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NKSD and State COVID 19 Response - Updated 4/24/2020

NKSD continues to work closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health and to follow their guidance. We will keep you informed as we get updated information. 

 

4/24/2020

NKSD Parents and Staff:

Following the direction of Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Education, NKSD will continue with Distance Learning through the remainder of the school year. The following professional planning and vacation dates are mandated by RIDE and will be added to the NKSD school year calendar. These are incorporated into the 180 mandatory days.  Our last day of school in NK (June 15) has not changed.  An updated calendar for NKSD will be published on the district website this Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 6: Professional Planning Day (no school for students)

Friday, May 15: Vacation Day for Students and Staff

Wednesday, May 20: Professional Planning Day (no school for students)

Monday, June 1: Professional Planning Day (no school for students)

 

  • High school AP Exams scheduled for May 15 and 20 (set internationally by the College Board) are still taking place.
  • Per the Governor’s order, Rhode Island Interscholastic League spring season sports are cancelled as are all other school-related extracurricular programs. 
  • The NKHS Graduation Committee is working on alternative plans to our traditional graduation ceremony, and we hope to have an announcement about these plans before mid-May. It is our aim to make this experience a meaningful tribute to our NKHS class of 2020 graduates while still doing so in ways that are safe and within the recommended practices of the RI Department of Health. 
  • All NKSD schools are also reviewing alternative plans for other end of year ceremonies and promotions. You will be hearing more about these plans soon as well.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. The work we are doing, students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators, and food service staff, all coming together, has been truly remarkable!  Thank you all for your commitment and creativity to support our students and the NKSD Community!

Phil Auger

NKSD Superintendent

 

From Governor Raimondo:

For parents who need guidance on how to support their kids with distance learning, I am proud to announce that RIDE, working with the Highlander Institute, has expanded their distance learning helpline to support parents and families. Parents can access this service by calling the Helpline at 909-414-4927 or going online at highlanderinstitute.org.

 

I also want to remind everyone, particularly parents, about Kids Link. Kids Link is a 24/7 hotline that parents can call when their child is feeling excessive anger or sadness, lashing out at siblings, friends, and adults, having severe worries, or hurting himself/herself or others. The number is 1-855-543-5465.

 

 

4/3/2020

 

NKSD Parents:

I want to inform you of a NKSD driver of Bus 14, Stewart Tiley, who has been diagnosed with COVID19.  Mr. Tiley was first symptomatic on March 21, eight days after schools had been closed.  This is not a case in which the Department of Health notified the school department to advise about contact tracing. I am sending you this email tonight because Mr. Tiley was featured in a local news so try this evening, and members of our community are understandably worried. Mr. Tiley wants all to know that he is recovering well.

Phil Auger  

 

 

4/1/2020

NKSD Parents:

Thank you for the tremendous response we received from you in our parent survey after week one. We received 621 responses to the survey and 75% of parents left us with specific comments.   We are pleased that the responses were generally very positive, and we thank you and sincerely appreciate the many appreciative and encouraging comments!  

 

We also realize there are areas where adjustments are needed.  Listed below are the themes we have found and some explanation, suggestions, and adjustments we are making to address the concerns.

  

  1. Slow internet concern: NKSD (and most schools in RI), through our internet service provider OSHEAN, is fortunate enough to have fiber optic cables that run from RI to NYC and Boston without ever hitting the internet when students and staff are working on campus.  Now that schools are closed, all of that traffic is being pushed out through the Internet (and not through the school's private fiber network).  In RI alone, that means that 142,000 students (plus teachers) who were using Google services three weeks ago through the school's private networks are all using public internet service providers (Cox Communications and Verizon).  These new users, coupled with more than 80% of the US population working from home is putting stress on all service providers.  We have found that the mornings are the "slowest" times and encourage everyone to find alternative times to engage whenever possible.    

 

  1. More work than usual being assigned: Whether the work assigned is perceived as more or is actually more may varies teacher by teacher, and student by student, but we do recognize that this new context for learning may be making what we normally do seem like a whole lot more. We are having these discussions at all of our schools and will work to make any needed adjustments. The days off in our April calendar should also help to alleviate some of this stress.

 

  1. Not enough face-time, whole class sessions: While some of our teachers are experiencing good results with live sessions, we are not requiring these district wide. We find that too many of these are not getting the participation we would desire because of student and family scheduling problems and slow internet.  Teachers are available to have direct interaction with any student who needs it every school day. We feel that is the best we can do under the circumstances.  

