• Graduation Update 7 7 2020

    7 7 2020
     
    2020 Senior Parents & Students,
     
    Thank you for your continued patience as we adjust planning for the Class of 2020 graduation ceremony because of the fluid situation surrounding COVID-19. Last week we asked for feedback from the senior class regarding venues that would allow us to have the ceremony in person while social distancing both students and guests. We provided three options, including Children’s Mercy Park (required a change in date), the New MVHS Main Gymnasium, and the Olathe District Activities Center (ODAC, insert address). Each location was presented based on current State and local restrictions regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.
     
    After reviewing the results with student leaders from both high schools, both principals, and district personnel, the MVHS 2020 graduation will take place at the Olathe District Activities Center (ODAC, 20925 Olathe, KS 66062 ) at 9:00am on July 25th.
     
    Because the survey results were so close, ODAC was chosen in order to not change the original July 25th date (since there were concerns made about moving to Children’s Mercy Park the week prior). 
     
    Some things to consider/know:
    • We will follow all state/county guideline regarding COVID-19.  This includes the requirement of masks and social distancing.
    • Tickets will not be required.  Guests will be required to wear masks and social distance themselves in the stadium.
    • Those at higher risk to contract COVID-19 should consider viewing the ceremony via livestream from home.
    • Consider the outdoor temperature/humidity when attending.
    • If cancelled due to weather, we will move the ceremony to the new MVHS Gym with very limited (2 tickets per family) guests in order to allow for social distancing in the bleachers.  This event will also be livestreamed.
    • If COVID-19 restrictions require us to cancel an in-person ceremony, we will post a virtual graduation. 
    More information will be coming regarding logistics (lining up etc).
     
    Thank you for your patience and resilience.
     
    Mr. Waldeck
     
    The results for the survey:
     
    MVHS Specific Results: 162 responses
     
    ODAC 
    38.9% as 1st Choice, 
    35.2% as 2nd Choice, 
    25.9% as 3rd Choice
    Children's Mercy 
    38.9% as 1st Choice, 
    34% as 2nd Choice, 
    27.2 as 3rd Choice
    MVHS Gym 
    22.2% as 1st Choice, 
    30.9% as 2nd Choice, 
    46.9% as 3rd Choice
    Combined with DHS: 263 responses
    ODAC was 1st Choice 47% of the time
    Children's Mercy was 1st Choice 31% of the time
    Home HS Gym was 1st Choice 26% of the time

    Graduation Update 6 30 2020

    Class of 2020 and Parents, 

    During this time, the pandemic has taken a turn, causing us to rethink graduation for our 2020 seniors.  With some local communities adjusting phases and changing requirements based on pandemic data, we want to gather your input.

    At this point, here are the options to consider.

    ODAC (Olathe District Activities Center)- No cost for guests 

    • Outside on July 25th
    • No tickets required - Family units will be asked to social distance in the 6500 seat stadium
    • Students will be socially distanced on the field
    • Masks are required for public events (if ordered by county/state)
    • Event will be live-streamed 

    Children’s Mercy Park- No cost for guests

    • Outside on July 19th
    • Students will be socially distanced on field
    • Limited to 2000 tickets distributed to families 6 per family for required social distancing
    • Masks required for public events (if ordered by county/state)
    • Required date change (Sunday, July 19th morning or early afternoon) due to NASCAR event on July 25th
    • Event live-streamed 

    MVHS High School Gymnasium- No cost for guests

    • Inside on July 25th
    • Students will be socially distanced
    • Significantly limited guests (2-3 per family TBD) because all must be socially distanced
    • Masks required for public events (if ordered by county/state)
    • Event live-streamed 

    We are asking each family to discuss the options above. Then, senior students should log in using the link below to rank each possibility. The survey opens at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, June 30th and closes at 1:00 PM on Thursday, July 2nd. 

    Please know, the pandemic may change each of these options again.  If outdoor graduation is selected and canceled due to weather, we will work to have indoor graduation with students only in the gymnasium.

    https://tinyurl.com/yb4qwvk4

    Thank you,

    Mr. Waldeck

     

    Graduation Update 5 28 2020

    Parents and Seniors,

    I hope all is well with you.  I wanted to send just a few items regarding topics affecting seniors and parents. 

    In hopes of making sure seniors and families receive information regarding graduation, seniors will have access to their school emails through graduation on July 25.  All graduation updates will be posted on our website in several areas with a link tweeted each time the updates happen.  In addition, we will email the updates via Skyward as we have done in the past. 

