Important Information for Students and Parents

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March 23, 2020

Dear Frontier Families,

In response to Governor Holcomb’s closure of all schools until May 1, 2020, Frontier School Corporation will be using a combination of waiver days and Distance Learning. Distance Learning will be different from E-Learning.  E-Learning was a short disruption with classroom instruction already occurring in previous classroom sessions. Distance Learning will involve classroom instruction occurring virtually through medians to be identified by your teachers. To help in the transition, we have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions. 

We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, our lives look very different.  However, we are committed to continuing your child’s education as best as possible. We appreciate your partnership in your child’s education.

Mr. Sichting, Superintendent

Mr. Hettinger, JrSr HS Principal

Mrs. Bordner, Elem Principal

Mrs. Layton, Vice Principal

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about Frontier School Corporation closings

 (March 30th -May 1st)

The state of Indiana has granted schools up to 20 waiver days for the 2019-20 school year. Waiver days are days school is not in session (no eLearning) and the days do not have to be made up. 

What are the dates for Distance Learning and waiver days?

  • Frontier School Corporation will follow the schedule below from Monday, March 30, 2020, through Friday, May 1, 2020:

Why does the schedule use all Waiver Days the week after Spring Break?

  •  Time is needed to move from an E-Learning platform to a Distance Learning Platform.  The five days will be used by teachers and building principals to build the platform for Distance Learning.

Should my student be expected to log on every Distant Learning day and/or does my student have the option to do all assignments in one day?

 

  •  The expectation is for students to participate in distance learning every day it is scheduled. 

 

How is Distance Learning different from E-Learning?

 

  • Parents should understand the type of activities for Distance Learning will change moving forward. Previously, E-Learning was mainly the practice of concepts already learned at school. Now, teachers may use videos from other sources, recordings of their own teaching or direct interaction with students through technology for instruction. Some activities may include group discussion and interaction, online practice or activities.

When will my child’s teacher be available?

 

  • During Distance Learning days, teachers will interact with students from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Keep in mind, teachers will not provide direct instruction for the entire period of 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Teachers may arrange specific times for interaction through email and other formats such as Google Classroom, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc. Teachers will communicate with students to arrange times.   

 

When will Distance Learning assignments be due?

 

  • Distance Learning is extended over a longer period of time. As a result, due dates for assignments will be set by teachers and communicated to students and families. Should you have circumstances that prevent your child(ren) from doing Distance Learning, please contact your child(ren)’s teachers.  Some assignments may require participation in real-time and the assignment may be due at the end of the day. Other assignments may be a long term assignment due in a week. Teachers will communicate due-dates of assignments and students must be reasonable seekers of information about due dates.

What if my child cannot be available when a group discussion or interaction takes place?

 

  • For “real-time” learning, the teacher will notify students at least one day ahead of time, and then conduct the class activity at the same time the class would meet if school was in session. This will eliminate conflicts for “real-time” activities or collaboration.  This is more of a problem at the Jr/Sr HS school level in which a student has multiple classes throughout the school day. At the Elementary, K-2 will use morning times and 3-6 will use afternoons.

 

Will all students at all grade levels be required to be online Tuesday, Wednesday,  and Thursday during the hours of 9:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M.?  Do teachers have to have instruction posted by 9:00 AM each day?

 

  •  All students should be prepared to participate in distance learning instruction and complete distance learning activities as directed by the teacher on designated distance learning days. If the distance learning doesn’t require “real-time” participation, then teachers are expected to post distance learning by 9:00 am on the day of distance learning. 

 

  Can teachers see a timestamp of when a student access their instructional video?  How do I know as a parent my child is accessing the material as they have been instructed?

 

  • Yes and no – the answer will depend on what platform was used to push out the information. On Google Classroom, parents can be invited to view class activities, announcements, and assignment notifications. Parents may contact classroom teachers and be asked to be included in notification of classroom assignments.

 

  1. How does the school take attendance for Distance Learning?

 

  • For previous E-Learning at Frontier Elementary, younger students may have had packets to complete with a verification form and older students completed assignments as verification of attendance. 

