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COVID-19 Updates 

from Smoky Valley Schools

Please note: for the very latest information about the 20-21 school year, please see the USD 400 RETURNING TO LEARNING page


Important Links


Thursday, April 9

USD 400 SMOKY VALLEY ADDRESSES ZOOM SECURITY

Since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Kansas schools carry out instruction and meetings, many school districts across the state and country have adopted Zoom to help facilitate offsite classes and meetings with students, parents, teachers, and administrators. This explosive adoption and use of Zoom has brought increased scrutiny to the product as it pertains to security and privacy. There have been some terrible stories in the news about how meetings have been 'Zoombombed' by an unknown 'hacker' that joins a meeting and disrupts it with inappropriate behaviors.

While we haven’t experienced any of these incidents since implementing Zoom, Smoky Valley USD 400 has taken those concerns very seriously and is actively working with teachers and administrators to best configure and control their online classes and meetings in ways to help mitigate the success of those Zoombombers and hackers. Smoky Valley teachers have received clear and detailed technical guidance regarding Zoom account settings and meeting controls so that Zoom classroom sessions are as safe and secure as possible. Zoom, to their credit, has introduced a number of updates and patches in the last ten days to also help with the security and privacy of their software. We continue to see support and tips from Zoom and other educational support systems that we share and implement with our staff and students in order to best secure our Zoom meetings and classes.

We know that Zoom is not a perfect solution, but we also recognize that every system has its flaws when attempting to balance security and privacy against usability and functionality. This is an entirely new way to do education for our students, parents, teachers, and administrators, and we continue to learn and get better as we go. If you have any questions about Zoom usage in the district, feel free to contact your building principal.

Wednesday, april 8

11:30 AM - USD 400 COVID-19 video update: Superintendent Glen Suppes interviews SVHS Junior Haylee Saunders about her school experience!


Thursday, April 2

5:00 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

Thursday, March 26

Smoky Valley Continuous Learning Plan orientation video


Wednesday, March 25

A link has been posted above with information about the curbside pickup scheduled for March 30.

8:30 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Tuesday, march 24

6:00 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Monday, march 23

6:20 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


FRIDAY, March 20

7:30 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Thursday, March 19

8:30 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Wednesday, March 18

6:25 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Tuesday, March 17

FREE LUNCH AND BREAKFAST FOR USD 400 CHILDREN

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, the USD 400 Food and Nutrition Program will begin free meal service for any child below the age of 18 that lives within the boundaries of USD 400 (including non-students).  If you'd like to take advantage of this FREE program for your child(ren), click here for more details.

5:50 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


4:30 PM Update - If you’ve not heard, Governor Laura Kelly, under the direction of KDHE, has closed all school buildings in the state of Kansas until the end of the school year.While school buildings are closed, learning will continue for students in the state of Kansas.  At Smoky Valley, we are committed to the health and safety of our students and staff and our efforts in the coming weeks will be reflective of this.

A task force created by KSDE is currently working on guidelines to help school districts customize solutions for their local communities and needs.  The guidelines will be released to administrators on Wednesday night and will offer multiple options to fit our local needs.

USD 400 school administrators have already started working to address the issues under this new normal for our staff, students, and parents.  We are developing a plan to provide breakfast and lunch meal services.  Classroom and academic programming is also being developed to meet the needs of our students.

We’re blessed to work in an awesome district with amazing people.  Working together, we will meet this current challenge.We appreciate your support in this effort.  Please monitor this website and our USD 400 Smoky Valley social media accounts to stay updated on plans for the future.

Superintendent Glen Suppes will provide a video update later this evening on this web page.


Monday, March 16

5:15 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Sunday, March 15

5:40 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

  • Per the recommendation from Gov. Laura Kelly, KSHSAA has suspended spring sports and practices from March 16-22. This means there will be NO SPRING SPORTS PRACTICES during Spring Break.
  • School has been canceled for Monday, march 23, to allow staff to prepare for changes In procedures and operations per KDHE and CDC Guidelines.  There will be more information sent to staff later this week, but all staff should plan to report Monday, March 23.

SAturday, March 14

2:45 PM - VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS


Friday, March 13th

3:00 PM - SECOND VIDEO UPDATE FROM GLEN SUPPES, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS

1:30 PM - Updated MESSAGE FROM MR. NELSON - RELATED TO THIS WEEK'S PLAY:

The KDHE has updated the protocol for dealing with Corona (Covid-19) Virus this afternoon. Based on the recommendations, we must officially cancel the last two performances of our drama department's production of "Get Smart."

MARCH 13 - 11:30AM:

Video Update from Glen Suppes, Superintendent of Schools and Jessica Morel, USD 400 School Nurse:

10:30AM - District UDATe 

The district continues to monitor the changing situation in regard to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). More information will be released to parents and students on the district website and social media. 

Today, all parents and staff will receive a notice from the district about this topic. Please note that we will be following the advice of the local health department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment as we respond to this outbreak. 

At this point, based on the guidance from KDHE and the McPherson County Health Department, the High School play will be performed as scheduled. This is a fluid situation however; this guidance may change at any time. 

Starting at midnight Sunday morning (March 15) through Sunday, March 23, all buildings will be closed to staff and public access. During that time, our custodial staff will be deep-cleaning in preparation for returning to school after Spring Break. 

Outdoor athletic practice will be permitted over Spring Break, however, students will not have access to dressing rooms and indoor practice due to the weather WILL NOT BE PERMITTED. Practice for girls’ swimming will follow guidelines established by the McPherson USD 418. 

Please be cautiously safe over the break.

10:30AM - Message from Mr. Nelson Related to this week's PLay: 

Based on the KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) recommendations for dealing with the Corona (COVID-19) virus, we are continuing with the SVHS performances of our spring play, "Get Smart," at this time. However, this could change as new information and guidelines are sent out by KDHE.

The Friday and Saturday evening performances are still on at this point. Should the recommendation from KDHE change, we will send out notification as soon as possible. Notification will be made on the district website, social media, and through the calling system.

If you or your family members are currently experiencing symptoms common to the flu or a respiratory illness, please do not attend our performances! Thank you for your cooperation! 


McPherson County Health Dept. Letter to families with guidelines to handling illness. 
Smoky Valley is following the guidelines of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.  For more information from KDHE, click here.