• Summer Meal Service Schedule

    Posted by Justin Eckard on 5/21/2020

    Summer Meal Service

    Comments (-1)
  • Looking Ahead to 2020-2021

    Posted by Justin Eckard on 5/20/2020

    Message from Dr. Smith:

    Good afternoon, students and families,

    It's hard to believe that this is the last week of the 2019-2020 school year!  We want to thank each of you for your tremendous flexibility during this very different school year.  Your support and understanding during this time has been exceptional and is so appreciated.  Please find attached end-of-the-year information for each of you with our latest updates.

    Enjoy this last week, and have a wonderful summer!

     

    Looking Ahead to 2020-2021 for Students and Families

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  • Blog Update May 1, 2020

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 5/1/2020

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING REGISTRATION

    We hope everyone continues to be healthy and safe during this extraordinary time.  We continue to look for resources and supports to assist you and your loved ones.  We care very much for our Staunton community, and hope these resources are helpful to you.  

    Staying Healthy, Staying Engaged

    “As difficult as the changes are for adults, kids are dealing with their own feelings coupled with the emotions they pick up from their parents. As kids process what’s going on their lives, it’s normal for the sadness they’re feeling to come out in ways that may look very different.”  VCU offers some insights into understanding how sadness may look in children and how you can respond in ways that are healthy and helpful.

    Tips for Supporting Student Wellness at Home During COVID-19

    It can be difficult to feel connected to others while practicing social distancing and staying at home.  The American Psychological Association has created a guide  to help us cope while keeping our families and ourselves safe.

    Supports for Veterans

    Housing/Homelessness | Virginia Department of Veterans Services

    https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/housing.asp

    National Call Center for Homeless Veterans  1-877-4AID-VET 1-877-424-383

    Community Supports (health care, food and housing)

    Virginia CommonHelp

    March 2020 Virginia Community Crisis Assistance Contact Localities (City/County) Greater Richmond CoC Homeless Crisis Line 804-9

    Virginia  Homeless Solutions Program (VHSP)  click here if you are looking for support for special needs housing

    Eviction Help Hotline  1-833-NoEvict or 1-833-663-8428  provides phone-based legal services for tenants facing eviction or lease termination.

    If you and/or a loved one is experiencing a crisis, please reach out.  You are not alone.  If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, STOP and call 911 immediately or report to your nearest emergency room. 

    Abuse & Neglect (for concerns related to child abuse and neglect)

    Staunton/Augusta DSS 245-5800           

    Commonwealth of Virginia hotline  1-800-522-7096

    Adult Protective Services  (for concerns related to elder and/or disabled adult abuse and neglect)  

    Staunton/Augusta DSS  245-5800

    Commonwealth of Virginia 1-888-83-ADULT (3858)

    Home - National Runaway Safeline | National Runaway Safeline    1-800-RUNAWAY Text 66008