 

  • Now, Distance Learning will have two parts:  a way to take attendance, and activities meant to assess mastery or depth of knowledge. 
    • Elementary students will have an online form to complete for attendance. Attendance will be taken for each day of Distance Learning. It is important to note that assignment work is separate from attendance. Student attendance is required on Distance Learning days in order for the teacher to provide instruction.
    • Jr-Sr High School students enrolled in “for-credit” classes need to be cognizant of attendance requirements to gain credit in a course. Students will lose credit in a class after their 7th unexcused absence – this underscores the importance of students completing the attendance portion of DistaAtnce Learning. 

  We don’t have access to reliable internet.  What do we do?

 

  • Contact your building principal for options if you don’t have access to Wi-Fi or internet. Some service providers are offering free internet service, access this link for more information from Comcast – https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19 or call 1 (800) 934-6489.

 

How does a student or parent communicate with teachers, administrators, or staff?

 

  • We encourage students to contact their teachers with any questions, problems or concerns. Teachers can be easily reached via email and will be responsive to your requests. All Frontier School Corporation staff email addresses can be accessed at https://frontierschoolsin.org.  Staff emails can be found under the tab labeled:  “About Us” with a link to the 2019-2020 Staff Directory. 

 

How will the Distance Learning Curriculum differ from the normal day-to-day curriculum?

 

  •  In Distance Learning, teachers identify essential academic standards. Instruction, activities and assessments will focus on measuring students’ mastery of these essential standards only.

 

How will Grades be determined for Distance Learning?

 

  • Frontier Jr/Sr HS – Assessing student mastery of standards during Distance Learning in most cases will look less like traditional testing and more like written explanations, practice problems, participation, or reflection essays. It’s important to note that in most classes there will be fewer grades and so the “grade” opportunities become even more important. An assignment skipped can have a significant effect on a student’s grade.

 

  • Frontier Elementary – Grades will be based on students’ mastery of the identified essential standards. Because students’ abilities to communicate their understanding varies greatly from younger students to older students, how the standards are assessed will be dependent on grade levels. Teachers of younger students will report on how well the student understands, but traditional grades may not be given. Examples of how teachers assess students could include teachers communicating with a student through Zoom or a phone call. Teachers can also track student performance through online tools such as IXL, HMH and the Wonders programs. Older elementary students will continue to receive traditional grades, as seems relevant by the teacher, through assignments and feedback on Google Classroom or other platforms. For all grade levels, individual teachers will communicate grading specifics. 

How can I obtain a “Grab and Go” Lunch and Breakfast for my son or daughter?

 

  • “Grab and Go” meals will continue to be provided to students that have registered. “Grab and Go” meals are distributed Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. at the Federated Church of Brookston, Brookston United Methodist Church, and Chalmers Community Church. Two breakfast meals and two lunches will be provided on Monday and Wednesday. On Friday, one breakfast meal and one lunch will be provided.

 

  • Due to Frontier School Corporation having a “Free and Reduced Lunch” percentage of less than 50%, the USDA will not allow lunches to be delivered door to door. Guidance from the USDA has been constantly evolving, so if the restriction is lifted on delivering meals to rural areas in a door to door format, we will provide an update on the information.
  • If your schedule doesn’t allow you or your children to pick-up the “Grab and Go” meals, please contact the Frontier School Corporation Superintendent’s Office at 219-984-5009, Ext. #3023 or email [email protected] for an alternative schedule and pick-up site.

What if my son or daughter experiences issues with his or her Chromebook or device?

 

  • Students who experience issues with Chromebooks should contact Mr. David Hoover.  Mr. Hoover’s email is [email protected], or he can be reached at 219-984-5437, Extension #1228.  Mr. Hoover will arrange drive-up times at each school for Chromebooks to be dropped off for repair or replacement.

 

How can students without access to Chromebooks or IPADS obtain these devices?

 

  •  During a normal school day, students in Kdg through 2nd-grade use iPads and students in 3rd and 4th-grade use Chromebooks, but do not take them home. Recognizing that families may not have devices available for children to complete Distance Learning, Frontier is offering devices for Kdg through 4th-grade students to use at home. Please contact Mrs. Bordner ([email protected]) if your family needs a loaner device for Distance Learning. 