 

  1. Communications: We agree with the many comments we have received that fewer emails, and at more regular times, will help to lessen the anxiety of feeling overwhelmed with information. To that end, we are moving to have all teachers post all required work by 9am each day, and we will do more to condense school-wide and district-wide emails.  

 

NKSD SCHOOL CALENDAR:

In the spirit of condensing communications, I am also sharing with you the updated NKSD Calendar, which was just approved by the NK School Committee this evening.   This updated calendar reflects Governor Raimondo’s orders for distance learning at least through the month of April with newly announced days off for students on April 3, 9, and 17.  Those days are not required to be made up in June. Of course, we will continue to update you per the Governor’s future communications as needed.

 

 

3/30/2020

 

NKSD Parents and Staff:

Thank you all for your hard work and patience with one another during this period of change and anxiety.  I have never been more proud of our NKSD educators, our parents, and our students for the spirit of support and cooperation you all bring to this difficult period.  It is important that we do all we can to continue with meaningful learning for our students, but we also need to remind ourselves of the challenges we all face with our own family responsibilities and the need to be flexible about how we teach and learn and go about our experience of school.

 

The following are updates to the NKSD calendar per Governor Raimondo’s announcements today (3/30/20):

  1. NKSD and all RI Public Schools will continue with a distance learning format through at least the month of April.  The Governor and the Rhode Island Department of Education will reassess at the end of April about further school year programming.
  2. NKSD and every district in RI will observe the same April calendar which will include:
  3. Friday, April 3 and Friday, April 17 will be days off from school for students. NKSD teachers and staff will use that time to get caught up with individual and group planning.
  4. Thursday, April 9 and Friday, April 10 will be days off from school for all students and staff.
  5. The Governor is announcing a special news conference for this Thursday, April 2.  She is inviting students to submit questions to her. More on this is coming to you via our principals.
  6. Governor Raimondo is also encouraging and challenging all RI students to read every day in the month of April.  
  7. Internet Access - Please see the following notes below - NKSD will do all we can to support you.

 

 

  • For families who have a smartphone available in the home -  Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint are now allowing families to turn on hotspots with no activation, usage or overage fees.
 

Sincerely,

Phil Auger

 

 

3/27/2020

NKSD is excited to announce our new Distance Learning Web Page and Technical Support options. Please check them out at this link, Distance Learning and Technical Support

 

3/22/2020

Technology Update: 3/22/2020

 

In the upcoming days, the NKSD IT Department will be finalizing the details on how we will support the NKSD Chromebooks that are currently at home with students.  In the meantime, if you need assistance with the device please reach out to the school your child attends and they will do their best to assist you and if necessary open up a support ticket on your behalf.

 

A couple of notes regarding technology:

  • GoGuardian - Under normal circumstances GoGuardian is disabled when the Chromebook leaves the school network.  In an effort to allow teachers to connect with students, we are activating GoGuardian while the devices are at home between 7 am and 4 pm.   During this time window if the teacher has GoGuardian active the teacher will be able to view the student’s Chromebook screen. For more information on GoGuardian please visit this link, https://www.goguardian.com/teacher/
  • It is possible that during a “live” video conference lesson the teacher might be recording the lesson so that other students can watch it at a later time/date.  If this concerns you, there are two options. The first is that your child can skip the live lesson and watch the recorded session later in the day. The second option is to choose and watch the live lesson and turn your child’s camera off and mute the microphone.
  • If you have a child at home who does not have access to a computer/laptop/Chromebook we are here to help. Our goal is to provide every student in grades 1-12 with a device.  If you are in need of a device please call 268-6504 and leave your child's name, school they attend, grade and best contact phone number and we will be in contact with you on when and where to pick up the device.

 

 

3/19/2020

North Kingstown School Department offers lunch and breakfast to ALL ages 18 and younger at no cost,

RAIN OR SHINE                                                                                               

 Monday - Friday 

  • 11:00 - 12:00 PM at Wilson Park.
  • 12:15 - 1:15 PM. at McGinn Park    

 3/18/2020

NKSD Parents and Staff:

Following Governor Raimondo’s announcement today, the North Kingstown School Department will be in session and will conduct school for all students via Distance Learning for the period of Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3. These days of Distance Learning do count towards students’ mandatory 180 days of school. After these ten days of Distance Learning, Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Education will assess the overall situation in Rhode Island and will make further announcements about programming afterwards.