    National Human Trafficking Hotline   1-888-373-7888 (TTY: 711) Text 

    MyValleyCSB Home Page  

    Valley Community Services Board Emergency Services  540-885-0866 or toll free 

    DATE: April 27, 2020 TO: Division Superintendents FROM: James F. Lane, Ed.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction SUPT’S EMAIL: Pandemic-EBT Benefits for Families and LEA Responsibilities This email provides information about the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits for certain households under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 (FFCRA), and notifies local educational agencies (LEAs) of the required data the School Food Authority (SFA) must provide in order for the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to issue the benefits to eligible households. Virginia will provide P-EBT benefits to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and non-SNAP households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to pandemic-related school closures. Students previously determined eligible for free or reduced-price meals and all students enrolled in a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) participating school are eligible to receive PEBT. The LEA must provide the required data to VDSS for households to receive the benefit. Local school nutrition directors will receive information via a School Nutrition Program Director’s memo on April 27, 2020, with instructions and a required Excel template for the data requirements for all eligible students. The data source should be the LEA’s student information system (SIS) or point of sale system (POS). Data elements include the following: school division and school; eligible student name and address; student date of birth; and, parent/guardian name and address. The SFA will send the completed data file directly to VDSS via the confidential SSWS dropbox. It is requested that this data be submitted as quickly as possible. VDSS will mail P-EBT cards directly to households using the address provided by the SFA in the spreadsheet. Undeliverable cards will be returned by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to VDSS. Incorrect addresses could result in the family not receiving the benefit. The P-EBT cards are an additional benefit and not a replacement for the school meal programs. The P-EBT cards will only provide for the days schools were closed, and not weekends, and only for enrolled students, and not any other household children. The PEBT cards will take several weeks to arrive to eligible households and will occur in phases. If there are questions, please contact the assigned SNP Regional Specialist, or Sandy Curwood, Director of School Nutrition Programs, at (804) 371-2339 or by email at sandra.curwood@doe.virginia.gov.

     

    VDOE Partnership with Spanish-Language Radio Station Supports Learning for Students and Families

    La Asociación de VDOE con una Estación de Radio en Español Apoya el Aprendizaje a los Estudiantes y sus Familias

    RICHMOND — Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced today that the Virginia Department of Education is partnering with Radio Poder WBTK 1380 AM — a Richmond Spanish-language station — to launch “Virginia: Educación en Radio,” the commonwealth’s first bilingual radio learning program. 

    El Superintendente de Instrucción Pública James Lane anunció hoy que el Departamento de Educación de Virginia se está asociando con Radio Poder WBTK 1380 AM, una estación en español de Richmond, para lanzar "Virginia: Educación en Radio", el primer programa de aprendizaje de radio bilingüe de la Mancomunidad.

    “Virginia: Educación en Radio” will feature prerecorded lessons in multiple subject areas to support continuity of learning for Spanish-speaking students in grades K-12 while schools are closed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

    "Virginia: Educación en Radio" presentará lecciones pregrabadas de múltiples materias para apoyar la continuidad del aprendizaje de los estudiantes de habla hispana en los grados K-12, mientras que las escuelas están cerradas para frenar la propagación de COVID-19.

    The program will air Monday through Friday from 10:30-11 a.m., beginning on Friday, May 1, and run through the end of the month, with a possible extension into June. Programming on Fridays will focus on resources, activities and educational tips for families. A replay of each week’s lessons will be available on Saturdays from 4-6:30 p.m. 

    El programa se emitirá de lunes a viernes de 10:30-11am. a partir del viernes 1 de mayo y se extenderá hasta fin de mes, con una posible extensión hasta junio. La programación de los viernes se centrará en recursos, actividades y consejos educativos para las familias. La repetición de las lecciones de cada semana estará disponible los sábados de 4 a 6:30 p.m.

    “I would like to thank Radio Poder for the generous donation of airtime and making ‘Virginia: Educación en Radio’ possible,” Lane said. “I also want to thank all of the teachers who have created and contributed content for ‘Virginia: Educación en Radio.’ The broadcasts and online content will help school divisions broaden their efforts to keep all children and families connected with learning.”

    "Me gustaría agradecer a Radio Poder por la generosa donación de tiempo al aire y por hacer posible ‘Virginia: Educación en Radio’, dijo el Superintendente de Instrucción Pública James Lane. También quiero agradecer a todos los maestros que han creado y contribuido con contenido para 'Virginia: Educación en Radio'. Las transmisiones y el contenido en línea ayudarán a las divisiones escolares a ampliar sus esfuerzos para mantener a todos los niños y familias conectados con el aprendizaje".

    “For more than 13 years, WBTK Radio has worked hard to become the place in the community where Spanish-speaking listeners come for community information and entertainment. We are thankful to the Virginia Department of Education in working with us to make it possible so that all students in Virginia receive a variety of educational opportunities,” WBTK Station Manager Glen Motto said.

