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SHESC COVID-19 Response Updates and Continuous Learning Resources


At Smoky Hill Education Service Center, health and safety are our foremost concern, while we continue to offer services, help and guidance in the most consistent way possible. 

Following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Kansas State Department of Education, most workshops and events scheduled at SHESC
 are online-only "virtual" offerings, until further notice. Also, for the time being, all SHESC buildings are mostly closed to the public - with the exception of pre-approved events.

Please note we may make additional changes to delivery methods later on. Follow us on social media and be sure to register at our NEW escWorks event management portal to ensure you always have the most current information about all of our events - including whether each will be offered online or in-person!

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we continue to serve and support your needs.


The landscape of education in Kansas has been profoundly reshaped as state leaders work to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

During these unprecedented times, Smoky Hill Education Service Center is here to provide support and guidance, while still protecting the health of SHESC employees and those at our member institutions.

SHESC administration has already made the following changes, based on recommendations from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas State Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control:

· Offices are closed to non-employees, but staff can still help via phone, email or videoconferencing.

· SHESC travel has been restricted.

· Inservice training, workshops, and events are still available for professional development, but are exclusively online until further notice.

· All Superintendents’ Advisory Council (SAC) meetings will be held via Zoom.

Also of note is how COVID-19 is affecting our volume purchasing program. Efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus are resulting in supply-chain issues across the economy and are also affecting some orders placed through Smoky Hill Education Service Center.

As of August, suppliers have informed SHESC that item stocks are generally available and delivery is not delayed. However, custodial supplies, sanitizers and disinfectants, and personal protective equipment are mostly in short supply, out of stock, or unavailable. Some items are experiencing delays of one to three weeks (or longer) before delivery. For urgent needs, please contact Adam Pracht, Volume Purchasing Coordinator, at vp@smokyhill.org or 785-825-9185. He will do everything possible to meet requests.

UPDATE September 8, 2020: 
-We have added a special COVID-19 prevention catalog to help "fill the gaps" in supply lines for volume purchasing to address COVID-19 concerns. It is available on the main "Shop" page. Included suppliers are Air Capital Distribution, Masterhand Sanitizer, Ecolab, Williams Janitorial Supply, and Hyatt Life Sciences.
-Southwest Plus currently cannot meet orders for protective disposable gloves and likely will be unable to meet orders for disinfectant spray. Other products may be in a similar situation. 

UPDATE August 12, 2020: A special bid had been completed which expands the furnace filters catalog with MERV 13 rated filters. These higher-quality filters can be a one critical part of "layered mitigation" strategy - as recommended by the CDC - which also includes face masks, PPE, physical distancing, physical barriers, staying home when ill, and practicing proper personal hygiene. Visit go.smokyhill.org/VP to log in to ESM (or to request an ESM account) for more information and to place your order. 

UPDATE August 6, 2020: Watch a special webinar from Pracht below for information and guidance on how to order COVID-19 related products through SHESC Volume Purchasing. 


UPDATE July 13, 2020:Through its partnership with School Specialty, the SCESC volume purchasing program can supply orders of KN95 respirator masks - imported China-certified protective masks that are the performance equivalent of N95 masks, which are experiencing unprecedented demand. Visit go.smokyhill.org/VP to log in to ESM (or to request an ESM account) for more information and to place your order. The masks are available to order on the School Specialty online catalog and are now eligible for the volume purchasing discount at 34%!

This is the best deal we have been able to offer on this critical supply item so far!

In addition, School Specialty has added a number of items related to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and helping to keep students and staff members safe, including: touchless thermometers, disposable 3-ply (surgical-style) masks, washable cloth masks, plastic face shields, social distancing tools and physical barriers, disinfectant supplies and cleaners, hand sanitizers and soaps, and more! All these items are eligible for discounts of 33-34%. While most have some amount of delay before shipping - varying by the product - orders can be placed on all these items now to secure your place "in line" for delivery of these crucial items.

Pracht is also providing timely updates and information on item availability and delivery via the Benchmark email platform. Sign up to receive these volume purchasing emails at go.smokyhill.org/VPNews.

To help educators at this difficult time of change, we are also providing the links below. Connect with ways SHESC can support continuous learning, find resources from the Kansas State Department of Education, and reach COVID-19 prevention and general information from trusted sources.

SHESC Assistance Resources:

SECD Virtual Application Group: Join a discussion group led by Noalee McDonald-Augustine, Smoky Hills Education Service Center Consultant, on integrating Social Emotional, and Character Development structures in a Continuous Learning environment. This group will meet initially on April 9, 2020. At that time, the group will determine regular online meeting dates and times. Register at the link to participate FOR FREE in the group.

Thoughts on Continuous Learning: Weekly Reflection Questions: (Last Updated May 7, 2020 - Final set for end of 2019-2020 school year) An SHESC-exclusive resource with key questions to help direct and focus the Continuous Learning process.
(Archived reflection questions from previous weeks: Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4, Week 5)

Educator resources (Curated list of more than 125 – and growing! – free and discounted resources for educators, many of which are useful in distance and virtual learning. SHESC will be adding to this list in the coming days and weeks).

Volume Purchasing (Including many supplies. Visit the page for updates on any delays, shortages, or out-of-stock items).

Technology consulting

Crisis management

Social, Emotional and Character Development

            (Also see Noalee McDonald-Augustine’s column on SECD during COVID-19 building closures in the April 2020 newsletter)

English Language Learners

Online test prep and lessons

            (SHESC partner Method Test Prep is offering free daily ACT or SAT “mini-lessons” on Facebook Live.)

High School Virtual Diploma completion (Smoky Hill Learning Center)

Learn360 online multimedia resources

Fast ForWord literacy products

Rosetta Stone foreign language program

Trane online webinar on the role of HVAC systems and facilities in keeping students and staff members safe from COVID-19 (NEW July 15, 2020): 

Kansas Continuous Learning Resources:

Main KSDE Continuous Learning Page (Including links to the task force’s guidance document, implementation guide, and waiver application document).

Continuous Learning News Release and FAQ

KSDE Continuous Learning Recommended Resources (A dynamic listing of resources that can support continuous learning. KSDE will continue to add to it from educator suggestions across the state during school building closures).

SECD and Social Emotional Learning Resources


COVID-19 Prevention and Information:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Schools and Child Care Resources (Including guidance for schools and programs, FAQ, cleaning and disinfection recommendations, tips for parents, checklists, and principles and information for talking with children about COVID-19)

Kansas Department of Health and Environment – COVID-19 Resources

World Health Organization – COVID-19 (Includes global news, guidance and educational resources)