 

What problems are we seeing with Distance Learning and E-Learning after the first three days?

  • Classroom teachers at Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School report students are answering the attendance question, but are not completing the activities that will determine a grade for the class. The Distance Learning assignments at the conclusion of Spring Break will be used in determining a grade or pass/fail status for each class. Students in grades 9-12 must pass the class in order to obtain the credits needed to progress toward graduation.
  •  K-8 students’ performance during the nine-week grading period will be used in determining if the student needs remediation to be successful in future curriculum opportunities. We recommend that parents set aside a specific time for students to participate and to complete Distance Learning, create a productive learning  environment by removing as many distractions as possible, and then check on your students to ensure they are completing their Distance Learning obligations.
  • For Distance Learning work completed on March 17th, 18th and 19th, Elementary teachers will communicate how to submit the students’ work. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, do not drop off Distance Learning packets at the Elementary.
  1. Do student-athletes have to successfully complete Distance Learning activities?

 

  • The fourth nine-week grading period for students in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades determine a student’s eligibility for the fall athletic season.  Students must receive passing grades in five classes during the Spring Semester in order to be eligible to participate in a fall sport. 

 

  • In order to be eligible in the future for athletics, students in grades 9th, 10th, and 11th grades must pass five (5) out of seven (7) classes to be eligible for fall sports.  If a student fails to pass five (5) out of seven (7) classes the student will be ineligible for the 2020-2021 Fall Athletic Season.
  •  Also, if a student-athlete accumulates seven (7) or more unexcused absences in any of the seven (7) Distance Learning classes the student will lose credit for that class period. So, Distance Learning attendance plus achievement will determine athletic eligibility for  the 2020-2021 Fall Season.

Are there any announcements at this time?

  • Spring Athletic Practices continue to be cancelled at this time. The IHSAA recently announced that Spring athletes may receive 1 on 1 instruction by non-school coaches outside the school setting is allowable at this time.  This does not allow high school coaching staff to provide this 1 on 1 instruction.
  • The Athletic Physical Night scheduled for April 22, 2020 has been postponed at this time.
  • The Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School Prom has been postponed until after May 1, 2020.
  • The 7th grade Orientation Night at the Jr/Sr HS scheduled for April 22 has been cancelled.
  • Details about rescheduling Elementary field trips, concerts, the Spring Carnival and other special events cancelled during the COVID-19 school closure will be communicated by the teachers or in the Falcon Flyer.
  • We encourage parents and students to reach out to Frontier administration and teachers with any questions, comments, or concerns. This is a fluid situation, and information and guidance is changing daily, and as we receive additional guidance please understand that it may cause us to alter course. We sincerely appreciate your patience and partnership while we navigate the next several weeks. 

 

Announcements for Thursday, March 19, 2020

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This is Superintendent Dan Sichting of the Frontier School Corporation.  Today is Thursday, March 19, 2020. I am calling tonight to provide the following announcements:

  1.  Governor Holcomb announced earlier today that schools would remain closed until May 1, 2020.  In the announcement, Dr. McCormick indicated schools were still only at this time receiving twenty (20) waiver days and must provide educational programming for 160 of the normal 180 instructional days.
  2. Frontier School Corporation will be closed tomorrow, Friday, March 20, 2020.  This is a waiver day with no E-Learning scheduled.
  3. Frontier School Corporation will be on Spring Break from Monday, March 23, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020. No E-Learning will be held next week.
  4. Frontier School Corporation will provide “Grab and Go Meals” for Spring Break from Monday, March 23, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020.  The meal distribution sites continue to be Federated Church of Brookston, Brookston United Methodist Church, and the Chalmers Community Church.  The “Grab and Go” meals will be distributed on Monday, March 23, 2020, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and Friday, March, 27, 2020. On Monday, March 23, 2020, two “Grab and Go” breakfast meals and lunch meals will be distributed.  On Wednesday, March 25, 2020, two “Grab and Go” breakfast meals and lunch meals will be distributed. On Friday, March 27, 2020 one breakfast and lunch meal will be distributed.  