    “Durante más de 13 años, WBTK Radio ha trabajado duro para convertirse en el lugar de la comunidad donde los oyentes hispanohablantes acuden en busca de información y entretenimiento comunitario. Estamos agradecidos con el Departamento de Educación de Virginia por trabajar con nosotros para hacer posible que todos los estudiantes en Virginia reciban una variedad de oportunidades educativas ". dijo El gerente de la estación WBTK, Glen Motto.

    Students and parents can access “Virginia: Educación en Radio” by one of the following means:

    • Listening live at 1380 AM in the Richmond area from 10:30-11 a.m., Monday-Friday
    • Listening live at radiopoder1380.com from 10:30-11 a.m., Monday-Friday
    • Listening to lessons on demand at radiopoder1380.com/educacion 
    • Listening live by phone at (206) 629-0249 or (641) 715-8936 

    Los estudiantes y los padres pueden acceder a "Virginia: Educación en Radio" por uno de los siguientes medios:

    • Escuchando en vivo en radiopoder1380.com 10:30-11:00 a.m.
    • Escuchando lecciones anteriores  al momento en radiopoder1380.com/educacion
    • Escuchar en vivo por teléfono marcando el (206) 629-0249 o el (641) 715-8936
    • Escuchando en la radio en 1380AM en el centro de Virginia

    Lessons and topics will be announced on Fridays and posted online at radiopoder1380.com/educacion. Students and families will be encouraged to text in image files of completed work or activity to (804) 571-1380 for a chance to have it featured on the “Virginia: Educación en Radio” website.

    Las lecciones y los temas se anunciarán los viernes y se publicarán en línea en radiopoder1380.com/educacion. Se alentará a los estudiantes y las familias que envien una imagen por texto al 804-571-1380 con cualquier trabajo o actividad completada para tener la oportunidad de que aparezca en la pagina de "Virginia: Educación en Radio"

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  • Blog Update April 24, 2020

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 4/24/2020

    School Updates

    Governor Northam’s executive orders to stay home are still in effect, and our schools remained closed.  We still want to be available to support your child and your family in ways that are safe for everyone.    Beginning Monday April 24, 2020, you may call your child’s school between the hours of 8:00AM-3:00PM if you have any questions.  

    Are you looking for information regarding registering your child in Staunton City Schools?

    New to Staunton?    If you are new to our area, please contact your child’s new school to make an appointment to register your child. 

    If you have a child you would like to register for kindergarten,  we will begin taking calls to schedule an appointment on Monday, May 4, 2020.  For your convenience, elementary school office numbers are listed below:

    AR Ware Elementary 332-3938

    Bessie Weller Elementary 332-3940

    TC McSwain Elementary 332-3936

    A child must be 5 years old by September 30, 2020 to be eligible to enter kindergarten this fall.

    What information do I need to bring to my appointment? 

    • Your child’s birth certificate
    • Your photo identification (driver’s license, passport, DMV ID card)
    • Proof of residency (this can be a current lease or a utility bill in your name to your current Staunton City address)

     

    If you have a child who will be 4 by September 30, 2020 and are interested in applying to our preschool program, please call 332-3934 for more information.  

    Staying Healthy, Staying Engaged

    Looking for additional ways to talk with your children about COVID-19?  This resource from NPT might help:

    What Kids Want To Know About Coronavirus: An Original Comic : Goats and Soda

    Centers for Disease Control Recommends Using Cloth Masks to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

    CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.  To learn how to make cloth face coverings, visit Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow Spread.

    These 2 articles from Mindshift might be useful as we all continue to navigate our “new normal” learning and living environment.   

    https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/55621/how-parents-can-help-their-kids-while-managing-distance-learning?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20200419_News_MindShift_Newsletter&mc_key=00Qi000001WzPCQEA3


    https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/55708/when-a-childs-emotions-spike-how-can-a-parent-find-their-best-self?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20200419_News_MindShift_Newsletter&mc_key=00Qi000001WzPCQEA3

    Edutopia offers some suggestions for meeting your child’s sensory needs  at home:

    Looking for new activities to do at home that support mental well-being with your children?  The Red Cross has some great suggestions here.

