• 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)

     

    Comments (-1)
  • 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.

    Comments (-1)
  • Schoool Messenger: COVID-19 Long-Term Closure Q & A for Students/Families, March 26, 2020

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/26/2020

    Continuity of Learning

    Now that school is closed for the rest of the year, how does this change the expectations of continuity for learning?

    School divisions are not being asked to replicate the existing school day or year, but provide opportunities for students to make academic progress and continue to learn and grow.  The following summarizes expectations from the Virginia Department of Education:

    VDOE Expectations for Continuity of Learning 

    Should there be extended closures beyond the current order the VDOE encourages school divisions to consider options and ideas to engage students in reading, thinking and learning. Creating such opportunities should be done with careful consideration of providing equitable access and support for a variety of students. Due to the waivers that will be granted for school closures related to COVID-19, schools should not consider strategies for continuity of learning as make-up days. Additionally, we recommend that school divisions be mindful of the impacts of increased screen time for students and incorporate suggestions for physical activity and wellness.

    Please refer to the elementary (K-5) and secondary (6-12) packet for recommended ideas for continuity of learning.

    I don’t have internet at home.  Will my child fall behind in learning?

    No, your child will not fall behind in their learning. The division is providing hotspots and computers to all families who do not have this resource.  Currently, all elementary resources have allowed options for both digital and non-digital resources to help promote both balance of screen time as well as equal access. These materials will also be made available to families in paper copies, where needed.  Secondary students will have access through a Chromebook and hotspot, as needed. Please contact the school division at (540) 332-3920, if you do not have materials needed.

    How will this impact grades and report cards?

    Teachers will be finalizing grades from Quarter 3 by Monday, April 6.  Students who are failing a course, based on Quarter 3 report cards, may continue to recover this grade through the continuity of learning experiences provided in Quarter 4.  The tentative plan is to continue to mail final report cards on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

    What if my child is currently being evaluated for special education or Section 504 services?

    The Office of Student Services will contact you next week to talk about options that can keep everyone healthy during this extraordinary time.      

    What if my child’s IEP or Section 504 plan is due for review and revision prior to the end of the school year?

    Your child’s case manager will be in touch with you to determine when and how to schedule  an IEP meeting, again with safety and health of the IEP/Section 504 team, including parents/guardians and students as a priority. 

    Will my child have to attend summer school to make up the lost instructional time?

    Summer school attendance would NOT be based on the extended closure.  The current status of summer school is unknown, so more information will be forthcoming about this option for some students.  We will have to wait for further guidance regarding the timeline for school closures. 

    ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE--CONTINUITY OF LEARNING

    My child attends elementary school, and we have received the elementary information.  What are we required to complete?

    With only a few weeks remaining of school, many of our elementary grades have completed first instruction for the majority of the standards.  However, we have tried to provide optional activities that will allow students to continue practicing some of the important skills within each grade.  This continued practice will help students continue to grow as learners. Inserting an academic time into a student's daily schedule will help maintain routine for each day and continuity of learning.  We have provided a few options, so parents may vary the types of activities. We recommend reading each day. Teachers will provide additional resources, as needed, beginning the week of April 13.

    My child attends middle school, and we have received the secondary information What are we required to complete?

    The information provides some general ideas for continued learning, and teachers will be following up with students and families sometime after March 30.  With only a few weeks remaining of school, many of our middle school classes have completed first instruction for the majority of the standards. Each of your child’s teachers will be reviewing the curriculum and providing some resources that will help students continue to grow as learners.

    Algebra I, Geometry, and World Language Courses:  These courses receive standard credit from the Virginia Department of Education.  In order to award standard credit needed for high school graduation, we must ensure that students have completed a majority of standards, competencies, and objectives.  

    • Teachers will be identifying essential content that is necessary for subsequent courses and providing these resources for students/ families sometime after April 6.  Students should complete these assignments for standard credit.
    • The requirement to attempt an associated SOL end-of-course test will be waived for all students.  All students (regardless of diploma type) will be awarded a locally-awarded verified credit for the Spring 2020 administration only; this credit will NOT count toward the cap on locally-awarded verified credit.
    • For students who are failing as of Quarter 3, teachers will communicate with students/ families and provide review or other opportunities to recover the course prior to the end of the year.  These grades may be updated prior to the final report card.

    Will my child pass and go on to the next grade?