    Next, with this update, I wanted to make sure you know we have not forgotten you!  Graduation is continually on our minds.  We plan to create the virtual graduation beginning early June as the backup with the hopes it is not needed.  Then we will start organizing the in-person ceremony (procession, tickets etc.).  We are waiting on the construction to get a bit further along in order to get accurate numbers for tickets (depends on maximum occupancy, thus the need to wait).  These numbers will also depend on county and state guidelines for COVID-19.  I will keep you posted.

    Lastly, please make certain all obligations (books, fees etc.) have been addressed prior to graduation.

    Thank you for your patience.  We hope to see you in July and we wish you all good health.

    Mr. Waldeck

     

    Graduation Update 5 18 2020

    Seniors and Parents,

    As stated previously, graduation will hopefully take place in our new gym on July 25.  The ceremony will begin at 9:00am.

    More information will be coming.  Make certain to check the website.

    Mr. Waldeck

     

    SUBJECT: IMPORTANT: Graduation Ceremony Update

    May 6, 2020

    MVHS Families:

    I am writing to share an important update regarding the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.

    As many of you may already know, the Board of Education approved a new date for the ceremony, which is now scheduled for Saturday, July 25. The Board took this action on Monday, May 4.

    We are pleased to share that we are now planning to host the ceremony inside the new gymnasium at Mill Valley High School.

    While we were hoping an onsite graduation was possible, it was imperative to wait until a graduation date had been officially selected by the Board before meeting with our construction manager and engineers to confirm. We did not want to publicize the new gymnasium as a location until we had a high-level of certainty. I am sure you can understand given the circumstances.

    We are looking forward to an in-person ceremony to celebrate the Class of 2020. However, I want to remind our families and students that we must follow any crowd-size limitations that may be in place due to health issues surrounding the pandemic. This will be done at the direction of state and local health officials. If we are not able to host any type of in-person event, then we will provide an online graduation ceremony.

    We will share more details in the coming days and weeks about a specific time for the ceremony and seating within the new gym.

    In the unlikely event that we are not able to host the ceremony at Mill Valley High School, we identified De Soto High School as the alternative.

    The last few weeks have tested many of our families, students, and teachers. I am proud of the grace and patience we have shown each other and want nothing but the best for everyone. I assure you that we absolutely care about our Jaguar Seniors and will do everything we can to support them. Let’s pull together to make this a positive experience for all involved.

    Thank you, again, for your understanding.

    Yours truly,

    Tobie Waldeck

    Principal, Mill Valley High School

    _________

    Message to Seniors

    May 1, 2020

    Seniors & Senior Parents,

    First, I would like to share how proud I am of our senior class.  I know it is a difficult/challenging time for all.  I write to communicate a few items regarding graduation.

    As you know, Governor Kelly ordered all school facilities in Kansas closed until May 29, 2020, well after the original graduation date of May 16.  I met with our student leadership (student body president and student council president), building admin, and sponsors.  During our conversation, I shared knowns and unknowns.

    Knowns:

    • Graduation was originally scheduled for Saturday, May 16.
    • Due to COVID-19 and the orders of the State of Kansas, an in-person ceremony may not take place prior to May 29.
    • Graduation will be conducted prior to the 20-21 academic year (August 1)
    • Construction on our school and athletic facilities prohibits an outdoor or indoor ceremony at MVHS in June or July.
    • Due to summer weather conditions, like excess heat & humidity, outdoor graduation at the end of July is not an option.
    • Our facility option for an in-person ceremony is DHS. DHS is our partner school in the De Soto School District.  The number of tickets will be reestablished based on government directives. The event will be live-streamed.
    • Establishing a non-USD 232 facility for graduation is not an option because of cost, organization, and the uncertainty of a suitable location.

    Unknowns:

    • Any face-to-face ceremony is dependent on guidelines from the state and/or county health officials. There is no way to determine those guidelines in advance.
    • Attendance may have to be limited (number of tickets) for an in-person ceremony.

    After discussions, a survey of two questions was developed. 

    The results of the survey showed a greater preference for an In-Person Ceremony with a Virtual Backup in late July.  Of the 161 responses, 147 (91%) voted for the in-person ceremony.  Some concerns that students expressed were not being able to participate in a July ceremony due existing conflicts that included enlisting in the military. 

    After another discussion, MVHS will be recommending July 25.  This option was chosen in order to maximize the potential for actually having an in-person ceremony.  The district will be recommending that the DHS and MVHS ceremonies be held on the same day in late July in order to eliminate the possibility of one school graduating and then the COVID-19 recovery plan changes, forcing the second school not to have an in-person ceremony.

    Soon, we will begin the process for creating a virtual graduation as a back-up.