    The Attachment and Trauma Network offers some trauma informed strategies for teaching and learning in this new virtual environment.

    Looking for some more information on how to manage and promote mental well being during this extraordinary time?   The Red Cross is offering this free online course to  help you to build resilience and support yourself and others through this crisis by reviewing basic principles of providing psychological first aid, including how to recognize and manage stress in yourself and in others and how to lend support to family members, friends and coworkers during and following the COVID-19 outbreak.  You can register for the course here.

    Comments (-1)
  • School Messenger Update

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 4/15/2020

    Good Afternoon,

    I hope everyone is doing well given the circumstances and figuring out ways to make the most of this extra time at home. I’m optimistic that we will get through this uncertain time and come out stronger on the other side.  Although our state of affairs remains very much in flux, I wanted to share with you the six main takeaways from my weekly statewide superintendent conference call and our SCS leadership team meeting this morning:

    1. Instruction: Thanks to our dedicated teachers and administrators, our continuity-of-learning plans have taken shape and are up and running.
      • For preschoolers: Our teachers have created learning packets for each child, are sending weekly newsletters to families, and having virtual family team meetings.
      • For elementary schoolers: All elementary school teachers have collaborated to provide common daily plans for students at all three elementary schools. This includes a routine for students and families with math word problems, number sense practice, daily read-alouds, reading responses, written responses and word work. Those plans are posted on each school’s website every Sunday evening. Several of the grades have already participated in class Zoom meetings and read-alouds.
      • For middle schoolers: Middle school teachers have collaborated with other teachers in their department to develop common plans, and each of the teachers has established common office hours. Staff has created a Shelburne Continuity of Learning Directory on their website to help students and families easily find their schoolwork, which includes a link to the work, the teacher’s office hours, and the teacher’s email address.
      • For high schoolers: High school teachers are also working together with others in their department to develop joint plans for common courses, where applicable.  Teachers are focusing on essential content so that students may work to achieve standard credit that is required for graduation. Teachers are sending materials to students and communicating with families each Monday, providing office hours two days per week, and providing feedback throughout the week.  
    2. Nutrition: To help families stay healthy and well-fed during this time, we are continuing to provide meals by delivery service. Bus stops and times are posted on the COVID-19 blog on our website. A special thanks to Project Grows for supplying free fresh produce and for helping with our meal deliveries!
    3. Technology: Free Chromebook laptops and internet hotspots are still available to families who need it. Our Technology Department has given out an estimated 350-400 laptops and 250 hotspots so far. Please contact your principal if you are in need.
    4. Budget: Our budget director is brainstorming and calculating ways to save money this year and prioritize needs for next year. It’s nearly impossible to project the virus’ impact on our budget at this point. Still, we expect that we’ll have to tighten our belt for a while, with a freeze on hiring for new positions and only filling positions open due to attrition. While we don’t know exactly what we’ll get, we are looking forward to the forthcoming stimulus package to help.
      We learned this morning that raises for teachers and other state employees have been suspended from the state budget for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. Funding for the expansion of the Virginia Preschool Initiative has also been suspended for both fiscal years.
      The City Council and School Board will have a virtual joint budget meeting at 5:30 p.m. April 23 to assess the situation. Our School Board members care deeply about the welfare of our students, families and employees and are committed to finding solutions during this challenging time.
    5. Operations: Our operations and maintenance crews continue to work tirelessly to clean and disinfect our buildings, make bus repairs, inspect vehicles, update first-aid kits and maintain our properties.
    6. High School Graduation & Construction: We don’t know how graduation will look or when it will take place, but we remain committed to finding a way to honor this year’s Senior class.  Collins and his staff are exploring every option.  Seniors will be doing a drive-by pickup of caps and gowns this week.
      Nielsen Builders, Inc. has been able to accelerate some phases of their construction work with staff and students out of the building.  The project has an ambitious timeline, so the school closure may actually be helpful for them. Our fingers are crossed that their work won’t be interrupted by the pandemic.

