The Board of Trustees unanimously decided to extend online learning through the end of the school year. Food Service will continue to provide breakfasts and lunches as usual.
Today, Governor Bullock held a press conference where he discussed lifting some facets of the Stay-At-Home order currently in place. Governor Bullock stated this is not a time for celebration, and our goal as a State is to remain open for good once we open. He did say that regardless of our decision, our school funding will continue as normal. I would like to share what he said about the current school closure.
Starting May 7th, how schools move forward will be decided by local control. That means our school board will have the final say. I will also be seeking input from the Lake County Health Department and the CSKT Tribal Education Department to help us make an educated decision. We also have a vulnerable population that has to be considered. That being said, we are fortunate to have a great board made up of intelligent individuals, who like me, will analyze this situation and make a decision that is in the best interest of our students, staff, and the community.
Schools have some interesting challenges that have to be considered. Would it even be possible to have a classroom of 20-30 students in the same room while trying to follow social distancing protocol? What would lunch or breakfast look like? What would passing time in the hallways look like? How would we put one student per seat on a bus that currently has two to three students sharing? Would parents just opt to keep their children at home for their safety or the safety of others? These are just a few of the many questions or scenarios that need to be considered.
At this time, we are working hard figuring out this distance learning process. I feel we have come a long way and will continue to tweak our efforts to provide the best possible education for our students. Today, I met with a teacher and an administrator from each building. We discussed some of the challenges, but we also were able to celebrate many of the successes we are seeing. All of us appreciate the hard work of our students and parents and their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and learn along with us. We know it is not perfect, but we will continue to improve our current system.
We are having a special board meeting on April 29th at 7:00 PM where we will discuss and possibly vote on how our District will proceed for the remainder of the school year. I know how important it is for you to know, as soon as possible, the direction we will be taking going forward. Please feel free to email me any questions, comments or concerns you may have. Also, you can call the District Office to discuss with me or you can contact your child’s school if you have questions, comments, or concerns.
Mark J. Johnston
Ronan School District 30
Governor Bullock announces extension of school closures through April 24th, 2020.
RSD School Board votes to eliminate Spring Break from the 2019-2020 school calendar and to change the last day of school from June 11 to June 4th, 2020.
Governor Bullock announces extension of school closures through April 10, 2020.
This is an update from Ronan School District No. 30 on information from last week and what to expect for this week.
I would like to start out with the fact that we are having great success getting meals to our students. For the week, we fed 1,105 breakfasts and 3,519 lunches to anyone 18 years old and younger. This has happened because of the partnership between food service and transportation getting the meals out to over 10 different locations in Pablo and Ronan and also having curbside service for Ronan Middle School and Pablo Elementary.
Last week, our elementary teachers called all of their students and the middle and high school teachers called students from their 3rd period class. If you have not heard from your child’s teacher, please contact the school as soon as possible and we will update your contact information. Teachers were busy creating lessons to share with their students. They are available on the District’s website homepage (www.ronank12.edu) on the right hand margin. We have also had lots of people request packets of their student’s assignments. They have been picked up at the school and also delivered to the students by bus at the designated bus meal locations. The feedback we have got back so far is positive and most understand we are learning as we go.
One question that has come up is 3rd quarter grades. With the end of the quarter being this Friday, we are encouraging students to get any makeup work in. Also, I was told that the grades will not be stored right away and makeup work can be handed in after the official end of the quarter if necessary. This is not as big of a deal in the elementary and middle schools because their grades start over each quarter. The high school semester grades are an average of 3rd and 4th quarter, so getting makeup work is important. All teachers can be reached through e-mail using their first name . last name @ ronank12.edu. Teachers also have “internet office” hours from 10:00 to 11:00 AM and 1:00 to 2:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
This week, we again will be contacting every parent to survey their current household technology needs. We are asking question like, do you have devices that would work for online lessons, do you have internet, and how many students share the devices you currently have. We are also inventorying all of our devices and will make them available for check out soon. We are starting right away with our current seniors who have a need.
Next, I would like to encourage every household with students to get the internet. This can be done through a couple of different ways. Spectrum Communication is providing free internet for all students. Unfortunately, they do not cover much within our District’s boundaries. We have been working with Access Montana, and they have two different methods to get internet into your house. The first is if you meet the income guidelines, there is a program where they will provide your residence with free internet. If you don’t meet the income guideline, Access Montana will give you a $25 credit for internet. The District will pay the other $25 from Title I funds to ensure all student houses have internet access. Get on the list as soon as possible.
