possible. I have been communicating with individual staff members this week and I am impressed at the learning our teachers are engaged in. They have been sharing new resources and are excited to use new lessons, technology, extensions and applications that they maybe would not have come across without virtual teaching. In other words, while our building may not be open, school is still very much in session. We are privileged to have such dedicated teachers leading the way.
To our teachers and staff, I sincerely appreciate all your efforts to check in with students, provide these important educational resources, and make sure everyone is “OK”. Our students and families will continue to turn to you for guidance and a sense of normalcy as we move forward.
With the celebration of Staff Appreciation Week, please join me in thanking our wonderful staff for the work they do for every student, everyday, and in every situation. Our PTOBC has provided a generous gift to each staff member of a yard sign and gift card. Thank you! Yesterday staff traveled to one of seven points to gather their gifts. It was a great chance for a quick mini gathering (with hugs from 6 feet apart). The Richmond staff is a great team who are all here to help each other. Pictures will be shared in the Richmond Reporter and are on Facebook (Richmond School District Sussex) and twitter @RSDwisconsin.
To our parents and guardians, thank you for your patience and understanding as we have worked to navigate an unprecedented situation. We know that the school closures have been incredibly challenging for you and your loved ones. Please know that we are thinking about you and are here to help.
We have had the opportunity to reduce heating, supplies and cleaning costs and have started summer work to best utilize staffing and resources. Our summer ordering plans are reflective on current inventories and savings from having instruction outside our building. Again, our locker clean-out process will be shared out in the next couple of weeks. As guidance changes with the Department of Health, we want to ensure we are up to date with staff and family safety.
We have a long road ahead of us, but from what we have seen from our school community in recent weeks, I know we will come out of this situation stronger than ever. Once again, thank you so much.
Dr. Jeanne Siegenthaler
Richmond District Administrator
April 17, 2020
Public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year!!!!
On Thursday, April 16, Governor Tony Evers directed the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) to extend the Safer at Home order from April 24 to May 26. A new release from the governor’s office said the order implements some new measures to ensure safety and support the progress made in containing COVID-19, but allows certain activities to start up again. The reopening of schools is not one of those activities as the order stated that all schools will remain closed for the balance of the 2019-20 school year. Nevertheless, Richmond School will remain vigilant in providing continual learning and growth opportunities for our children through the end of the 2019-20 school year using our learning format.
Given the Governor’s order, some activities traditionally taking place towards the end of the school year will need to be addressed differently. Forthcoming plans will be finalized and communicated to students, staff, and parents in the weeks ahead. These plans include such things as:
- Locker Clean-out and Pick-up
- Yearbook Distribution
- End of the Year Activity Determinations
- Summer School Options
- 2020-21 Scheduling
- 2020-21 School Year Start-up
While we are deeply saddened by the doors closing for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, we remain committed as ever to supporting our children’s academic, social, and emotional growth. Thank you for all of your efforts, patience, and perseverance during these challenging times.
-Dr. Jeanne Siegenthaler
March 13, 2020 COVID updates
March 13th, 2020Dear Richmond Families:With recent developments, we have decided to move forward with virtual learning starting next week. Staff will have professional development on Monday, March 16th with limited staff contact, and virtual learning (unless other individual student arrangements have been identified) will start on Tuesday, March 17th – Friday, March 20th
. Spring break will continue as planned from March 23-27. Any plans for re-opening school after spring break will be determined and communicated in the coming days. I had been meeting with the staff this week to prepare in case this were to transpire. Teachers will be working next Monday to prepare lessons and will be communicating with you. We appreciate your support as we learn this new process.
