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COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 Update
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COVID-19 Update - March 27

Over the past few days, we have seen sweeping and historic changes across the state, most notably, Governor Northam’s decision to close all schools in Virginia for the remainder of the school year. We understand that this time of extraordinary change and uncertainty may cause you to feel a variety of emotions. As the father of a sophomore at New Kent High School, I am also working through this shift as a parent. I want to assure you that we are committed to your student’s continued success and to ask for your partnership as we work through this together.

Since Monday’s announcement, we have received several emails and other correspondence from families with various questions and comments. Many of these are regarding student instruction and the academic expectations for the remainder of the school year, grading for the second semester, graduation, and more. We want to assure you that our team is working directly with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to provide you with answers and resources as quickly and humanly possible.

As we move forward, I promise to keep you informed. In return, I ask for your patience and understanding during this incredibly challenging time. We are working carefully to build a comprehensive instructional plan that will best serve the individual learning needs of our students for the remainder of the school year in a way that no one anticipated. We are also developing a host of other plans to address a wide variety of other needs in a compressed time frame.

In the meantime, please encourage your students to read and continue working with the learning materials that we previously provided. Please note that we initially developed these resources to serve your student(s) through April 3, just before Spring Break. We intend for the new materials, which we are currently developing, to serve our students’ instructional needs from April 13 (post-Spring Break) until the end of the school year. These new instructional plans will be more robust and individualized.

An updated frequently asked questions document will be posted on our website this evening. We will also have paper copies available during our ‘Grab and Go’ meals service next week. If you have additional questions, please email them to covid19faq@nkcps.k12.va.us so that we can continue to build a FAQ document that addresses your concerns.

New Kent is an incredible community, and I’m thankful to be able to live, work, and serve here. Thank you for being New Kent strong during this unprecedented closure. I hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe.



COVID-19 Update - March 24

Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced today that he is using his authority under Governor Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 51 to ensure that high school seniors who were on track to earn a diploma later this spring are able to graduate, despite the closure of schools for the remainder of the year.   This announcement included a number of waivers that will allow school districts flexibility in the awarding of credits to assist these students. 

For further information about Dr. Lane’s announcement, please access the document linked below:

State Superintendent's Announcement


New Kent is committed to taking care of our students, families, and community. We will be working through these guidelines from the state to provide support for all of our students. 

We know our families have a variety of questions related to the closure. Please email those questions to covid19faq@nkcps.k12.va.us. We will put together a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document based on your questions.


COVID-19 UPDATE - MARCH 23

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Today, Governor Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for the remainder of the school year in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19..

School divisions will receive additional guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to address many of the questions you may have. We will continue to provide updates as we get clarification..

Families:.

We will continue to work hard at all levels to help provide support to our students and families during the closure. In the coming days, we will communicate further details about our plan to provide students with instructional materials, as well as other resources and supports. .

Additionally, for many of our students, the meals provided at our schools are a crucial part of their daily nutrition. The ‘Grab and Go’ Meal Program will continue through the closure..

If a parent and/or child is not available to pick up meals please call or email: 804-966-8508 Lsmith@nkcps.k12.va.us .

.

Teachers and Staff:.

We will be communicating specific and more detailed guidance for the remainder of the closing once we have had an opportunity to discuss the implications of this closing with VDOE.. Thank you for your patience and continued diligence as we seek to provide for our students and families. .

As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students and staff healthy and safe..

Sincerely,.
Brian J. Nichols
Superintendent of Schools



Update - March 20

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Please see below for an essential update on school closure due to COVID-19 (coronavirus).

New Kent Public Schools will be closed through April 12. This closure includes all extracurricular events and the use of our buildings by any group. We will continue to reassess our decision to determine if any further closures are necessary beyond this time.

We understand that this is a significant disruption to your daily lives as we all work to adjust to this unprecedented event. We do not make these decisions lightly, but we believe this is the best decision to help further protect our community. We continue to ask for your patience, understanding, and support during this challenging and unprecedented situation in our community and country.

We continue to await guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) regarding makeup time and testing. The VDOE continues to evaluate options to provide flexibility in meeting the requirements and mandates associated with testing and accountability, instructional days/hours, attendance, and graduation.

