Mr. Kemper's Blog
I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones in good health and staying safe. Many of us are dealing with the heartache that comes from losing routines and the way we are used to connecting with our friends and family. Through all of this, I am amazed and grateful for the dedication of our employees who are providing support services, instruction and nutritional services to our students during this unprecedented and unpredictable time. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all of our parents and community during this time.
As you know, Stone Corral is closed and there is a possibility that we will remain closed through May 1, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is also likely that we will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. We will finalize and announce those plans as soon as it is prudent to do so – most likely close to the later part of April.
Here are guidelines and updates to help you and your family navigate the next several weeks:
How will the District determine if we should reopen or remain closed?
In consultation with County Superintendent Tim Hire and the other Tulare County school district Superintendents, we will use the following criteria to determine when it is safe to reopen our school sites:
- The California State Shelter in Place order has been lifted.
- The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in California has remained constant or has declined for a two week period
- The directive to social distance has been removed by the State of California.
- The limit placed on social gatherings has been removed by the State of California.
When will the District determine if we should reopen or remain closed?
Our current understanding is that COVID-19 cases will peak in early May. If that is the case, we will not resume school this academic year. We will make the determination toward the end of April when we have further information.
How does the school closure impact the school calendar?
We do not plan to extend the school year due to the school closure. Summer school is still scheduled to begin on June 10, 2020, though it may occur in an alternative format.
If the District remains closed, how will my student retrieve their belongings?
We are developing a plan that will allow for physical distancing and provide a way for students to retrieve their belongings after the Memorial Day holiday (May 25, 2020).
Will the 8th grade graduation ceremony still occur?
Traditional 8th grade graduation and other end-of-year activities will most likely be canceled due to requirements for social distancing. The District is exploring options to implement an alternative promotion ceremony.
What is the plan for continuing distance learning?
Because of the difficulty in accessing the internet in our area, it is hard to assign academic work via the internet. Most of us do not have adequate internet service at our homes to effectively use computers to access assignments and turn in work.
To ensure that all of our students have access to the curriculum, we will continue to provide learning opportunities in academic packet form.
Over the last few weeks, Stone Corral has developed a distance learning plan for our students once there is adequate internet signal strength available.
Here are the local internet providers listed by the state and their status as far as giving internet service in our area:
Comcast- We get our internet from fiber from Comcast. They don’t provide services to the community. Comcast is offering two months of free to Internet service through the Internet Essentials program. This offer is available to new and existing customers. Additionally, Xfinity WiFi is now available free of charge to the public.
AT&T- Will not connect to our community. AT&T is providing free access to its WiFi hotspots throughout the country.
Charter- Doesn’t provide services in our area. Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Additionally, all WiFi hotspots are now free of charge.
T-Mobile- Hot spot. T-Mobile is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users. The signal strength is limited in our area. We will be purchasing 25 hot spots for families to check out later in April.
Verizon- Hot spot. Verizon is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers negatively impacted by the global crisis.
California Connects California Community Colleges students are eligible for this mobile hotspot service, powered by Sprint, which offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge for only $19.99 a month.
With Board approval, we plan to add equipment to our school sites that would allow the District to become an Internet service provider and check out our own hotspots.
While we are looking forward to learning more about Governor Newsom’s announced partnership with Google, we will not solely rely on that partnership.
Breakfast and lunch grab-n-go meals
The school will be serving lunch and breakfast in a unique way. Lunch and breakfast for the week will be passed out on one day only- every Monday, 11:30-12:30. Students will receive a big meal package of 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches on this day. The package will be big, so please have a way to safely bring the meal packages home.
How will Special Education Services be provided during the school closure?
Students who receive special education services will continue to receive services and support.
For students who typically receive instruction in a general education classroom, teachers will collaborate with education specialists to provide needed modifications to lessons.
How will you support English Learners?
Teachers will modify instruction for English Learners and the District will provide additional learning resources. Additionally, we are exploring software options to assist in English Language acquisition.
Will summer school still occur?
We have a team of educational experts looking into our options for summer school. We will have summer school offerings, but they may be provided in a different format than our traditional classrooms.
This letter, along with other informational updates are available on our website. For the latest updates regarding school closures, meal sites, and instructional resources, I encourage you to continue to visit our website at www.stonecorralschool.com.
Please take the stay at home orders seriously and use physical distancing when you are outside of your home. Helping to ensure the health and emotional well-being of our citizens is the most important job we have as a community. Learning is not going to look and feel the same as what we are used to; however, we all can continue to grow emotionally during this time.