We have a survey
to find out if students have wifi and technology access at home. Only fill this out if you do not have internet access and/or need a device for home virtual learning. Families needing a device can check out a Chromebook at school.All programs, Board meetings, awards banquets, sporting activities, etc., will be canceled until March 29th
. We will be postponing the Richmond Musical until a further date. Musical practice will be held today.During this period, we strongly encourage families to follow the guidance and recommendations provided by the CDC regarding safe hygiene
. Students and staff who travel to any Level 2 or Level 3 country, or any area in the United States with a significant outbreak, will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to school or work.We understand the burden that this may place on families. My goal, per the CDC, is to reduce the exposure and virus spread as much as possible. I truly thank you for your support and understanding as we work through this together.Resources
from the American School Counselor Association on Coronavirus.Sincerely,Dr. Jeanne A. Siegenthaler
March 12, 2020 COVID updates
March 12th, 2020Dear Richmond Families:Thank you for your support with the recent changes in information on COVID-19. We have been taking direction from the Health Department and CDC. I care greatly about the health and safety of all staff and children here at Richmond.I am fortunate to have contact with all local superintendents. Over two dozen administrators met last week about this topic, and this morning and afternoon I was on a conference call with about 20 committed and dedicated school leaders who all want to take direction from public health authorities and communicate the same message to our parents and staff members. At this point in time, we will be in session.Our current attendance rate for student illness is at <2.5%. Our staff is preparing for the possibility of virtual or non-traditional education, if the need arises to close school. We will currently cancel all band and school performances through April 3rd
. If school is open after spring break, all staff and students who travel to a CDC level 3 or 2 country
will need to be quarantined for 14 days after their arrival back to the US. As an area consortium, we will reassess together to determine needs after Spring Break.The decisions that have had to be made recently have been unlike any other topic that has come into our schools in the past. I appreciate your patience and partnership as we work through this pandemic together.Sincerely,Dr. Jeanne A. SiegenthalerRichmond School District Administrator
March 5, 2020 COVID updates
Dear Richmond Families:In light of the growing public-health concern about coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to share what we know about this illness so far, and what our processes have been. Directives from the CDC, Waukesha Health Department and other local governmental organizations will help guide our actions as needed.
What We Know About Coronavirus
The coronavirus is a novel respiratory disease that has been spreading globally, much like the flu, since late 2019. It presents a threat due to its newness, its contagiousness, and the lack of a vaccine or a clear treatment plan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health officials are the trusted sources for the most accurate information, as well as updates on the status of vaccines and treatments (which are in development).
||Influenza (United States)
- Children under 5 years old· Adults 65 and older
- Pregnant women
- Those with pre-existing conditions (asthma, heart disease and stroke, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer)1
- Adults 60 and older
- Those with pre0existing health conditions (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease)
- Those with compromised immunity
*Data updated as of March 4, 2020; Source: New York Times.
Based on the data so far, it’s worth noting that children do not appear to be more susceptible to coronavirus than adults. In fact, no deaths have been reported among the young. Additionally, based on existing cases, it’s estimated that about 80 percent of people who are affected experience mild symptoms.
Unfortunately, coronavirus may live on certain surfaces at room temperature for several days. This, along with its rate of contagiousness, make it unlikely that the virus can be contained. And because its symptoms are similar to those of influenza, it initially may be hard to know if they are indicative of coronavirus or another illness.
What We All Can Do
Practice good hygiene. These habits include:
- Wash your hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water to protect yourself and others from germs.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Keep your hands away from your face, because germs routinely spread when a person touches something contaminated with germs, and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
If your child begins to develop cold and flu-like symptoms or become ill, minimize the spread to others by having them stay at home. If you think you or your child may have symptoms of coronavirus, call your healthcare provider immediately.
What Richmond Is Doing
- Reminding students about washing hands and use of hand sanitizer dispensers. We have 50 hand sanitizers throughout the building, filled with a hospital-grade sanitizer.
- Wiping surfaces with disinfectant wipes. Teachers wipe surfaces with disinfectant wipes and our night custodial staff sanitizes touch points- door knobs and water fountains.
- Preparing a strategy to teach via technology options if we would need to close because of concerns over the virus.
- Staying connected with local health officials.
While there is still more to learn about coronavirus, our intent in sharing this is to provide current information about the situation, and to offer steps we all can take to keep our staff and students healthy and safe.
Thanks for your partnership!
Dr. Jeanne Siegenthaler, District Administrator, Mrs. Lumi Schartle,Mrs. Melissa Grinker, RN, Richmond District Nurse