    While none of us expected to be dealing with this, we want you to know how much our seniors mean to us.  In addition, we realize how much our parents have done for MVHS.  We hope you stay healthy during this time.  I want you all to know that we have worked hard to consider options and people have done so with grace and thoughtfulness.  Our plan moving forward will be to provide a memorable graduation as in the past.

    Have a good day and thank you for your understanding.

    Mr. Waldeck

    __________

    April 10, 2020

    Seniors,

    I hope all is well with you.  We certainly miss you.

    As you know, we are working with class leaders to discuss options for a potential graduation.  In the near future, be looking for a survey to help explain our unique situation and gather information directly from you.

    In addition, we worked with several people to come up with a plan for distribution of purchased graduation materials.  This will take place Thursday, April 16, 2020 between 10am and 1pm the MVHS Parking Lot.  You will receive more information detailing the process.  You will have to follow specific directions and remain in your vehicles.  We will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines. 

    As a small token of appreciation we are providing with a yard sign to help you remember how much we appreciate you and all you have done for MVHS. 

    We will keep working to get things moving and we appreciate your patience.

    Mr. Waldeck

    _________

    Important Message

    April 9, 2020

    MVHS Students & Parents,

    I hope this message finds you and your families well.  This is certainly a challenging time in our lives and everyone is making adjustments. One of the most significant changes is the shift to remote learning. We are doing very well in our effort to provide learning opportunities for students. Thank you for extending grace and patience to our teachers and staff. The state and county response to COVID-19 upended our normal functions at Mill Valley High School, including those special milestone events for high school seniors.  We know you have many questions for which I will provide what we know at this time

    Graduation

    We understand and appreciate the significance of graduation to students and families.  In fact, we hold the same feelings as you.  Our district is in the process of considering exactly how, where and when an event may take place.  We know that graduation cannot occur prior to May 29, the date the Governor’s order closing all school facilities is set to expire. I am starting to reach out to our senior student leadership and sponsors to begin discussions about graduation possibilities. 

    Seniors need to be looking for more information through their email regarding senior packets and a small token of appreciation for their efforts at Mill Valley High School.

    Prom

    Due to the limited number of people that may gather, social distancing requirements, and the fact that buildings are closed at least until May 29, my focus for events will be trying to celebrate our seniors and graduation.

    Personal Property

    Many students still have materials and personal items at school and want to know when they can clean out their lockers.  We are aware and will identify an appropriate date and time to reconnect students to their items. In the meantime, if a student needs an item that is essential to their learning online, please let us know.

    I am proud of our district administration, building administration, teachers, students and the community for the grace displayed with everyone coming together to get remote learning moving quickly and efficiently. 

    Remember, all of these events are subject to change because schools in Kansas remain closed and there is no way to truly know what the immediate future holds.  I remind myself of the reasons we are in this position and I wish health to all as our nation works to recover and heal.

    Mr. Waldeck

    ___________

    March 27, 2020

    MVHS, 

    As you are aware, on Tuesday, March 17th, Governor Laura Kelly ordered all public schools in Kansas to remain closed for regular operations through the end of the school year. This extraordinary action is to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our state and community. 

    While our school buildings may be closed, we want learning to continue for all students in a reasonable way.  MVHS teachers are working diligently to design and implement a new Continuous Learning Plan for all students while adhering to state and county directives. We appreciate your patience and grace as we work through this process.

    Students should expect to begin learning activities on April 1st, 2020 by checking their school provided Outlook email and logging into our district provided learning management system - Canvas. The primary tools teachers will use for communication and instruction will be via Skyward, Canvas, and district-provided email. Zoom, a video conferencing software, may also be used for “office hour” assistance and/or live instruction.

    Our plan for providing continued learning will focus on the remaining essential knowledge and skills needed for our students. While some coursework may have needed deadlines for completion, students can work through the learning objectives in Canvas at a time during the day that meets their needs. This increased flexibility carries with it increased responsibility for students to continue to make progress and we are here to help.

    Each teacher will establish and communicate their available office hour. While students are encouraged to reach out to their teachers via their school email anytime, the office hour timeframe is set up as the time that teachers can use to respond to those questions. Teachers may also elect to hold open Zoom meetings during this time to allow ‘live’ interaction for students. Look for email communication from teachers to begin Monday, March 30th.

    The district is providing FREE meals to students to be picked up at specific locations on Mondays and Wednesdays until the end of the regularly scheduled school year. This service began Wednesday, March 25, and will continue on Monday, March 30th. More information can be found on the district website, https://www.usd232.org/Page/8130.

    We realize you may have more questions for which we do not yet have answers. Information will be shared with you in the coming days about grades, the end of the fourth quarter, and more. Again, thank you for your patience and grace.

    Mr. Waldeck