Lastly, the Governor has requested all schools come up with an educational plan if this closure continues, have it approved by our school board and submit it to his office by this Friday. The administration team is currently working on this plan. We will be having a virtual special board meeting this Thursday at 7PM that will be broadcast live on the school district’s Facebook page. Also, please feel free to e-mail me with any question you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were just informed that the Governor extended the closure through April 10th. I will keep you informed as I find out information.
Mark J. Johnston
Ronan School District 30
I am going to give you an update to where Ronan School District No 30 is as of today. It has been awesome watching all of our staff pull together. The District is pleased that we have been able to keep our employees working during this challenging time.
Our food service crew is getting up early in the morning preparing breakfast and lunch for the kids in our area from 0 to 18 years old. I talked with Marsha, head of food service, and she said they fed 150 breakfasts and 300 lunches today. Our transportation department has been an integral part of the team and along with food service personnel delivered to over 10 locations throughout Ronan and Pablo.
The next groups that need to be acknowledged are the custodians, maintenance department, and secretaries who are our first line of defense. We are also pleased that we are able to re-assign our para-professionals to work with custodians to ensure they continue to get a paycheck. This deep clean should make our schools as safe as possible when students are allowed to return. Our secretaries will also be in to answer any questions and direct your calls if necessary.
The teachers have been proving they are true professional educators. They are currently working on lessons which can be accessed from home. We understand there is some with technology challenges, but we will provide hard copies of any lesson. Teachers also will have “internet office hours” every day from 10-11 am and 1-2 pm, Monday thru Friday. At that time they will be accessible online to answer any e-mail questions. If necessary call your school and we will make sure the teacher gets back to you. All teachers can be e-mailed using first name.last name followed by ronank12.edu. (Ex: email@example.com)
Today, the admin team worked together to lay out our plan on how we can get our educational material to our students. For grades K-4 you can expect a call from your child’s teacher so we can find out the best way to get you the material and answer any questions you may have. If you don’t hear from your teacher by the end of the day Thursday, please call your school and we can make sure we connect you. Because teachers are using their own personal phones, I have advised them to use *67 before dialing, which will make the call come from a restricted number.
For parents who have a student in 5-12th grade, you can also expect a call from your teacher. 6th-12th grade parents can expect a call from your child’s 3rd period teacher as some see over 150 students per day. If you do not hear from us by Thursday, call the school and we will make sure a teacher gets back to you.
For all grades we will be using our online lesson plans where teachers will post a link to the work they have created to enhance your child’s learning during this time. The IT department has done a great job providing a video to the teachers on how to use this platform which will give you access to your child’s lessons. These lessons are meant to be curricular enhancements and ways to keep your child learning during this difficult time. Please be patient the first couple of days because this is new way for us to get work to our students. We will have a hardcopy of every assignment at your child’s school and when asked will even send them out with breakfast or lunch to be delivered where your child picks up their meals.
On the Ronan School District No 30 web page www.ronank12.edu , you will see on the right hand margin, lesson plans under additional information. You will select this week and the school of your child. On the ones that have blue links, click and it should take you to your student’s enhancement activities. I just tried it and am pleased to say it was simple and worked awesome.
I will keep you informed as we go through this challenging time. Please stay safe.
Mark J. Johnston
Ronan School District 30
Families of Ronan School District 30,
I would like to start out by saying that this is a difficult situation for all of us, and I feel like we are trying to build a plane while flying it. Please keep in mind that we are doing our best to balance the educational needs and well-being of our students, staff and the community.
I have been in direct contact with many getting input on how to proceed. First, I want to let you know that we have teachers and support staff who truly care about what they do and will continue to be there during this difficult time. We also have an admin team made up of professional educators who bring a wealth of knowledge to the table and have been working diligently helping to create a plan.
As we know, we live an area where many students and families depend on the school to make sure their children’s nutritional needs are being met. We will be having our food service and transportation employees doing curbside grab-n-go feeding over the next two weeks for anyone 0-18 years old. Breakfast and lunch will be served at RMS and Pablo Elementary, like the Summer Feeding Program. In addition, starting Tuesday, we will be using our buses to feed at over 10 other locations. The buses and feeding areas will be accessible from 8:00 to 9:00 am for breakfast and 11:30 to 12:30 pm for lunch.
