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DCSD Informational Letter
DCSD Informational Letter
Tanja Brown
Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March 24, 2020

Dear Divide County School District Families,

On March 19, 2020, Governor Burgum announced the extended and indefinite closure of all North Dakota schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Burgum requested schools across the state to continue educating their students through the end of the closure through the use of distance and e-learning platforms. The Governor’s Orders require district e-learning plans to be fully implemented by April 1, 2020. 

Our teachers and staff have been working diligently over the last several days to meet the Governor’s expectations while keeping the needs of our students, families, and community at the forefront. This shift in educational expectations to a mostly digital platform is certainly unknown territory for many families AND educators. Please be assured that DCSD staff will do their best to support students and parents as we transition to this new learning experience. We also ask for your cooperation and patience as we travel these unchartered waters together. 

We are aware there are many questions about how everything will work going forward. We will try to answer those questions the best we can and hopefully ease some minds. 

What if I don’t have internet access or a device?

You probably received a call or two over the last few days inquiring about your access to internet and devices. DCE and DCHS will work with each family to make sure your students have a device. Appropriate use and loan agreements will need to be completed to use school-owned devices. The school district is in contact with local internet providers as well as wireless providers in an effort to assist in bringing internet to your home.  In spite of their efforts, some homes will not have access provided immediately, so in the meantime, students will have alternate paper packet assignments provided to them. 

When can my student get his or her belongings?

Teachers and staff are carefully packing up all locker and desk contents to send home student personal belongings. Student “School Bags” are being prepared and will include any educational resource items that your student will need for school. This may include textbooks, workbooks, iPads, Chromebooks, pencils, etc. 

Thursday, March 26 from 1 p.m.–7 p.m. and Friday, March 27 from 10 a.m.–12 noon

Families can pick up their student belongings at their student’s school. Individuals other than school personnel will not be allowed to enter the building. You are asked to practice social distancing outside the school and school staff will bring your belongings to you on the sidewalk. 

Rural Families – Thursday, March 26 10 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Regular route buses will deliver rural families their belongings on Thursday, March 26 during the late morning to early afternoon hours. However, belongings will not be left at an unoccupied residence. If no one will be able to meet the bus to receive their belongings Thursday, please notify the district office (701-965-6313) on Wednesday to cancel your drop-off. We will work with you to make alternate pick-up plans. 

How do we sign up for the Child Nutrition Meal Plan?

All families in our district are eligible to participate in the meal program regardless of free or reduced status. Meals are free to all children ages 1-18. Please call the district office (701-965-6313) to be included in this program. Meals will be packed for 2-3 days at a time to keep daily pick-up and delivery to a minimum. Meals will be available at the high school back entrance to the kitchen between 10:00 – 11:30 a.m., starting Wednesday, March 25. 

What platforms will be used to deliver instruction?

Divide County Elementary will be utilizing Microsoft Teams. Each elementary student will be receiving a school email address to access their account. More specific information about how you can assist your student with this step will be included in your student’s “School Bag”. 

Divide County High School students will be using Google Classroom as their educational platform.  Directions for using Google Classroom will be provided. 

Will we need to follow the school day schedule?

Families will be able to adjust their school day schedule according to what works best for them. Teachers will be going LIVE on their learning platforms at different times throughout the day, but lessons and assignments can also be recorded and viewed at a more convenient time. Schedules will be included in your student’s “School Bag”. Suggested times spent on each subject will also be made available. 

When does e-learning begin?

Governor Burgum has directed that all e-learning should be fully implemented by April 1, 2020. We will begin rolling things out ahead of that to make sure all students are able to gain access to the necessary platforms and allow for practice through simple tasks and assignments. Tentative plans are to gradually begin this roll-out Thursday afternoon or Friday.  We encourage you to ask questions and let us know when you encounter any difficulties with technology. 

Because this means of learning is going to be a new experience for most of our teachers and the students, it will require as much assistance from parents as feasible in order for this to be successful for both ends of the learning exploration.  Please don’t hesitate to call a teacher or principal if you have any questions or need assistance with facilitating learning for your child(ren).  This will only be a success if we have open communication and cooperation from both ends and we trust our community is ready to make that happen.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we move into this new experience for all of us.  

Sincerely,

Divide County School Administration