The Distance Learning Plan is very comprehensive and utilize a strength of the NKSD, its strong technology infrastructure and our faculty and staff’s capacity to engage in multiple formats including online learning.

 

Starting on Monday, March 23, students and parents will begin to receive detailed information from principals and teachers about each student’s expectations for engaging in Distance Learning.  Students will participate with their teachers via remote and on-line instruction which will include the use of a variety of resources including video lessons and use of the educational software the district already utilizes.  Teachers will be in contact daily with instruction and “office hours” time in which students are invited to ask questions and seek assistance with their learning.  Additionally, many of our teachers, guidance counselors, and support staff will be available to you and will be actively reaching out to students and families to lend their support in any way we can and to help you stay engaged and productive with your learning.

 

I want you to know that I have been truly impressed with the expertise of our NKSD educators and proud of their team spirit and selfless response to this crisis.  Please know that they, too, are affected by the responsibilities of social distancing and will have family responsibilities and child care issues to balance with their work.  This will be a new experience for us all, and I ask in advance that we all be patient with one another.  I am confident that while our distance learning plans will not be the same as our regular in-school program, this format will provide rich learning experiences and will keep our students engaged in meaningful learning when they most need it. 

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, students in grades 6-12 should log into their Google Classroom. Parents of students PK-5 will receive email communication from your child’s Elementary School.

We are in uncharted waters, and as such I would like to clarify the responsibilities of the various members of our classroom and school communities in supporting Distance Learning.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Students will be responsible to complete the learning tasks that grade level teachers send home.
  • Students will be responsible for log-in to any online learning tools that have been assigned by the teacher.
  • Students will be thoughtful and kind in regard to online communications with peers and teachers.  It is expected that all online activity be school appropriate.
  • Students in grades 6-12 will be expected to log in to Google Classroom to complete required assignments.
    • Students will participate in learning by completing assigned work and responding to teacher posts/prompts.
    • Students will communicate with their teacher if there are circumstances that limit their ability to complete work by the specified time.
    • Students will ask teachers for help if they are confused by a lesson or feel they are falling behind. 

Teacher Responsibilities:

  • In Pre-K, teachers will be reaching out to parents to help them facilitate learning activities with their children.
  • In K-5, parents will receive assignments from teachers via email.
  • In grades 6-12, teachers will have all learning activities posted in Google Classroom for students.
  • Lesson plans will be modified appropriately to be delivered virtually.
  • As much as possible, accommodations for IEP, ELL, and 504 students will be included in the development of lesson plans.
  • Teachers will provide instructions to students on how students will submit completed assignments. 
  • Teachers will be available for office hours to respond to student emails, questions, etc.
  • Teachers may conduct live check-ins/discussions through services such as Google Meet/Hangouts. 
  • Counselors, School Psychologists, and other mental health support staff will check in with students on a regular basis.  

Administrator Responsibilities:

  • Provide key communication and direction for the school community.
  • Establish schedules and routines by school.
  • Support parents, teachers, and students in implementation.
  • Secure and distribute resources as needed.
  • Supervise instruction and provide feedback to teachers
  • Problem solve, innovate, and plan for students, staff, and parent needs.

Parent Responsibilities:

  • Parents will support/establish daily schedule that will develop a positive routine for daily learning.
  • Parents will remind students of distance learning expectations and encourage students to be working diligently on assignments.
  • Parents will encourage students to use office hours with their teachers.

Student Attendance:

  • Attendance in a Distance Learning environment is defined as “engaged with the assigned material.” This may include:
    • Submission of an academic assignment online
    • Submission of an assessment online
    • Live presence on an assessment
    • Documentation of student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction
    • An email to the teacher demonstrating the student is on-line, or has initiated contact with the teacher to ask a question about an academic matter
    • A live posting by the student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the teacher
    • A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing the students participating in an online academic discussion
    • Recent edits in google docs (timestamps)
    • Physical attendance in an online video or text chat live
    • For our younger students, a text or email from a caregiver to the teacher stating or demonstrating (via photo) that work has been completed
    • For our younger students, students bring in completed work upon return from leave (such as reading logs signed, worksheets returned, projects etc.)
    • Teachers can check Websites where classrooms are set up for usage (such as Dreambox, Lexia, or IXL.

I fully recognize that Distance Learning does not replace the in-person interactions we so value. However, this approach will ensure continuity of learning in this uncertain time. Many thanks go to our teachers, administrators, and support staff who have been working incredibly hard to prepare for this situation. Please be sure to communicate with your child’s teachers, principal, or me if you have questions, and look for follow-up communication from your child’s principal with more details.

