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DC West Community Schools closure will be necessary through May 31, 2020.
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DC West Closure Information

 

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A message from DC WEST COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
 

Updated April 2, 2020
 

DC West Families and Staff,

I am struggling to write you this message as I have to share the news I didn't want to have to this school year.  As of last night, Governor Ricketts has ordered all schools to operate remotely through May 31, 2020.  Therefore, we will not physically return to our school buildings together this school year.  My heart is heavy delivering this message as I know we all hoped to return to our buildings in May for the important celebrations and closure that we have in a typical school year.  At the same time, my heart is full, knowing the tremendous support we have all given one another to make this unfortunate situation the best that it can be.  I am proud to be a Falcon because of all of you and I know that we will rise above this circumstance and find a way to honor and conclude our school year together, even if we are physically apart. 

There are many questions and decisions that this news brings.  We need some time to thoughtfully plan and then communicate the details for the remainder of the year.  You can expect that we will continue with our eLearning, MEALS-TO-GO, and follow our planned school calendar. All of the remaining details will be communicated in the upcoming days.  

We understand that this time has been difficult for families who are balancing their lives, work, and school at home.  You are doing a tremendous job and we appreciate the partnership we have with you!  Don't worry or stress about how it is going, we all need some grace during this unprecedented time.  Keep the communication open and please contact your teachers, principals, or my office for any support you need.  

I'd like to thank the hundreds of parents who are tirelessly teaching their children at home, the creative and inspirational teachers who are designing ways for students to engage and learn away from school, the dedicated food service employees and paraprofessionals who are serving roughly 1,800 meals a week to our students, the administrators and administrative assistants who are continuing our business and operations of the school district and the buildings and grounds crew who has been deep cleaning. We are #FalconStrong!

Sincerely,

Dr. Melissa Poloncic

Superintendent

 


 

Update March 27, 2020
 

Falcon Families!

"A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains." ~ Kevin Rose

I begin my message with this quote as I am extremely proud of our staff, families, and communities for keeping the vision of who we are as a school district in focus during this difficult time.  I believe we are not only focused on the continuation of learning remotely, but we are also focused on the importance of caring for ourselves and one another.  DC West staff are fully engaged by teaching from home, assisting with the MEALS-TO-GO program each weekday, deep cleaning our schools, and facilitating and coordinating the response for families from home and school.  If you need specific assistance either with eLearning or family needs, our Superintendent Office is open and staffed every day.  The best hours to call the district office at 402-359-2583 are between 10am-2pm. 

Although the Nebraska Commissioner of Education has recommended school closures through the end of the year, we have been collaborating with our metro Omaha and ESU3 peers and have decided to wait for more guidance from the Douglas County Health Department and the Governor before we make any decisions beyond our physical school closure through May 1st. We plan to continue with eLearning and our MEALS-TO-GO programs until further notice.  

Just a reminder that our MEALS-TO-GO pick up locations every weekday at 11:30am are:

 

    Platte Valley Apartments, Valley

    The Pines bus stop, Valley

    DC West Middle/High School in the bus lane, Valley

    Waterloo Christian Church parking lot, Waterloo

    ThriveSpace parking lot, Waterloo

 

Stay safe and healthy~ care for one another~ #FalconStrong

Dr. Melissa Poloncic, Superintendent

 


 

Update March 20, 2020

 

Good afternoon DC West Families and Staff,

Let me start by saying DC WEST ROCKS!  Our staff, families, students, and community are taking this unfortunate school closure in stride and finding the opportunity to come together and support each other as a Falcon Family.  I am extremely proud and honored to work with all of you! 

This is a difficult time for many mixed with a variety of emotions. As a community resource, we want to be able to support our families and students in every way possible.  Although we are not attending school physically, our operations and availability to serve students and families will be ongoing.  We will attempt to stay in regular communication with you and would like for you to do the same.  If your family has needs, please let a teacher, administrator, or the Superintendent's Office know.

We write today to share new developments with the school closure.  
Government and health officials have ordered conditions that will make school closure necessary through Friday, May 1st.  

We are saddened by this announcement for many reasons, yet we are in a situation where we have to follow health department guidelines and state-level directives.  We will always prioritize the health and safety of our students.  As the school closure continues, this also means all activities and special events are canceled as well.  Our hope is that we will still be able to unite in May to honor our Class of 2020 and bring closure to our school year back in the buildings.  We will be working on alternate plans if that is not possible.  


Our eLearning and MEALS-TO-GO program will begin on Monday, March 23.
We will follow our regular school calendar for both of these programs. 
We will still observe spring break April 10-13.  No academic assignments will be assigned on those days.

 

eLearning:

eLearning is a new experience for us, yet I am so impressed with the DC West staff and what they have planned for you. 