    My sincerest thanks to you all for your patience and encouragement as we navigate this new normal together! Stay healthy, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can do anything to help you.

    Garett Smith

    Comments (-1)
  • Meal Services Update

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 4/14/2020

    April 13, 2020

    Update from Dr. Garett Smith, Superintendent

    Dear SCS Families & Students,

    We know during this time of uncertainty, job and school closures have had an undue impact on food security. Staunton City Schools is committed to helping students access the meals they need to thrive while schools are closed.

    Staunton City Schools is continuing to provide meals for all children and teens, 18 and under, during this period of school closure.

    On MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS,  our FREE nutritious meals can be found at the following locations and times:

    Bus 4

    10:18-10:48  Frontier Ridge Apartments

    10:58-11:28  Twin Mountain Apartments

    11:33-12:03   Bessie Weller Elementary School (parking lot)

     Bus 17

    10:12-10:42   Willow View Apartments

    10:48-11:18    YMCA (parking lot)

    11:30-12:00   Booker T. Washington Community Center

    12:10-12:40   Shell Station, Churchville Avenue

     

    Bus 18

    10:12-10:42   Farrier Court Apartments (old office)

    10:45-11:15    Springhill Village Apartments (gazebo)

    11:20-11:50    Staunton Public Library (parking lot)

    Bus 24

    10:10-10:40    Miller Street Apartments

    10:46-11:16    Elizabeth Miller Apartments (parking lot #600)

    11:21-11:51    Montgomery Hall Park (near Rec House)

    While you should always take precautions when venturing out, please know that we are following every safety protocol and best practices for social distancing at meal sites to combat the spread of disease. All meals are served in a grab and go format, with pickup stations designed to limit social interactions. Our pickup is an easy process:

    Pull up to the designated locations,

    1. Roll down your window and tell the nutrition staff how many meals you need
    2. Staff will place the number of meals you request in your trunk or on vehicle hoods.
    3. You exit your car and grab your meals. You will be asked to open & close all doors, trunks etc.

    This process ensures we follow the recommended social distancing protocol and ensure the safety of all.

    If you would like further assistance in accessing food resources during this time, Staunton City Schools Foods Source Hotline (1-540-294-0143) is open. Please text your inquiry and allow 24 hours to respond.

    If you are experiencing food insecurity, please review this link for additional information regarding resources for food access in our community.

    You can also contact VA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for information about public nutrition assistance at 1-800-552-3431 or visit their website: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    If you are experiencing financial difficulty, apply for free or reduced meals now, as this eligibility carries over for 30 days into a new school year.

    Email Amanda Warren, awarren@staunton.k12.va.us for details or apply online at https://www.staunton.k12.va.us/

    Comments (-1)
  • Resources Update

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 4/11/2020

    Salvation Army Blessing Bags

    For those who are in need, the Salvation Army has prepared “blessing bags” that are either filled with food, toiletries or baby items.  The Salvation Army regularly provides toiletries, food, clothes, utility and rental assistance for those in need. To find out more, call 540.885.8157.

    Many thanks to the ARROW Project for compiling a list of counseling options in our area.

    Remember, if you or anyone in your family is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call:

    Valley Community Services Board Emergency Services 540.885.0866 or Toll Free: 886.274.7475.

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1.800.273.8255.

    SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

    Suggested Podcasts and Apps to Support Mental Well-Being

    Ideas for calming breaks, kids activities, and more-Help Happens Here

    The Calmer You Podcast

    The Mindful Moment

    The Anxiety Coaches Podcast

    Your Anxiety Toolkit

    Looking for some apps to support mindfulness, meditation and resilience?  Here are a few to get you started.

