Supt Update Nov 17

SMS & SHS Learning Environment Update
Posted on 11/18/2020
SMS SHS Remote

November 17, 2020

USD 345 Staff and Families: 

As we continue to monitor daily teacher absences and other impacts of COVID in our schools and community, the decision has been made to revise learning environments through the end of this semester. 

Beginning Monday, November 23, I am activating the following learning environments until January 19, 2021, as authorized by the USD 345 Board of Education. This timeframe will allow the district to review the impact of COVID during the holiday season. First semester will still end January 13 and second semester begins January 14 as previously approved by the board of education. End of semester requirements, including finals for high school students, will be provided by teachers and/or building administrators. 

  • Mathes Early Learning Center (PreK): Full On-Site
  • Elmont Elementary (K-6): Full On-Site
  • Logan Elementary (K-6): Full On-Site
  • North Fairview Elementary (K-6): Full On-Site
  • Northern Hills Elementary (K-6): Full On-Site
  • West Indianola Elementary (K-6): Full On-Site
  • Seaman Middle School (7-8): Required Remote
  • Seaman High School (9-12): Required Remote
  • Pleasant Hill Learning Campus (7-12): Full On-Site
  • Family Choice Remote Learning: Remote

Our administration and staff are continuing to work tirelessly to keep kids on-site for as much and as long as possible, but unfortunately, we are no longer able to sustain the hybrid learning environments at the middle and high school levels. Transitioning 7-12 grades to required remote will allow more substitute availability in our elementary schools while still keeping our younger students in their consistent on-site schedule; thereby, reducing childcare needs for our families. COVID numbers in our elementary buildings are lower than our middle and high school buildings and we continue to follow the research indicating younger students need to be in schools. 

Please note that preschool and elementary buildings may still need to transition to required remote based on classroom transmission and/or staffing availability, at any time. We will provide as much notice as possible if/when a transition to required remote is needed. Elementary families who do not feel comfortable with students on-site should contact their principal for remote learning options. 

At this time, athletics will continue for grades 7-12 as scheduled as long as staffing is in place and COVID spread does not occur within teams. These activities are optional and will follow mitigation strategies in place locally and county-wide. School meals will also continue following the current registration process. Five-day meal packs will be available for pick up at Seaman Middle School on Wednesdays at no charge for all remote students. 

These are not easy decisions to make as we work to meet the learning needs of our kids with the health and safety of our staff, students, and community a priority. We truly appreciate the support and partnership of our school community in following safety protocols and mitigation strategies. Decreasing community spread and following county health guidelines remains our best chance to return to a safe and predictable learning environment for all students. 


Dr. Steve Noble