As a DC West family you can expect:

  • Assignments emailed to you and/or your student every Sunday evening
  • These assignments will be for one week of learning
  • Families and students should check their email and/or Schoology for the week of lessons
  • The time needed to complete these assignments is by grade level
    • ​Preschool to Grade 5:  ~ 1-2 hours
    • Grades 6-8 ~ 1 task per class per day (no more than 15-20 minutes per task)
    • Grades 9-12 ~ 1 task per class per day (no more than 15-20 minutes per task)
    • Dual Credit Coursework ~ Continue as usual online
    **All lessons are created with a focus on grade-level curriculum and state standards
  • Principals and teachers will be available every school day during regular school hours for questions through email or any other method the teacher shares with you
  • Students with IEPs for special education may receive targeted assignments from their special education teacher
  • You will receive your first week of eLearning by Sunday, March 22nd

If your family is needing assistance with a device or internet at home, please contact the Superintendent's Office at 402-359-2583.  

 

MEALS-TO-GO

We have created MEALS-TO-GO for all DC West students each school day during the closure.  You can expect:

  • A free meal bag for every student that will include one lunch and one breakfast every day of the school week
  • All DC West students may have a MEAL-TO-GO bag
  • If there are bags left at noon, we will give them out to any parents who would like one
  • School vans will be parked at 5 different locations each weekday from 11:30-12:00
    • Platte Valley Apartments, 612 S West St, Valley
    • The Pines bus stop, 7516 N 286th St., Valley
    • DC West MS/HS building in the bus lane, 401 S Pine St., Valley
    • Waterloo Christian Church parking lot, 23800 Cedar Dr., Waterloo
    • Thrive Space parking lot, 800 N Front St, Waterloo

 

Due to the amount of communication that we have been sending and will send in the future, we have created a link on our district webpage, dcwest.org to put important information.  If you need assistance during school hours, emailing is the best method but the Superintendent's Office will be open during the closure, you may call 402-359-2583 for assistance.  

 

Stay safe, healthy, and strong,

Dr. Melissa Poloncic

Superintendent

#FalconStrong

 


 

Update March 17, 2020

DC West Families,

Based on an announcement by the Nebraska Commissioner of Education, DC West Community Schools will close indefinitely with a review every two weeks.  We will review again on April 3rd, the school closure may last several weeks.  During the school closure, there are no activities or athletics, building use or student gatherings on campus.  All of this is in an effort to help slow the community spread of COVID-19 to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and protect our families.  

On Monday, March 23rd, DC West will begin eLearning.  Our staff has been working diligently to create online learning opportunities for students aligned with state standards and critical curriculum for their subject or grade level.  This will allow student learning to continue remotely. We understand that all families may not have internet or a device.  We have been making phone calls home to each family to determine if you need the internet or a device and we are willing to provide both if it is needed. If we haven't reached you, please email or call the school.  As a DC West family you can expect:

  • Assignments emailed to you and/or your student every Sunday evening
  • These assignments will be for one week of learning
  • Families and students should check their email and/or Schoology for the week of lessons
  • The time needed to complete these assignments is by grade level
    • ​Preschool to Grade 5 ~ 1-2 hours
    • Grades 6-8 ~ 1 task per class per day (no more than 15-20 minutes per task)
    • Grades 9-12 ~ 1 task per class per day (no more than 15-20 minutes per task)
    • Dual Credit Coursework ~ Continue as usual online
    **All lessons are created with a focus on grade level curriculum and state standards
  • Principals and teachers will be available every school day during regular school hours for questions through email or any other method the teacher shares with you
  • Students with IEPs for special education may receive targeted assignments from their special education teacher
  • You will receive your first week of eLearning by Sunday, March 22nd

eLearning will be very different than our normal school day routine, yet we are hopeful that this will create opportunities for students to continue learning throughout the closure.  We understand that families may have circumstances or health issues that will prevent them from completing assignments or work, we ask that you communicate those barriers with us so we can support your family.

Many of our DC West families rely on school breakfast and lunch.  We have created MEALS-TO-GO for all DC West students each school day during the closure.  You can expect:

  • A free meal bag for every student that will include one lunch and one breakfast every day of the school week
  • All DC West students may have a MEAL-TO-GO bag
  • If there are bags left at noon, we will give them out to any parents who would like one
  • School vans will be parked at 5 different locations each weekday from 11:30-12:00
    • Platte Valley Apartments, 612 S West St, Valley
    • The Pines bus stop, 7516 N 286th St., Valley
    • DC West MS/HS building in the bus lane, 401 S Pine St., Valley
    • Waterloo Christian Church parking lot, 23800 Cedar Dr., Waterloo
    • Thrive Space parking lot, 800 N Front St, Waterloo

We are in unprecedented times.  A quote we have been working from this week is, "Let the crisis push your team to think mission, not method.  The methods will change.  The mission does not." ~ Rich Burch  We will continue to do our best work in order to serve our students and communities.  

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Melissa Poloncic

Superintendent