The administration has also been working with their teaching staff to find creative ways to ensure our students are given access to instructional material. We decided that we would have two levels; K-4 and 5-12. The following was taken from information given in a letter to the teachers at each level:
For K-4 Staff:
Certified Staff, at this time the following is expected from grade level teams:
Our expectation is that each grade level will have 12 lessons sent to their building administrator by Wednesday, March 18 at 9:00 am. We are encouraging the practice of social distancing, this means that teachers are welcome to come into your classrooms to prepare, but limit your interactions with others.
Certified staff will have “internet office hours” from 10-11 a.m. and from 1-2 p.m. each day. During office hours you will be available to answer emails and phone calls from parents/guardians and administrators. Office hours can be conducted from home.
For 5-12 Staff:
Work Expectations- Internet office hours will be from 10-11 a.m. and from 1-2 p.m. where teachers will be expected to be available by internet to answer emails from students and guardians.
Each teacher is responsible for three (supplemental) lessons per different course and that it be posted in Google Classroom/or online and also made available in paper form for this week and next. Please remember that not all students will have access to the internet or even the paper lessons. These lessons should cover materials that have been previously taught. Many parents wish to keep students working and this is also an opportunity for students to make up homework still pending or late.
Three lessons per different course you teach are due by Wednesday March 18th and another three lessons by Monday, March 23rd by 9:00 a.m. (for example: advanced math, math, and math concepts). Teachers please email your lessons to your building administrators as well as post them on Google Classroom. Administrators will make paper copies for students and/or their families that request it. For questions please email your building administration. They will be in the building from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Special Education Staff:
Scheduled meetings - IEP meetings will be rescheduled.
Parent contact - Continue to log ALL contact you make during this closure.
How to Access Assignments (Students/Parents):
I will be meeting with the principals and our IT director tomorrow at 8 a.m. to discuss how we are going to get your child the assignments. We understand some might not have technology, internet access, printers, or other challenges but we will do what is necessary to get you the work. Please look for updates tomorrow on the District’s website: www.ronank12.edu
District Contact Information:
The building secretaries, administration and the District Office will be in their buildings from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. during this closure to answer any questions you may have. Please call instead of coming to the building so we can maintain the social distance expectation we have been asked to follow.
All buildings can be dialed direct:
Pablo: 676-3390 Ext 7700
KWH: 676-3390 Ext 7300
RMS: 676-3390 Ext 7400
RHS: 676-3390 Ext 7501
SPED 676-3390 Ext 7450
All teachers and administration can be reached using the first name and last name followed by @ronank12.edu.
Again, we are working hard to make the best of a difficult situation. If you have any questions or concerns, I would rather you call or e-mail one of us. Although we will continue to use social media as one of the avenues please refrain from making negative comments as sometimes there is more to the situation. We will also use our District website for updates, www.ronank12.edu.
Thanks for your support and understanding,
Mark J. Johnston
Ronan School District 30
Governor Bullock has directed all K-12 public schools to close from March 16th to March 27th due to concern of the COVID-19 virus.
Dear Families of Ronan Schools,
In response to the national health concern regarding the Coronavirus, we are sharing the following information to assist in keeping our homes, schools, and community safe.
As of today, there are no cases from the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Ronan Schools, Lake County, or in the state of Montana. Although the current risk to people in Lake County from the virus remains low, it is important to stay informed.
We are committed to the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families and are closely monitoring the situation, planning with our school leaders and staff, and will be working closely with Lake County Health Department officials.
Our teachers, school nurses, and staff are encouraging simple and effective habits, the same as preventing the spread of the flu or the common cold. You can help prevent the spread of viruses and other illnesses by taking these simple, specific steps below and following best practices to protect yourself and your family.
There is quite a bit of misinformation circulating on the internet. It’s important to stay informed by following reputable sources. We have provided several below from federal, state and local sources:
Some questions have arisen about student events and field trips/travel. The current guidance from the Office of Public Instruction, Governor's Office, and the Department of Public Health and Human Services is to only cancel school-sponsored student travel or activities under guidance from the CDC and/or Lake County Health Department.
As of now, we are continuing school activities and school-sponsored travel as normal. We are also still following our school district policies and procedures as they normally relate to absenteeism and student makeup work.
This situation is evolving and we will continue to communicate with you as additional information becomes available. If you have specific questions about the virus, please call the Lake County Health Department 406-883-7288.
Mark J. Johnston
Ronan School District No. 30