    Shine | Calm Anxiety & Stress

    Aloe Bud - Self-Care Pocket Companion

    Happy Not Perfect

    ‎Sunrise Inspiration on the App Store

    ‎Stop, Breathe & Think on the App Store

    Just for kids:

    Zones of Regulation

    Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame

    Meditation for Kids

    HappiMe for Young People App Review

    Calm Child

    Virginia Department of Education News

    VA TV Classroom

    The Virginia Department of Education and four Virginia public media stations will broadcast teacher-led classroom instruction aligned with Virginia’s academic standards into homes across the Commonwealth.

    “VA TV Classroom” will air K-10th grade instructional content from 1-3 PM, Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, April 13, 2020. 

    The “VA TV Classroom” on-air schedule is as follows:

    • K-3 instruction airs from 1-2 p.m. with Standards of Learning-aligned content provided by WHRO Public Media. “Learn to Grow with WHRO” segments will be 15 minutes in length and led by teachers. 
    • Grades 7-10 instruction airs from 2-3 p.m. with SOL-aligned content provided by WHRO Public Media focusing on Earth Science and Algebra 1.
    • During the week of April 27, “VA TV Classroom” will add a special hour from 3-4 p.m. called “AP Prep Week,” with content provided by Virtual Virginia — in collaboration with WHRO — focusing on a different AP subject each day. The hour will include two 30-minute segments.

    In our area, “VA TV Classroom” can be seen  on the following channels:

    WHRO – WHRO World: via antenna 15.2, Cox 107 and Verizon FiOS 460

    VPM – VPM Plus

    • Charlottesville area: via antenna 41.2, Comcast 265 (HD) and 1146 (HD)
    • Shenandoah Valley: via antenna 51.2, Comcast 9, 798 (HD) and 1042 (HD)
    • WETA – WETA PBS Kids: via antenna 26.3, Comcast 266, Cox 801, Verizon FiOS 472 and RCN 38

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Updates and Resources

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 4/2/2020

    GED Information

    If you have been studying to take your GED tests, or registered to take a GED test, please use this link to keep up with important GED preparation and testing information:   Coronavirus Covid-19


    Social Supports, Benefits and Health Care Coverage

    Looking for other ways to talk to your children about COVID-19?   You might find these resource helpful:

    Coronavirus Social Story by KeshetChicago

    https://www.facebook.com/MusicCitySchoolCounselor/videos/230261831430440/

    My Story About Pandemics and the Coronavirus - Carol Gray

    Coronavirus Social Story

    If you are looking for information regarding how to apply for SNAP benefits, Social Security Benefits, TANF, Medical Assistance and/or Energy Assistance here are some important links and contact information:

    You can apply for assistance at any time by clicking here by calling the Social Services toll-free helpline at 855.635.4379, or by email commonhelp@dss.virginia.gov.  You can also call our local Department of Social Services at 540.245.5800 or 540.942.6646.

    If you are looking for health care coverage, please see the blog post dated March 20, 2020 for information regarding Medicaid, FAMIS and the Federal Marketplace or use this link to find more information.  

    Looking for other avenues for free and reduced cost resources like job training, medical care, respite and more?   Click here and enter your zip code to find resources and assistance in our area.  

    As we’ve posted before,  we recognize there are a lot of scary words and new terms in the media right now, including “social distancing”, “self quarantine”, “isolation”, “shortage of medical supplies” and “pandemic.”  Even as we try to maintain social distancing to keep ourselves and each other healthy, it is important to remember you are not alone.  

    Remember, if you or anyone in your family is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call:

    Valley Community Services Board Emergency Services 540.885.0866 or Toll Free: 886.274.7475.

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  1.800.273.8255.

    SAMHSA’s National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.

    “Social Distancing” Does Not Mean “Social Isolation”  Think “Physical Distancing” Instead

    As we all work to follow health recommendations to practice physical distancing, limit our time outside of our homes and wash our hands and refrain from touching our face, here are some helpful tips from a recent article in Scientific American, “How to Prevent Loneliness in a Time of Social Distancing” by Kasley Killam. If you are interested here is the full article.