Here are a few additional updates from NKCPS:

Continuity of Learning

Distance learning packets were sent home with all students K-8 on March 13 to support student learning during our extended closure beginning March 16. These resources were developed for students and families to keep students engaged in learning during this unprecedented closure. These packets are not intended to be required activities that your child must submit for a grade upon return, but we encourage all students to use the packets to continue learning while at home. Your child's teacher may provide additional suggested activities for your child to participate in at home as well. Understand that all activities are optional and are intended to give families opportunities to maintain your child's learning. In addition to tapping into these resources, we strongly encourage students at all levels to engage in reading books, magazines, digital materials, or anything else around your home.

If your K-8 student did not receive a distance learning packet, you can access the packets at http://tinyurl.com/NKCPSdistancelearning and click on the tab for the appropriate grade level. This site will also contain links to digital resources that are available for New Kent County students. The resource page is being updated regularly, so check back often for new ideas. New Kent High School students should communicate directly with their teachers. If you can not access the packet, please contact your child's principal, and we will make copies to pick up at the front door of the school.

We recognize that learning from home presents many challenges, but also some wonderful opportunities to share learning as a family. Please be assured that we only ask that families do the best that they can.

If you or your child has any questions about the work, you can reach out to your teacher via email. Teachers will be happy to help. As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students engaged in learning during this extended school closing. We would love to see some of the creative learning experiences that New Kent families and teachers are doing at home! Please share with the hashtag: #nklearnsathome

WiFi Access - We continue to partner with the county and the community on WiFi access. You can now connect to WiFi in the student parking lot of the high school closest to the building. Also, you can now connect to WiFi at George Watkins in the parking lot in front of the school. No password is required for this WiFi. WiFi Name - NKCPS Free WiFi

Grab and Go Meals

The 'Grab and Go' meal service will be located at the New Kent High School cafeteria (7365 Egypt Rd New Kent VA 23124). We will provide each child with breakfast and lunch for the week.

  • Monday, March 23, 2020, and March 30, 2020, we will hand out meals from 9 am – 11 am.
  • Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and April 1, 2020, we will hand out meals from 11 am – 1 pm.
  • Monday, April 6, 2020, Spring Break – we will hand out meals from 10 am – 2 pm. This will be the only day during Spring Break week
If Parent/children are not available to pick up meals, please call or email Leslie Smith:

804-966-8508
Lsmith@nkcps.k12.va.us

Please note that adults must be accompanied by each child under 18 who needs a meal.



​RESOURCES

Frequently Asked Questions
These are New Kent specific questions and answers regarding how COVID-19 is affecting our schools.

CDC Resources 
The CDC has a comprehensive website updated throughout the day with the latest news: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. This site includes a tab for visitors to monitor travel updates.

Virginia Department of Health
The Virginia Department of Health has a comprehensive website that provides guidance and an updated look at case numbers: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/surveillance-and-investigation/novel-coronavirus/.



PREVIOUS UPDATES

Update - March 15

'
GRAB AND GO' MEALS FOR ALL STUDENTS BEGINNING TUESDAY, MARCH 17

While New Kent Schools has closed its facilities to combat the spread of COVID-19, we know that many of our students depend on school lunches and breakfasts as a crucial part of their daily nutrition. New Kent is addressing this need with a plan to set up a site to distribute free school meals.

The 'Grab and Go' meal service will be located at the New Kent High School cafeteria (7365 Egypt Rd  New Kent VA 23124).

Please note that adults must be accompanied by each child under 18 who needs a meal.  

On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, from 7 am until 10 am we will hand out pre-packaged breakfast and lunches to cover the week for all children 18 years or younger. 

On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, from 11 am until 1 pm we will hand out pre-packaged breakfast and lunch to cover the rest of the week for all children 18 years or younger who have not picked up meals.

If Parent/children are not available to pick up meals please call or email:  804-966-8508 Lsmith@nkcps.k12.va.us

On Monday, March 23, 2020 and Wednesday, March 25, 2020 breakfast and lunches to cover the week will be distributed from 9 am – 11 am.

Locations may be expanded, depending on demand. If the school closure period is extended past March 30, New Kent leaders will assess the status of the food distribution program.
 
I want to thank the NKCPS School Nutrition Department, school division staff, and school and community leaders who have worked relentlessly to make these efforts happen over the weekend. I also would like to thank our families for your understanding and patience as we navigate this unprecedented event.  
 
The school nutrition staff will continually assess student needs. Food availability and updates will be shared with families through our website, Facebook and email.  We will continue to keep you informed as new developments occur.
 
Brian J. Nichols
Superintendent

Update - March 13

Dear NKCPS Families, Faculty, and Staff:

Today, Governor Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for a minimum of two weeks in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.  

Schools will close from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27, at a minimum.