In order to make sure we have adequate meals, please don’t just show up at the sites.  If your son or daughter hasn’t been participating you can still enroll in the “Grab and Go” meal program by calling the Frontier Superintendent’s Office at 219-984-5009, Extension #3023.  You can also enroll in the program by emailing [email protected].  The plan is to continue providing “Grab and Go” meals through May 1, 2020.

Frontier School Corporation is sorry but at this time we can’t deliver meals in rural areas.  However, this provision may be waived in the future and at that point we would begin delivering in rural areas.

  1. Currently, Frontier School Corporation will be closed on Monday, March 30, 2020.  This will be a waiver day and no E-Learning will be scheduled. Frontier School Corporation plans to release the schedule for the period of time between Tuesday, March 31, 2020 and Thursday, April 30, 2020 early next week.  The time period will be made up of waiver days and E-Learning Days.
  2. At this point, I would like to remind Seniors in order to graduate at the end of the 2020 school year it is imperative you participate in E-Learning so you can accumulate the credits needed to graduate.  Mrs. Bassett and Mr. Hettinger will communicate with parents if Seniors are not participating in E-Learning and their graduation status is in jeopardy.

I would like to say thank-you to parents and grandparents and all childcare providers during this time of school closures.  I know many of you continue to work full-time as do I and are balancing E-Learning with your work obligations. Please follow the CDC Guidelines for the COVID-19 for the safety of yourself and others.

These announcements will be posted on the Frontier School Corporation website as well as the Frontier School Corporation Facebook and Twitter accounts in the next two hours.

Grab and Go Meals Locations and Times

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Frontier School Corporation will be providing “Grab and Go” meals to interested students and parents on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Thursday, March 19, 2020, Friday, March 20, 2020, and Monday, March 30, 2020.  The meals will be provided from 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM and can be picked up at the Brookston United Methodist Church, Federated Church of Brookston, and Chalmers Community Church.  

The “Grab and Go” meals are free to everyone and meet the nutritional guidelines of a school lunch.  If you are interested in receiving a “Grab and Go” meal please contact the Frontier School Corporation Superintendent Office at 219-984-5009, Extension #3023.  You can also email [email protected] to reserve a “Grab and Go” meal.  

In reserving your “Grab and Go” meal you should provide the following information:

 

  • Name and Grade Level of Student(s)
  • Location of Meal Pick-up which is one of the following:

 

Brookston United Methodist Church, Federated Church of Brookston, Chalmers Community Church

Grab and Go Meals

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Dear Frontier School Corporation Families:

I know the school closing for COVID-19 has provided you with a hardship concerning daycare and feeding opportunities for your son or daughter.  Frontier School Corporation is working through an Indiana Department of Education waiver process allowing the distribution of “Grab and Go” meals for students.  The meals would meet all the requirements required of a school lunch. If your son or daughter qualifies for Free or Reduced Price meals the “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch would be free or discounted.  

Currently, the Frontier School Corporation is working with area churches that would be distribution points for the “Grab and Go” meals.  In order to get an idea on the number of meals to prepare, if you are interested in your son or daughter participating please contact the Frontier School Corporation office at 219-984-5009 after 7:00 A.M. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.  You may also email me at [email protected] if you would like your son or daughter to participate.  In the email indicated the number of meals will be needed for your school age students.

More information will be forthcoming on the distribution times and dates for the meals later.

Sincerely,

Daniel A. Sichting

Superintendent

Meeting Updates

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The Frontier School Corporation School Board meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020 at 7:00 PM has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 7:00 PM.  The 2020 Bond Hearing scheduled for 7:00 PM on Monday, March 16, 2020 at 7:00 PM has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 7:00 PM.  The CDC guidelines for meetings will be used to determine the total attendance allowed at the meeting.  The meeting will be held in the Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School auditorium to allow for social distancing.