    We are NOT basing any decisions of promotion on the extended closure of schools.  Unless conversations have previously taken place, your child is expected to progress to the next grade.

    Will my child be behind because of the extended closure?

    In addition to offering at-home learning opportunities for students and families, we are also planning to add in a spiral review of the Quarter 4 content from the previous grades for both elementary and middle school in the upcoming school year (2020-2021).  Much of the content builds from grade to grade, so we will identify places where we can support this learning in the curriculum.

    HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS--CONTINUITY OF LEARNING

    My child attends high school, and we have received the secondary information What are we required to complete? (Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors)

    These courses receive standard credit from the Virginia Department of Education.  In order to award standard credit needed for high school graduation, we must ensure that students have completed a majority of standards, competencies, and objectives.  

    • Teachers will be identifying essential content that is necessary for subsequent courses and providing these resources for students/ families sometime after April 6.  Students should complete these assignments for standard credit.
    • The requirement to attempt an associated SOL end-of-course test will be waived for all students.  All students (regardless of diploma type) will be awarded a locally-awarded verified credit for the Spring 2020 administration only; this credit will NOT count toward the cap on locally-awarded verified credit.
    • For students who are failing as of Quarter 3, teachers will communicate with students/ families and provide review or other opportunities to recover the course prior to the end of the year.  These grades may be updated prior to the final report card.

    AP (Advanced Placement):  This course curriculum is based on guidance from the College Board.  Teachers in these courses will use guidance from the College Board in determining curriculum requirements and will communicate expectations to students/families.

    DE (Dual Enrollment):  This course curriculum is based on guidance from the Community College. For the remainder of the year, the focus will be ONLY on college course content.  Teachers in these courses use guidance from the community college in determining curriculum requirements and will communicate expectations to students/families.

    What about requirements for seniors who are anticipating graduation in May? (Seniors)

    Your high school counselor will be working with the guidance below to help determine if there are any additional requirements needed prior to graduation.  Many of the requirements have been waived for seniors.

    Based on VDOE guidance, graduation requirements will be waived for the following:

    • Students currently enrolled in a course who need a standard or verified credit to graduate;
    • Students who have successfully completed a course required for graduation, but have not earned the associated verified credit; 
    • Students who have not completed the student-selected test; 
    • Students who are currently enrolled in or have previously completed a course leading to a CTE credential necessary for a Standard Diploma but have not yet earned the credential; 
    • Students who have not completed a United States and Virginia history course*; 
    • Students who have not completed a fine or performing arts or career and technical education course*; 
    • Students in the second of sequential courses*; 
    • Students who have not completed an economics and personal finance course*. 

    *Some credit-based graduation requirements are still provided for in the Code of Virginia.  While these cannot be waived outright, these can be addressed by providing new instruction and pursuing alternate pathways to the 140-clock-hour requirement based on revised Board of Education guidelines (forthcoming). 

    The following graduation requirements will require action by the General Assembly in order to be waived: 

    • Students who have not completed training in emergency first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and the use of automated external defibrillators, including hands-on practice of the skills necessary to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and 
    • Students who have not completed a virtual course.

    Students enrolled in cosmetology courses will be eligible to take the licensure examination if their instructor submits a Training Verification form certifying the student completed the VDOE-required training, regardless of the hour amount.

    Will Seniors still have an opportunity to participate in graduation?

    We hope to offer a graduation for the Class of 2020, if we are able to do so.  The date and location for this would have to be determined at a later time, when more information about long-term closure timelines becomes available.  


    TESTING INFORMATION 

    What about testing? 

    Final Exams:

    All final exams for high-school credit bearing courses are cancelled.

    Future guidance will be provided by VDOE on testing and calculations for accreditation.  However, here is what we know so far:

    SOL Testing:  

    VDOE has applied for a waiver to eliminate future SOL testing for the 2019-2020 school year.

    AP (Advanced Placement) Testing:

    • The College Board is providing free remote learning resources to students by AP teachers beginning on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. 
    • Traditional face-to-face exam administrations will NOT take place. Students will take a 45- minute online free-response exam at home that will only include topics and skills that most AP teachers and students covered by early March. 
    • Students will be able to take these streamlined exams on any device —computer, tablet, or smartphone.  Taking a photo of handwritten work will also be an option. 
    • Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked this year to earn. 
    • Any student already registered for an exam can choose to cancel at no charge. 
    • The full exam schedule, specific free-response question types that will be on each AP Exam, and additional testing details will be available by April 3. 
    • For more information, visit the AP Updates for Schools Impacted by Coronavirus webpage.