In response to this new development and related guidance, we are announcing the following decision:

Students: 

New Kent County Public Schools will be closed for students March 16-27. We will continue to reassess our decision to determine if any further closures are necessary beyond March 27. The students have received instructional material on Friday, March 13, 2020, while at school, in order to provide a continuity of learning. SAT Testing will continue, as scheduled, on Saturday, March 14, 2020.  

Families:

We will continue to work hard at all levels to help provide support to our students and families during the closure. In the coming days, we will communicate further details about our plan to provide students with instructional materials, as well as other resources and supports.  Additionally, for many of our students, the meals provided at our schools are a crucial part of their daily nutrition. Plans are being made to address this need across New Kent County. Schools will be open on Monday, March 16, 2020, for parents who need to pick up medication from the school.  Please contact your child’s school if you have any questions.  

Teachers and Staff: 

Specific and more detailed guidance for the remainder of the closing will be forthcoming.  Teachers are not expected to report as planned on Monday, March 16, 2020. Teachers, however, may have access to the schools during the regularly scheduled school hours on Monday, March 16, 2020.  12-Month employees and school nurses are required to report.  

 

 

Afterschool/Extracurricular and Weekend Activities: 

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all school and NKCPS facility use are canceled through Friday, March 27.  During this unprecedented experience, we will continue to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our community. 

The NKCPS Transportation department and our custodial providers, (SSC), will continue to assess the best cleaning practices and conduct additional cleaning of school buildings and buses. 

You will continue to receive frequent updates.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students and staff healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Brian J. Nichols

Superintendent of Schools


Update - March 12


New Kent families,

COVID-19 has created a rapidly evolving environment where changes are being made quickly in the interest of public health. I want to assure you that New Kent Schools is in daily communication with our local health department and emergency services to monitor the status of the virus in our area and continues to work on response plans. There are currently no confirmed cases of individuals that have tested presumptive positive for Coronavirus in New Kent County.

However, our school division has been proactively preparing lessons should it become necessary to close for an extended period of time. Students in elementary grades will receive paper packets tomorrow at school with instructions for completion in the event we have an extended closure. Secondary students will have access to downloadable materials from Schoology that can be completed on a Chromebook. These activities will not require the use of the internet. Students are encouraged to make sure they take their Chromebooks home with them on Friday.

As a precaution and to allow for further preparation, New Kent County Public Schools will be closed to students on Monday, March 16. This will be a staff workday to proactively prepare additional instructional materials in the event that schools are closed for an extended period of time.

We realize that this will be an inconvenience for families, but trust that you understand that this decision is made with the best interests of our students and staff in mind. Understanding that we are also still in the midst of flu season, the Facilities and Transportation teams will use this day to conduct additional cleaning of school buildings and buses in anticipation of being open for students on Tuesday.

Again, this is not a decision that we are making lightly, as we know it is disruptive in nature. However, we do believe it is in the best long-term interests of our students, staff and community.

We thank you for your patience and understanding! Additional resources and online FAQs can be found on our website: http://newkentschools.org/

Thank you,

Brian J. Nichols
Superintendent of Schools

Update - March 6 

Dear NKCPS Families, Faculty, and Staff,

We understand that the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in various countries around the world is concerning. As always, we want to reassure you that the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority. We are working closely with the New Kent Health Department, as well as other local and state officials, to monitor the potential impact COVID-19 may have locally. We rely upon their expert advice to help us navigate these important issues. Currently, there is no cause for alarm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that the risk to the public remains low. In comparison, the health risks associated with influenza (the flu) are far greater in the U.S. each year. Nevertheless, we are actively working to ensure that we are as prepared as possible for any impact it may have within our schools. Health and safety is everyone’s responsibility, and we need your help. Please see the list of resources below to help address any questions you may have about COVID-19. We ask that you review these materials individually and with your family to be better informed and prepared. In addition, here are a few quick and easy tips that you can use now to help prevent the spread of many illnesses in our schools and community: 1. Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with others and seek medical treatment if necessary.
  • If you have a fever, do not return to school until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in a wastebasket. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.   4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Additional Resources: To learn more about COVID-19, visit: Should you have additional questions, you may contact:
  • The New Kent Health Department: (804) 966-9640
  • The Virginia Department of Health Hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3
We hope this information is helpful to you. We will provide you with any additional guidance that we may receive to ensure you are fully informed. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students and staff healthy and safe.

Sincerely,
Brian J. Nichols
Superintendent of Schools