COVID-19 Update

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Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Frontier School Family:

Due to the nature of the current COVID-19 virus pandemic, we are taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus to our community.

Starting at midnight on Friday, March 13, 2020, no one will be allowed into Frontier Jr.-Sr. High or Frontier Elementary school buildings.  The buildings will remain closed until 7:00 AM on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The school buildings will be thoroughly cleaned Tuesday, March 17, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020.

Therefore, students will not attend school starting Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 20, 2020.  Spring Break will continue as scheduled Monday, March 23, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020.  On Monday, March 30, 2020 school will not in session.  At that time, administration will re-evaluate the situation and determine when school can resume.

The Indiana Department of Education has waived up to twenty (20) of the compulsory one hundred eighty school days.  E-Learning days are being used to offset the use of the twenty (20) days in the event this unprecedented situation continues into the future.  Frontier School Corporation will conduct E-Learning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Wednesday, March 18, 2020 and Thursday, March 19, 2020. Monday, March 16, 2020, Friday, March 20, 2020, and Monday, March 30, 2020 will be used as waiver days as allowed.

Should you have questions about your child’s E-Learning, please contact your child’s teacher.

Students who take prescribed medication at school had the medication sent home with the student at the end of the school day on Friday, March 13, 2020.

COVID-19 Update

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On March 12, 2020, the four White County Superintendents met with the White County Health Department and the White County Emergency Management Agency to discuss the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  As of today, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in White County. Reports of school closings in the state of Indiana are based on confirmed cases of COVID-19 in those areas.  

The four White County School Corporation Superintendents are monitoring developments with the COVID-19 closely.  We will work in consultation with the White County Health Department, White County Emergency Management Agency, Center for Disease Control, and the Indiana Department of Education regarding the necessity to make a decision on distance learning opportunities.

We received the following information from the Indiana State Department of Health:

“There currently is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  The CDC recommends taking the same preventative steps that help stop the spread of any respiratory infection, including influenza, which is a greater public health threat locally.  This includes washing hands often with soap and water, staying home when you are sick and covering a cough or sneeze.”

As this is a fluid situation, which is unchartered territory, we will continue to work together to make informed decisions which are best for the health and safety of our students and staff.

As we are approaching spring break, we are reminding all parents to monitor the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website concerning travel restrictions.  It should be noted that additional travel restrictions may be implemented that result in a student’s ability to attend school upon their return. As such, if a student does travel in an area which is restricted, they may be subject to self-quarantine, as outlined by the CDC.

We will continue to work with our staffs to ensure that our schools are being cleaned and sterilized on a daily basis.  Our custodians are focused on cleaning high touched areas (doors, water fountains, light switches, desks, etc..). We will continue to update our students and parents with any new information which we acquire.

Dan Sichting, SUPERINTENDENT

March is Reading Month

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Reading is celebrated across the nation during the month of March. Frontier has many activities planned in our buildings, but you can also celebrate at home with your student. Here are some great ways to incorporate reading into the month of March, and beyond.

  1. Go Book Shopping. This can be done anywhere from Barnes & Noble, Amazon or the library. Ask friends, librarians and teachers for some great book recommendations.
  2. Get Comfortable. Designate a special spot in your house for reading. Fill it with pillows, blankets and books. It doesn’t have to be big.
  3. Set Aside Family Reading Time. It is a lot easier to get everyone reading if everyone is doing it together. Set aside a designated amount of time each night. This may include reading a book as a family or everyone reading on their own.
  4. Celebrate With a Movie. As a family you can choose a book that also has a movie. After you read the book together, you can all settle in and watch the movie together. You can even have a discussion about which one you thought was better and why.

Preschool Information Meeting

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Frontier offers a developmental preschool with limited spots for age-appropriate peers. Frontier Elementary School will host a 2020-2021 preschool information meeting on Tuesday, March 18 at 5:45 p.m. in the school library. Children must be 4 years old by August 1st in order to attend the Frontier program. In addition, area preschools from Brookston (Bright Beginnings) and Chalmers (Discovering Hands) will also present information and requirements about their respective programs. If you have questions or concerns, please call Frontier Elementary.