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"SHESC Messenger": Start of April 2021


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SHESC Messenger

Start of April 2021

VECTOR Virtual Coaching

Match Madness Fundraiser Results

New CDC Classroom Guidelines

Volume Purchasing: Athletics Catalog Possible Delay

End-of-the-Year SECD Tips

Workshops Support Trauma-Informed Classrooms

This Friday...

Look at All Professional Development and the Newsletter Archive

NEW! VECTOR Virtual Coaching

Click on the image of the flyer above to download a printable PDF flyer.

Visit www.vectorcoaching.org for more information, or email dsmith@smokyhill.org or vectorvirtualcoaching@gmail.com.


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'Match Madness' Fundraising Lands Nearly $700 Before Bonuses, Matching Funds

A special thanks to everyone for your donations during the 10th anniversary of the Match Madness fundraiser!

Because of your generosity, $684.03 will help bring Storyteller Tim Lowry to area schools in September! On top of that, Chris Moddelmog, SHESC Executive Director, made five free throws to earn an extra $50, and matching funds from the Greater Salina Community Foundation are set to bring total fundraising on the day to more than $1,000!

You helped to make a difference for education in Kansas!

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CDC Issues New Classroom Guidance; What it Means for You

On March 19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidelines to help prevent the spread of coronavirus within K-12 schools. 

Among the recent changes included in the new guidance that will likely affect your classroom and school building:

  • CDC reduced physical distancing recommendations within the classroom to 3 feet from 6 feet, so long as schools employ layered prevention strategies such as hand-washing, maintaining clean facilities, and correct, universal use of face masks.
  • Note that the above recommendation only applies to classroom settings and not to other common area school settings such as lobbies, cafeterias, or other settings outside of school where students may travel. Students and educators are also still expected to cooperate with contract tracing and isolation/quarantine guidance.
  • Added clarification about the importance of proper ventilation and air disinfecting strategies.
  • Removed the recommendation for physical barriers.
  • Clarified and emphasized the importance of considering the role of transmission rates in the community to make good decisions.
  • Added guidance for how to intervene when clusters of spread arise.

This guidance may or may not match guidance from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), so parents, guardians, and educators should also carefully familiarize themselves with the state department's guidance for K-12 schools located HERE. The state guidance covers the Kansas Schools Gating Criteria; Modified Quarantine and Isolation Guidance; screening procedures for dental, vision, and hearing; medical clearance forms; testing information; and more. 

Other valuable information includes THIS PAGE from the CDC on how teachers, school staff, and childcare workers can secure a priority vaccination. It also includes details on who is eligible (more job roles than you may think!), and informational tool kits about vaccination. For questions you haven't already found answers to, THIS PAGE is the central hub for CDC information about COVID-19 and schools or childcare programs.

Information about best practices for schools during COVID-19 can be complex, confusing, and ever-changing. We will continue to bring you the best, most current information we know from trusted and experienced sources to help you make the right choices. 

If you have specific questions or needs, we are here to support you in any way we can during a difficult time. Please contact info@smokyhill.org.

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Volume Purchasing: Athletics Catalog Possibly Delayed

Smoky Hill Education Service Center Volume Purchasing Program recently completed its annual request for bids on the 2021-2022 athletics catalog.


Unfortunately, after the deadline for return of bids from suppliers had passed, no completed bids have been returned.


What this means: 


1) To be certain that you are able to order and receive the athletic supplies that you need for the coming year, please place an order on Wednesday, March 31.


2) On Thursday, April 1 and after, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to order the items currently in the catalog, nor the prices on those line items.


3) We are asking current athletic catalog providers whether they would be willing to extend their contract with us to after March 31 to allow uninterrupted service. That is still uncertain, however.


4) If that is not possible, the athletic catalog will be temporarily unavailable for an unknown period of time starting on April 1.


5) We are attempting to give invited suppliers another opportunity to bid on the athletic catalog, as well as expanding our circle of invited suppliers to include new suppliers.


6) In the meantime, after April 1, we recommend checking the online School Specialty punchout catalog for athletic supply items. Our bid catalog covers nearly 225 items, and while School Specialty does not have all of those available in its always-available online punchout catalog, about half of the items are available, either with the specific item or an equivalent.


7) As soon as we have a new bid athletic catalog available, we will inform you via this email list.


The current printable PDF catalog, from which you can order from through March 31, is available HERE


Our apologies for the inconvenience.


Detailed vendor information is available on our website at go.smokyhill.org/vp.


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Post-Tips for Ending the School Year

The 2020-2021 school year is down to the last nine weeks, and what a year it has been! There have been challenges, uncertainties, and frustrations. Yet the year also brought new learning, growth and discovery. Make these last few weeks count and finish strong!

  1. Prioritize Content: With only nine weeks left, not everything will - or can - get covered. Review what hasn’t been taught, decide what is most important for your students to learn, schedule what is important, and stick to the schedule as much as possible.


  1. Maintain Simple Routines: The end of the year can be crazy with a million things to do and a short amount of time to get things done. In the classroom, have Start-of-Day and End-of-Day routines. Start-of-Day routines could include checking email, writing homework on the board, and posting bell-work on the board. End-of-Day routines might involve recording grades, cleaning up the classroom, and setting out supplies for the next day. Especially when things are crazy, routines help maintain a feeling of being grounded and tasks are completed more efficiently and consistently. Routines for home can also be extremely powerful, including going to bed and rising at the same time and exercising or eating at the same time.  


  1. Use Relationships: The whole year has been an opportunity to build and grow relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. This is the time to dig into that relationship bank account. Ask students to bring their best and encourage them to end the year with their personal bests. Take advantage of a final time to communicate with parents. Let them know what you enjoyed about their child and offer suggestions for the summer that can help their student. Don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues for help and support. An outside perspective or an extra hand can make all the difference.


  1. Have Fun: Make it a daily choice to enjoy the last days with your students and families. Remind yourself each day of the things you are grateful for as a daily practice. Take time to recognize the “Aha!” moments, see the pride in your students’ faces, and enjoy their laughter and jokes. Be playful and remember each day is an adventure.


For weekly Educator Post-Tips follow @nmcdonaldSHESC and @SmokyHillEd on Twitter. For more information about adult or student Social, Emotional, and Character Development, contact Noalee McDonald-Augustine at nmcdonald@smokyhill.org.   


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Featured Professional Development: Trauma-Informed Classroom

As concerns about mass shooting events - and violence against young people and by young people - continues in the United States, dealing with trauma in the classroom remains sadly relevant and important.

Be sure that you are prepared to deal with trauma among your students - particularly in the ways that don't make the headlines - with two sessions of "Cultivating a Trauma Informed Classroom" with Noalee McDonald-Augustine at the end of April. The session on April 20 will focus on Elementary while April 21 will concentrate on Middle School and High School.

These workshops will help participants understand how to cultivate a trauma-sensitive learning environment for students. Concrete, proven and reliable strategies will be provided on how to connect, teach, and coach students, as well as strategies for classroom and building structures. Participants will also learn what trauma is and how it hinders learning, motivation and student success. 


SHESC Offices Will Be Closed on Friday, April 2

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View Full Calendar on escWorks 

'SHESC Messenger' Archive

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