    SAT testing:

    • The College Board is canceling the May 2, 2020, SAT administration. Makeup exams for the March 14 administration (scheduled March 28) are also canceled. 
    • Registered students will receive refunds. The College Board will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities for students as soon as feasible, in place of canceled administrations
    • For more information, please visit the College Board website.  

    ACT testing:

    • ACT has rescheduled the April 4, 2020, national ACT test date to June 13, 2020, in response to concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19. 
    • ACT will communicate directly with all students currently registered for the April 4, 2020, ACT test, informing them of the postponement and instructions for next steps. 
    • For additional information please visit the ACT website.


    NEXT STEPS

    What communication might I expect from teachers?

    Teachers may send communication through the remainder of the school year (next 8 weeks).  Some methods of communicating may include:

    • Email
    • Google Hangouts
    • Google Meet
    • Zoom
    • Calling through Remind or school phone
    • Establishing office hours (i.e. two days a week) 
    • Providing feedback on student work

    When can we pick up materials left behind at school?

    We are trying to make sure all secondary students have their chromebooks now.  If any student left this behind, please email the middle or high school principal (jmorris@staunton.k12.va.us or ncollins@staunton.k12.va.us).  We will provide information at a later time about further pick up from Shelburne Middle School.

    For Staunton High, students may pick up their personal belongings during the week of April 13th.  Specific times for pick up will be forthcoming.

    Will there be meal options available for students and families during the school closure?

    Yes. More information will be forthcoming.  Our food access hotline is available for any questions. Please text 540-294-0143.  Check our School Nutrition Facebook page and school website for updates.

    How will Preschool and Kindergarten registrations be handled?  What about students needing to enroll during the time of closure?

    More information will be forthcoming.

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  • SCS Update to Students and Families

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/24/2020

    This week is our scheduled Spring Break, and it does give us a little time to prepare for how teaching and learning will look for the remainder of the school year.  We will provide a plan for continuity for learning to everyone, and it will start next week.

    For families who are interested, our staff will be distributing meals tomorrow (Wednesday) and this Friday at Shelburne M.S. from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Don't forget our text hotline, 540-294-0143. Please text only to help streamline requests.  If you have special meal accommodations, text us with specific details and the number of children to be accommodated. Meal service will continue for the duration of the school closure.  Again, please check our blog regularly for updates.

    For Seniors and their families:  Those Seniors who were on track to graduate when the school closure began remain on track to graduate.  Seniors who still have work to do to meet graduation requirements will still have the opportunity to meet the standard.  Your administrators and school counselors will work with you on an individual basis.  As of now, we are still planning to hold a graduation ceremony for our Seniors.

    Our priority this week is to keep everyone healthy, safe, and fed. We will get back to teaching and learning next week. Please be on the lookout for additional information in the next few days concerning alternate arrangements for educating students  Thank you for your patience and support!

    Comments (-1)
  • School Messenger: School Closure Update

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/23/2020

    Greetings SCS Students, Families, and Staff,

    In his 2:00 news conference that just ended, Governor Northam has announced that all schools in Virginia will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  I know that this raises several questions for families.  Please understand that the Virginia Department of Education will be issuing more guidance to school divisions within the next 24 hours regarding what graduation will look like for our Seniors, including grades and G.P.A., and how learning will continue for the remainder of this academic year. We do anticipate that SOL testing will be waived for students this year.  I will follow up with more information tomorrow.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.  Stay safe.  Stay Healthy.  And stay positive – we will get through all of this together.  I’ll be back in touch tomorrow.

    Dr. Garett Smith, Superintendent

    Comments (-1)
  • Staying Healthy, Staying Active

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/22/2020

    There are a lot of scary words and new terms in the media right now, including “social distancing”, “self quarantine” “isolation”.  Even as we try to maintain social distancing to keep ourselves and each other healthy, it is important to remember you are not alone. Here are some  important tips to help you and your loved ones while we all navigate these next few weeks.  Remember, if you or anyone in your family is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call:

    Valley Community Services Board's Emergency Services at 540 885-0866 or Toll free: 866 274-7475. 

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

    While practicing physical distancing, there are easy self-care strategies that can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, or prevent anxiety before it even starts.