    1. Did you know that facial cues, body language and other nonverbal forms of communication are important for people to bond with one another?  Use video chat rather than messaging, texting or calling to have face-to-face contact. Try a digital dinner with your neighbors or friends from work, a popcorn party or ice cream social, or maybe even a remote book club to stay connected.  Need help getting conversations going? Try TableTopics: Conversation starters - Icebreaker Games or 5 Classic Conversation Games to Play With Kids to get things going.
    2. Instead of scrolling through people’s posts, take a minute and send someone a few kind words through messaging or email.   A little bit of kindness can go a long way, right now and in the future, to counter uncertainty and stress. 
    3. Spend time feeding your curiosity or your passion--maybe even find a new one!  Whatever your interests are, there is most likely an online community who shares your same joy.  
    4. Deepen friendships, old and new.  Kelsey Killam reminds us there are two ways to overcome loneliness: nurturing your existing relationships or forming new ones. Get in touch with a friend or family member you haven’t had a chance to connect with in awhile, maybe even write a letter to send through regular mail!  Consider reaching out to someone you’d like to get to know better. Make new friends!  

    Stay connected, stay engaged and stay well!

    Comments (-1)
  • Meal Delivery Schedule Update

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/27/2020

    We care about our Staunton City Schools families and look forward to continuing to provide nutritious meals that adhere to USDA guidelines to our community’s children. Beginning March 30, 2020 and until further notice, we will begin delivering meals throughout the City on Mondays and Thursdays. The complete schedule for meal delivery sites and times is at the end of this post. We ask that you read the following carefully to help us all help each other maintain our safety and health.  

    In order to keep everyone safe and healthy, we ask that everyone please remember the following:

    Parents/drivers/students: In order to maintain social distancing, we can either place meals in your trunk; or, if you rather, place meals on the hood of your car.  Once staff has moved away from your vehicle, you may gather the meals. 

    Walkers and bike riders:  Please make sure you stay in a line, maintaining a distance of 6 feet from one another.  Your safety and health are very important to us.  

    MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS:   At each meal distribution, 3 days worth of twice-daily meals will be provided for each child.  

    Bus 4

    10:18-10:48  Frontier Ridge Apartments

    10:58-11:28  Twin Mountain Apartments

    11:33-12:03   Bessie Weller Elementary School (parking lot)

    Bus 17

    10:12-10:42   Willow View Apartments

    10:48-11:18   YMCA (parking lot)

    11:30-12:00   Booker T. Washington Community Center

    12:10-12:40   Shell Station, Churchville Avenue

    Bus 18

    10:12-10:42    Farrier Court Apartments (old office)

    10:45-11:15    Springhill Village Apartments (gazebo)

    11:20-11:50    Staunton Public Library (parking lot)

    Bus 24

    10:10-10:40    Miller Street Apartments

    10:46-11:16    Elizabeth Miller Apartments (parking lot #600)

    11:21-11:51    Montgomery Hall Park (near Rec House)

     

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  • General Information Update

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/27/2020

    Where can I go for accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19?

    Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    Augusta Health | Virginia Healthcare

    Virginia Department of Health

    COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities   (In English)

    COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities   (In Spanish)

    The Virginia Department of Health has released a checklist to help you take steps to lessen the impact of a severe coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on you and your family. 

    VDH Checklist for Individuals and Families- English

    VDH Checklist for Individuals and Families- Spanish

    Social distancing and quarantine may cause some concern for individuals, families and communities.  Here are some tips to manage these mitigating strategies during this time.

    TIP SOCIAL DISTANCING.indd

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Symptoms of COVID-19 included fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  Please remain vigilant to your own health and the health of your children.  If you or your child experiences these symptoms, contact your local health care provider or the health department 332-7830.  Your doctor or health department staff will decide whether or not testing needs to occur or whether or not you or your child should be seen in person.   Please contact your primary doctor or health department first to reduce the chance of viral transmission.  

