News/Updates

 

March 15, 2020

To: All VCS Families

Re: Extended eLearning

 

As we transition to eLearning due to extended school closure, we want to ensure that we are providing our families with information that will assist them in making this as positive an experience as possible.

Please access the Parent and Student eLearning Guidance here. This document will provide you with details concerning the expectations and delivery of digital instruction.  This information will also be on our website under Departments->Academics->eLearning.

We also want to ensure our students and families are provided with the tools necessary to complete work and participate in digital class activities.

  • All middle and high school students should have brought their devices home.
  • Elementary students who need devices may contact Mrs. Brandie Muha at bmuha@valpo.k12.in.us.
    • Elementary devices may be picked up Monday at your child(ren)’s school after notifying Mrs. Muha. If you are unable to pick up on Monday, March 16, 2020, the option for pick-up will be available at the Administration building beginning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
  • Please be advised that parents are able to access the building on Monday, if needed, to gather any forgotten or needed belongings or to pick up medication.
  • Comcast is currently offering low-income families who are new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service. More information can be found here.

 

For this extended eLearning experience, our district will be running eLearning days on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday.  This means that your child will have access to their teacher on these days. Teachers will be spending Tuesdays and Thursdays preparing lessons, providing feedback to students, and grading assignments. Your child is still able to access and complete work any day or time during the week.

We appreciate you and your partnership in your child’s education.  We know that it is a difficult scenario for all families to navigate this many days of online learning,, but working together we can make this a meaningful experience for our students in order to ensure the outcomes necessary for their continued growth and development.

 

Sincerely,

Nicholas Allison

Mrs. Brandie Muha

 

VCS Block V logo

 

Nicholas Allison & Brandie Muha

Directors of Education

Valparaiso Community Schools

3801 N. Campbell St., Valparaiso, IN 46385

#WEAREVALPO

 

 

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March 13, 2020

 

Dear Valparaiso Community Schools families,

 

As new information and recommendations have been emerging rapidly concerning COVID-19, Valparaiso Community Schools will be closed for all in-person instruction from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, April 10, 2020. Spring break will remain as scheduled for the week of March 23, 2020.

 

Students will participate in eLearning during the weeks of March 16 - March 20, 2020 and March 30 - April 10, 2020. Updated eLearning guidance will be forthcoming. 

 

Valparaiso Community Schools will have a tentative reopening date of Monday, April 13, 2020. We will keep the school community informed of changes as we move through this unprecedented situation. Continue to monitor your email and school website for updated information.

 

We reached this decision after consulting with state and local officials in an effort to adhere to Governor Holcomb’s recommendations to curb the advancement of COVID-19. We understand that closing our schools will have a significant impact on our families. We will continue to work with our community partners to identify support services and resources.

 

In order to ensure our students are prepared to participate in eLearning activities beginning next week, our staff have taken the following actions:

 

  • Students in grades 6 through 12 have been reminded to bring home their school-issued devices, chargers, and any necessary books and materials to continue learning.

  • Elementary students who have opted-in to receive a device to complete eLearning have received a school-issued device and charger to take home and use for e-learning assignments.

  • Elementary families who need to opt-in to receive a device during this period may contact Mrs. Brandie Muha, Director of Elementary Education at bmuha@valpo.k12.in.us.

  • Teachers will provide students with any additional curricular materials they may need, including, but not limited to, workbooks, novels, packets, etc. Additionally, students have been encouraged to bring home anything else they may need from their lockers or desks. 

 

Please be advised that parents are able to access the building on Monday, if needed, to gather any forgotten or needed belongings or to pick up medication. Beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020 buildings will not be accessible during the period of school closure. If access is needed, you need to contact Dr. Lauck directly at jlauck@valpo.k12.in.us
 

FREE MEALS FOR KIDS:

 

VCS School Nutrition will be providing families with an opportunity to obtain two free grab-and-go meals per child daily for children ages 18 and under.   These meals will be available at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Monday through Friday, from 11:00-12:30 P.M. starting March 17, 2020 through April 10, 2020. 

 

Meal Pick Up Procedure:

  • Use south parking lot between Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Thomas Jefferson Elementary. 1600 Roosevelt Road, Valparaiso, IN 46383

  • Children must be present to receive the meals. 

  • Parents  and children must remain in the vehicle.

  • Staff will distribute two meals per child drive-through style.

 

Please remember that the following items will remain in place through April 10, 2020: 

 

  • All scheduled field trips, including curricular, extra-curricular, and athletic trips, have been cancelled through April 10, 2020.

  • All activities, programs, and performances have been cancelled through April 10, 2020.