3/17/2020

 

An announcement is regarding technology access for students. 

 

While there has not been a formal announcement regarding school closure, we anticipate hearing more details within the next 24-48 hours.  If you have a child at home who does not have access to a computer/laptop/Chromebook we are here to help. Our goal is to provide every student in grades 1-12 with a device.  If you are in need of a device please call 268-6504 and leave your child's name, school they attend, grade and best contact phone number and we will be in contact with you on when and where to pick up the device.


Regarding internet service, if your family receives free or reduced lunch from the district, Cox Communications is offering free internet service with remote support for 30 days to families who qualify and signup.  The district has worked with Cox Communications to expedite NK families who qualify for these services. If you wish to sign up for this offer please visit www.cox.com/c2c to sign up.

 

Updated locations/times for lunch pickups.

 

NKSD Free Lunches will be offered for pick up at 
NKHS 11:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Davisville Middle School 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

 

3/15/2020

As a result of North Kingstown Schools closing, we are offering free lunch and breakfast to anyone ages 1-18 years old.

Lunch is served Monday - Friday starting March 16th

  • 11:00 - 12:00 PM at Wilson Park.
  • 12:15 - 1:15 PM. at McGinn Park

 

No need to get out of your vehicle, drive up and receive your free meals!

Anyone with food allergies or sensitivities please contact us directly at talk_feedable@nksd.net or by calling 401-268-6514.

IMPORTANT:
*One breakfast and lunch per child per day, children must be present to receive meals.
*Notifications will go out if times and locations change.  Look for updates by following our new NKSD - Talk Feedable Facebook page.   

 

 

3/13/2020

 

Members of the NKSD community,
Governor Raimondo has announced that next week, starting Monday, March 16, will be a vacation week from school to replace our regularly scheduled week off in April.


NKSD district leadership, teachers, and staff will continue to organize online learning plans should we need these in subsequent weeks.

All school functions will be canceled next week, including sports.

I will communicate with staff and the general community soon and regularly with more details on how we will proceed from here.

Thank you all for your support and patience during this uniquely challenging time.

 

3/12/2020

 

Members of the NKSD Community,

Following the recommendation of the Rhode Island Department of Health and Rhode Island Department of Education, the North Kingstown School Department will follow the following protocols:

  1. NKSD will allow no more than 250 people in any singular indoor space. This will apply to all school day activities and sporting events.   This includes cafeterias at lunch time.
  2. Effective immediately, NKSD will postpone for two weeks (March 30) afternoon and evening NKSD special programs and/or events, including concerts, plays, PTO events, awards nights, dances, etc.).  
  3. Spring sports will begin on schedule following the Rhode Island Interscholastic League guidelines, again with no indoor event of more than 250 people in attendance.
  4. Principals and event coordinators will notify their communities about any events that may be postponed, cancelled or modified.   
  5. Until further notice, all district field trips will be suspended. 
  6. Our schools will set limitations on non-essential visitors to the schools for the next two weeks (March 30).
  7. Many have asked about how the NKSD would proceed in the event of possible school closures.  If school closures occur, the school department has prepared academic materials to allow students to continue to be engaged with learning activities (not to make up for the time out of school). 

In the event of school closure, these materials will be posted online and made available on each school’s website. If you are concerned about not having internet access at home, and you would like to have these materials printed out ahead of time, please contact your school's main office directly so that they can send materials home with your child.

NKSD remains committed to the safety of our students, staff, and our entire learning community. Please feel free to reach out to your principal and/or event coordinator if you have questions about activities moving forward. We will certainly keep the community posted as conditions continue to evolve and we learn more from the RI Department of Health.

Phil Auger,

NKSD Superintendent

  

3/3/2020

As a reminder…

Because human coronaviruses most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, Rhode Islanders are reminded to take the same measures that healthcare providers recommend annually to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses.

  • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
  • Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand gel.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Flu is spread through coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands. Cover your coughs and sneezes to prevent others from getting sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods.
  • Keep surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, and toys for children) clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
  • CDC does not recommend face masks if you are well. Face masks are necessary to prevent sick people from getting other people sick.
  • If you or your child have a fever, it is now recommended you remain home until you are fever free for 48 hours without fever reducing medication like Tylenol.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.

We will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

For more information on the coronavirus, refer to the links below:

RI DOH/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html 

Taking Care of Your Family During Coronavirus and Other Emerging Infectious Disease Outbreaks