      1. Eat healthy to keep your body in top working order.  Please use this link to find resources in our community to help you access food for yourself and your family.  Staunton City Schools will continue to provide meals for children as well. Text this number if you need assistance:
      2. Exercise  can help support physical and mental wellness. Take advantage of our warmer weather by taking a walk, riding a bike, or practice your counting by doing jumping jacks or sit ups.  Be creative and make it fun! 
      3. It’s okay to open your windows and doors. With warmer weather, open your shades and windows and let light in.  For some people, increased exposure to light can increase positive feelings.
      4. Keep in touch with friends and family.  Reach out to your social support networks. There are still a lot of unknowns, and at times, it’s more scary than other times.  Call, text, use video chats to stay in touch with friends and family.
      5. Think about how much information is good for you and your family.  While it might be tempting to always keep the news on, doing so might become overwhelming.  Try to balance media consumption with reading, cooking, exercising, listening to music or learning something new.
    Comments (-1)
  • Medicaid and Insurance Coverage Information

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/20/2020

    Medicaid Information   3/20/20

    Not sure if you qualify for Medicaid or FAMIS?  Want to learn more about these options and what insurance options might be available to you and your family through the Federal Marketplace?  Please click the following link for more information: Cover Virginia - Welcome

    Please see below for some important updates about Medicaid coverage and COVID-19.

    Did you know?  

    Medicaid covers all COVID-19 testing and treatment. If you have questions or are concerned about potential exposure to COVID-19, call your doctor.

    Frequently Asked Questions about  Medicaid and FAMIS Coverage

    • How can I get health coverage? 

             You can apply for Medicaid at any time at Common Help

    Medicaid covers a variety of services, including testing and treatment for COVID-19. 

    • I am sick but cannot afford my copay to go to the doctor. What should I do? 

    All co-pays for Medicaid and FAMIS covered services are eliminated. You do not need to pay anything to see a doctor. 

    • I am worried that my prescriptions will run out. How can I prepare?

    Medicaid is allowing its members to fill a 90-day supply of many routine prescriptions. Check with your pharmacist or doctor.

    • Will my current coverage be canceled if I experience a change in circumstances and/or I was late mailing in my renewal documents? 

    No.  Virginia Medicaid will not cancel coverage for eligible individuals due to a change in circumstances or paperwork issues.  It is a priority to maintain your coverage during this time.  

    If you experience issues, please contact:   http://www.dmas.virginia.gov/contactforms/#/general  for assistance.

    • I had to move out of Virginia temporarily because of the coronavirus, but I am still a resident of Virginia. Can I keep my Medicaid coverage? 

    Yes!  You will continue to be eligible for Medicaid coverage.

    • Can I receive behavioral health services through telehealth or by telephone? 

    Yes! Virginia Medicaid has issued guidance to providers allowing the following Medicaid services to be offered through telehealth and by telephone: care coordination, case management, peer services, needs assessments, and psychiatric services, including medication management and individual, group, and family therapy. 

    • Will Medicaid make changes in its appeals procedures because of COVID-19? 

    Yes. DMAS is making the following changes: DMAS is seeking federal authority to accept client/member appeals filed during the COVID-19 emergency that miss the normal filing deadlines. If the authority is granted, those appeals will move forward as if the deadlines were met. This policy will apply retroactively for the length of the Governor’s emergency declaration, which began on March 12, as soon as approval is received. For all appeals filed during the state of emergency, Medicaid members will automatically keep their health coverage and have access to Medicaid-covered medical services without any financial impact while the appeal is proceeding. Medicaid managed health plans will also approve continued coverage while their internal appeal process is underway.  All DMAS State Fair Hearings will be conducted by telephone. DMAS will grant requests to reschedule hearings. Appeals may be submitted to DMAS via e-mail at: 

    Appeals@DMAS.Virginia.gov

    If you would like to receive regular updates and information about your Medicaid health coverage and COVID-19, scroll to the bottom of this link to sign up:  https://coverva.org/

     

     Source   DMAS COVID-19 FAQ 3_18_2020



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  • Grasp Information for SHS Seniors

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/19/2020

    Attention SHS Seniors!  GRASP is still open and available to answer your FAFSA/financial aid questions by email (pfeyerabend@grasp4va.org) or by phone  (804-527-7741).

