Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Dear Oak Creek-Franklin Families,
As time passes, it will be impossible to know if public service providers overreacted or did too much, but it will be very clear if we under reacted or did too little.
Since our last family message Sunday, we have seen the recommendations for public gatherings move from 250, to 50, to 10. In recent days, much of our dedicated staff has worked around the clock, contributing to contingencies and pitching in. We employ nearly a thousand people, and in the days since we closed, we have been inundated with requests from staff to come in anyway, to volunteer in any way possible, to help--we have had school leaders essentially working non-stop since the 9th; one is not generally called to work in education or public health without that wiring. Our efforts to provide week-day meals to our students, with the help of extraordinary partners like the Salvation Army, expands today to include strategic delivery sites throughout the community--and will continue during spring break, and at least through April 3rd.
We continue to plan to be out at least until Governor Tony Evers' tentative return date of April 6th, and perhaps beyond.
We have seen Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett state, "This is the most serious challenge the world has faced since World War II." We have learned of the first confirmed case of the virus in Oak Creek from the Health Department. And moments after sharing plans with our staff for a District-wide inservice today, President Donald Trump announced new restrictions on gatherings of people, limiting them to ten.
Upon learning of the President's announcement, we immediately canceled our professional development slated for today. No amount of social distancing could reasonably be expected to be sustained when you bring an entire staff back into a school. Our professional development model in education largely consists of gathering together. We will now work together on this next challenge: planning without massing our staff or community together. These are unprecedented times, to say the least.
Our canceled inservice today was designed to facilitate a large scale, rapid deployment of wireless hot-spots, Chromebooks, and general extended learning materials. However, following the President's guidance, we will avoid anything that could potentially bring the public together in mass.
Our Teaching and Learning team in partnership with our Information Technology department has developed a feasible plan to extend learning opportunities to your family.
4K-5th grade families may pick up materials during the days and times below if you cannot access the materials in the links from your principals.
6th, 7th, 11th, and 12th grade families may pick up a device if needed during the days and times below.
The materials are designed for extended learning. No one is required to participate--health, safety, work schedules, childcare--the decisions made in your own household matter most.
If you choose to come, please plan for a drive-thru style pick up at your child(rens) school(s) as identified below. We understand a timeframe given may not work for your schedule, in that case, please stop anytime Thursday or Friday that works best for your family. If you know a neighbor or friend cannot pick up their child's materials, please feel free to pick it up for them.
Thursday, March 19th:
- 7:00 am - 11:00 am Last name beginning with A-M
- 11:00 am - 4:30 pm Last name beginning with N-Z
Friday, March 20th:
- 7:00 am - 11:00 am Last name beginning with N-Z
- 11:00 am - 4:30 pm Last name beginning with A-M
Your principal will be sending a message today that will include the following information. A map of your school with the pick-up traffic pattern, so we can expedite this process for all families. The message will also include a link to digital books that are available to your child free of charge. We have put together non-screen time Extended Learning Opportunities for our 4K-5th grade families as well. A PDF of those 4K-5th grade resources will also be linked in your principal's message. If you can access these links and digital book resources, there is no need for you to visit an elementary school on Thursday or Friday. For our 6th, 7th, 11th, and 12th grade families, if you need one, we will be assigning a Chromebook and charger to your student. The Extended Learning Opportunities for 6-12th grade can be pushed out electronically and will be included in the email from your principal as well.
For families that do not have access to the internet, we will have hotspots (which allow wifi access) available for check out at the district office Thursday and Friday from 7:00 am - 4:30 pm. The District Office is located at 7630 S. 10th Street, Oak Creek; you can walk-up, or call 414-768-5886, and we will walk a hotspot out to you.
Right now, our schools have very limited staff. Should you need a coat, or a clarinet, medications stored on site, or something else, please call your student's school, and we will do our best to accommodate you. PLEASE, if you would like to enter a building for any reason, do it on Wednesday.
The District will continue to share our most up to date information and most recent family messages on the Coronavirus Information page on our District website. Please know your school district leaders, local health officials, and community partners are working around the clock in order to take preventive measures to keep our community safe.
On behalf of our Board and our entire school community, thank you for your continued support. It is moments like this where the true character of our community is revealed.
Daniel Unertl, J.D.
Superintendent, Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District