    Please remember, individuals who are mildly ill may not need to be tested and should isolate (keep away from other people) and be taken care of at home.

    If you or someone in your family is positively diagnosed, you can find information about next steps here:  What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? – Coronavirus

    What if someone in my family has been exposed to COVID-19?

    If someone in your family has been in close contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19,  the Virginia Department of Health has advice for you here:  What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)? – Coronavirus

    The Virginia Department of Health recommends you self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of the potential contact and monitor your own health for symptoms.  For additional questions about staying home or monitoring your health, please call 877-ASK-VDH3 (877-275-8343). If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, please take these steps to prevent the spreadWhat To Do if You Are Sick

    How can my family and I help stop the spread of COVID-19?

    Social distancing is important to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and planning ahead for self-quarantine or social distancing will save time, frustration and anxiety for families.   Please refer to Student Services / Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information for information about social distancing, cleaning recommendations for your home, ways to build resiliency and support you and your family’s emotional well-being and other community resource information.  

    Additional ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 can be found here:  Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations | CDC   It will take all of us, working together and supporting one another, to stop the spread of this illness.

    This social story may help you explain COVID-19 to your children and other family members.

    WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS? COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS  

    COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities   (In English)

    COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities   (In Spanish)

    What community resources are available for families?

    This blog will update multiple times weekly with new information for you and your family.  

    Student Services / Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

    My employer just told me that the company is closing, or is downsizing and I will no longer have a job/or my hours have been cut.   What can I do?

    The Virginia Employment Commission has important information to help you navigate this difficult circumstance, including 

    I'm Unemployed! Now What?   This link provides basic information on what to do if you find yourself unemployed.

    UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (UI) PROCEDURES TO FILE OR RE-OPEN A CLAIM  Look here for detailed instruction on how to file or re-open an unemployment claim, including required documents you will need and an expected time frame for the process.          

    My family is currently facing eviction.  Are there any resources to help me keep my family in our home?

    From the Virginia Poverty Law Center:

    Housing Law - VPLC

    Your Rights as a Tenant During COVID-19 Outbreak (Current as of March 23, 2020)

    Your landlord must take you to court to evict you.

    • Your landlord cannot evict you without a court order, no matter what your lease says.

    • You do not have to move out just because the landlord tells you to leave, gives you a “5 Day Pay or Quit” or other written notice, or files an eviction lawsuit (“unlawful detainer”) against you. 

    Court closures:

    • Courts have stopped hearing unlawful detainer cases until least April 6, 2020.
    • We do not know when the courts will schedule new eviction cases. 
    • Still, if you have an unlawful detainer case scheduled for the next few weeks, you should check with the court to find out when it will be heard. You can also look up your case and find the court’s phone number by visiting http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/gd.html.

    You can still go to the court for emergencies, like if your landlord illegally locks you out. It is illegal for your landlord to shut off utilities or lock you out without a court order:

    • If the landlord locks you out or cuts off heat, water, gas, or electricity without a court order, you can call your local sheriff or police for help.
    • You can also sue your landlord to get back into your home and get utilities turned back on. The courts are still hearing emergency cases like these, called “unlawful exclusions.” Your landlord still has a duty to do repairs and maintenance:
    • Even with the COVID-19 outbreak the landlord must still provide you with a safe and healthy place to live. 

    If something breaks, send your landlord a letter asking for repairs right away. Your utilities, including water and electricity, should not be cut off:

    • The State Corporate Commission has told electric, gas, and water companies not to cut service for non-payment until the COVID-19 crisis ends. 
    • If your Dominion Energy service was recently cut off, call 1-866-366-4357 to get reconnected. 

    If you are facing eviction, if your landlord attempts to lock you out without taking you to court, or if you have questions about your rights, contact your local legal aid by calling 1-866-LEGL-AID or get legal advice from the Eviction Legal Helpline by calling 1-833-NoEvict. Visit VaLegalAid.org for more information.

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