  • The Indiana High School Athletic Association will host the Gymnastics State meet with no spectators. The Boys Basketball Regional competition planned for this Saturday in Michigan City has been postponed.  Please visit their website at www.ihsaa.org for details and the most up-to-date information.

 

We will continue to remain in contact with public health officials, city and county leadership, and neighboring school districts to keep you updated with new information pertaining to school operations. We can work together to protect each other and slow the progression of COVID-19.

 

We thank you for your support and partnership in this effort.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Julie Lauck

Dr. Julie Lauck

Superintendent, Valparaiso Community Schools

 

 

 

 

March 12, 2020

Dear VCS Parents/Guardians and Community,

Valparaiso Community Schools is committed to the health and safety of our students and staff. We understand that information about COVID-19 has been developing rapidly and from multiple sources. In some instances, all of the facts may not be present which may cause panic or concern.

Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Porter County at this time, VCS will continue preparing for any precautionary directives issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Indiana State Department of Health, the Porter County Health Department, and the Indiana Department of Education.

To that effect, an announcement was made to students at both middle schools and the high school to begin the practice of bringing their Chromebooks, chargers, and essential classroom materials home beginning tonight in the event that outside agencies call for the immediate closure of schools. This announcement was made out of an abundance of caution. In the event of a school closure, elementary parents will receive information regarding school issued devices for students who are in need of one.

As the scope of this situation changes frequently, Valparaiso Community Schools has been taking proactive measures to maintain a safe learning environment for our school community. Our custodial staff is conducting deeper cleanings and disinfecting frequently touched areas in our usual cleaning regimen.

Below are the CDC recommended precautionary measures to know and share with your child:

  • Wash your hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  
  • Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the garbage.
  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.   

We will continue to communicate with you as we receive updates from the CDC, the Indiana State Department of Health, the Porter County Health Department, and the Indiana Department of Education that impact our schools and community.

 

 02/25/2020

Preventing the Spread of Flu  

As you are probably aware, Flu season has officially started in Indiana, with emergency departments and outpatient provider clinics reporting influenza-like illness in their patients.   There are many strains of influenza that are currently present during this time of year. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring developments around an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. While the CDC considers this a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk to the general American public and Porter County is considered low at this time.  We will continue to work closely with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Education will share information with the school community if the risk level increases.

In an effort to prevent the spread of any illness or flu, please remember to:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; 
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick; 
  • Get plenty of sleep; 
  • Eat healthy food and drink plenty of fluids; 
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue or into the crook of your arm. Then throw the tissue in the trash;
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces; and 
  • Stay home if ill for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. (fever free without any fever reducing medications)

Contact the school if your child will not be in attendance.  Please inform them of symptoms or diagnosis of your child. This way we can track attendance related to illness within buildings.   

Thanks for all you do to help keep your child healthy and ready to learn. 

Feel free to contact your building Nurse or Joy Sunday BSN, RN Director of Health Services. 219/531/1447 or jsunday@valpo.k12.in.us

 

 

 

 

IMMUNIZATION UPDATE: Key changes from last year include:
  • Hepatitis A (2 doses) is now required for all grades
  • HPV has been added as a recommendation for grades 6-12.
  • Annual Influenza has been added as a recommendation for all ages.
  +  Meningococcal Serogroup B (MenB) has remained a recommendation for grade 12. 
         Meningococcal B is an admissions requirement for many Indiana Colleges.

 Indiana State Department of Health  2020–21 Required and Recommended School Immunizations

REQUIRED

                                 

3 yrs -Pre K 

• 3 Hepatitis B

• 4 DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus & Pertussis)

• 3 Polio

• 1 Varicella (Chickenpox)

• 1 MMR (Measles Mumps & Rubella

RECOMMENDED

• Annual Influenza

K-5th grade

• 3 Hepatitis B

• 5 DTaP

• 4 Polio

• 2 MMR

• 2 Varicella

• 2 Hepatitis A

RECOMMENDED

• Annual Influenza

       

6th-11th grade

• 3 Hepatitis B

• 5 DTaP

• 4 Polio

• 2 MMR

• 2 Varicella

2 Hepatitis A

• 1 MCV4 (Meningococcal)

• 1 Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis)

RECOMMENDED

• Annual Influenza

• 2 HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

   

 

 

12th grade

• 3 Hepatitis B

• 5 DTaP

• 4 Polio

• 2 MMR

• 2 Varicella

• 2 Hepatitis A

• 2 MCV4

• 1 Tdap

RECOMMENDED

• Annual Influenza

• 2 MenB (Meningococcal)

• 2/3 HPV