     

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  • COVID-19: Questions and Answers for Families

    Posted by Staunton City Schools on 3/17/2020

    General Information

    1. 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 - English

    COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities - 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

    2. What obligations do I have if my family or I am traveling over spring break?  

    Travel Guidance For Families 3-17-20

    3. What community resources are available for families? 

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

     

    Instructional Questions

    4. The school closure on Friday happened quickly.  Should my child have study materials during this closure?  

    Students, staff, and families should enjoy the extended Spring break.  We are treating this short-term closure much like snow days, and we are not expecting that students would have required schoolwork or packets during this time beyond typically assigned tasks for their course.  Students may use this time to explore other learning interests -- maybe learn to ride a bike or learn to change a tire.

    Should we be out of school for an extended time (beyond this 2-week closure), we will be communicating further about ways to access instructional resources and materials that may be used at home to review previously taught material and explore new information.  We appreciate your patience and understanding, as there is no true replacement to face-to-face teaching of students.  

    If your middle or high school-aged child left their Chromebook or band instrument at school, you may pick up your child’s Chromebook on Wednesday, March 18, between the hours of 10:00am-12:00pm.

    5. Will the report card timeline be changed?

    Because of the school closure, the timeline for report cards is being updated.  Report cards should be sent home to families on Tuesday, April 14 (one week later than originally scheduled).  (This is subject to change should closure last longer than this anticipated time.)

    Any student who missed work prior to the closure will NOT be penalized for these missing assignments. 

    6. The first day of re-opening schools will now include a workday for all staff.  Why is that? 

    The closing on March 13 happened really quickly for all of us.  We want to ensure that the staff has time to meet and determine how they will respond to student questions and concerns upon return.  This will also allow staff time to set an instructional plan for moving forward with priority standards for the remainder of the school year.  

    7. Will we have to make up the time missed from the closure of school from March 16-20?

    Not yet.  Schools are required a minimum of 990 instructional hours.  Based on the current calendar, schools could miss an additional 7 days of school and still meet this minimum expectation.  Should we fall short of the 140 clock hour requirement for high school students, this requirement can be met through a waiver, indicating successful completion through a locally-defined assessment for the course (i.e. test, portfolio of work, etc.).

    8. Long-term, what does this mean for SOL testing, VAAP testing, WIDA ACCESS testing?

    For now, assume all testing dates are the same.  VDOE is looking at options for providing flexibility in meeting testing requirements.

    9. What are obligations related to special education and Section 504 during this closure?

    Communication to Families of SCS Students With IEP/504 Plans (d)

     

    Operations

    10. How will this pandemic impact activities, field trips, and conferences once school re-opens?

    Extracurricular activities that involve transporting students and field trips are cancelled until further notice.  If school re-opens as currently scheduled on March 30, we ARE planning to continue small-group sessions for tutoring and SOL blitz.   In-school assemblies are cancelled. Building rentals are cancelled until further notice. State conferences have been cancelled through April 30, 2020.

    11. Will there be meal options available for students and families during the school closure?

    Yes.  Free meals for any child 18 and younger will be available at Shelburne Middle School.  We will be set up on the 3r St. side entrance of the middle school. Children must be present to receive meals. Children may take 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches on each serving day.  

    Location: Shelburne Middle School

    Dates: March 18, 20, 23, 25, 27

    Times:   10am to 12 noon

    Our food access hotline is available for any questions. Please text 540-294-0143. Check our School Nutrition Facebook page and school website for updates. In addition, books will be provided for students during these times, thanks to a partnership with the Staunton Library.

     

    Further Extended Time

    12. What happens if the closure of schools ends up being longer than this two week time frame?

    There are many additional questions we will have to answer if we have additional time out of school.  The questions and answers above relate to a “short-term closure”. We are working on various scenarios should we need to be out past March 27. 

    We will be providing additional information to staff regarding our next steps for continuity of learning, should we have school closures beyond the March 27 date.  The following are excerpts of expectations from VDOE:

    VDOE Expectations for Continuity of Learning:  

    Should there be extended closures beyond the current order the VDOE encourages school divisions to consider options and ideas to engage students in reading, thinking and learning. Creating such opportunities should be done with careful consideration of providing equitable access and support for a variety of students. Due to the waivers that will be granted for school closures related to COVID-19, schools should not consider strategies for continuity of learning as make-up days. Additionally, we recommend that school divisions be mindful of the impacts of increased screen time for students and incorporate suggestions for physical activity and wellness.

     

     

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