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COVID concerns close Riverwood

Mustang Public Schools transitioned Riverwood Elementary to remote learning effective through at least Oct. 23, school officials said in a release Tuesday.
The transition came after several students exhibited COVID-19 symptoms and numerous staff members were also impacted.
In-person learning is expected to resume
Oct. 26.
Riverwood Principal Jessika Hill advised parents to use their “Go Packs,” which includes instructional materials provided to parents at open house.
If paper copies are needed, parents can pick them up in Riverwood’s lobby.
Students also will be able to receive meals through the school.
Meals will be provided for drive-up service from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 19-23.
Case managers will contact families, whose child receives special education services, regarding how their individualized education programs will be handled.
Classroom teachers will contact families for the remote learning plan.
Families are reminded to continue to email all COVID-19-related information to, and to be as specific as possible when describing their situation.
For more information, parents are advised to contact their children’s teacher or the school office
at 256-5200.

MPS’ Board of Education heard from the community during its meeting Monday.
Mother of three and MPS substitute teacher Payton Mailand said her daughter, a student at Centennial Elementary, struggles while wearing the required mask in class.
“When she wears a mask, she panics and says she can’t breathe,” said Mailand. “She said she feels lightheaded at school and comes home with a headache each and every day.”
While many students have come to terms with wearing masks, Mailand said she has concerns about students wearing masks at school all day.
She said the focus should be more on washing hands, and whether a student wears a mask should be left up to the parent.
“It is heartbreaking as a parent to have a straight A student, who absolutely loves school, come home every day begging to go virtual,” Mailand said.
She also thanked the board for their work during the pandemic of following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state officials.
She said she understands they can’t make everyone happy.
Kelly Robicnaud, who has two students in the district, said the district is failing its students.
Robicnaud’s eighth-grader is enjoying being back at Mustang Middle School, however, it’s a different story at the high school for her other child, she said.
She argued the A-B schedule the board chose is not working.
“You don’t want the kids to go to school four to five days a week, even though at your last meeting, you agreed the schools are the safest place to be,” said Robicnaud. “Find another way to teach the kids.”
Mustang teacher Mark Webb thanked the board for its hard work, as there is “no COVID-19 playbook.”
“(Teachers) have had to adapt to teaching both in a virtual and traditional classroom setting at the same time,” said Webb. “To put it mildly, we have been put in an airplane that is mid-flight and is being assembled as we fly.”
He said teachers and administrators alike are constantly working to ensure students obtain the best education possible during unprecedented times.
Social distancing may not be accomplished if not in an A-B format, Webb said.
The district plans to continue the A-B schedule until at least Nov. 20.
Masks also will be required for all grades “until community spread of COVID-19 in Canadian County slows,” according to a district release sent out Tuesday.

In student recognition news, one student was selected from each district’s site to “celebrate students’ success.”
MPS counselors and teachers selected students based on their positive attitudes and assets they bring to their classrooms and peers.
• Torrin Chappell was selected at Centennial Elementary;
• Isaac Martinez was selected at Creek Elementary;
• Haley Braddy was selected at Lakehoma Elementary;
• Eli McCollum was selected at Mustang Elementary;
• Pau Hau was selected at Prairie View Elementary;
• Adrianna Masso was selected at Riverwood Elementary;
• Julian Walton was selected at Trails Elementary;
• Lincoln Wilson was selected at Valley Elementary;
• Maxim Bout was selected at Canyon Ridge Intermediate;
• Waukee Stephens was selected at Horizon Intermediate;
• Kyson Cockrum was selected at Meadow Brook Intermediate;
• Matthew W. Hamill was selected at the Mustang Education Center;
• Nathan was selected at Mustang Central Middle School;
• Huan Truong was selected at Mustang North Middle School;
• Nolan Beller was selected at Mustang Middle School and
• Kendall Hannon was selected at Mustang High School.

For the first time n several years, Mustang has fewer students.
There’s been a 500-student decrease, according to Superintendent Charles Bradley.
Parents who wish to enroll their children in traditional school, rather than remaining in virtual, or vice versa, may switch during spring enrollment.
The same instruction options will remain available.
Enrollment at the high school level opens Monday.
Enrollment for kindergarten through eighth-grade opens Nov. 2.
The enrollment deadline is 11:59 p.m. Nov. 15.

Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Stacy Edwards raised a red-flag concern about Lakehoma Elementary, due to larger numbers in COVID-19-related data.
The building may have smaller areas, where it could be harder to social distance, Bradley said.
Middle school and high school students are also overlapping in fourth-hour transitions that can be attributed to higher data numbers.

A link that has sections for questions and answers for Canvas, SeeSaw and Edgenuity is predicted to be available for parents this week.
There will also be curriculum guidelines, a hotline, textbooks and other support resources.
The link will be embedded into the district’s main website:
Meanwhile, the board will keep all social media accounts active.
Board member Jeff Landrith asked to put this item on the agenda because some employees were being accused on social media for actions they allegedly didn’t do.
He inquired about the board’s actions in regard to protecting employees.
Bradley said the goal is to redirect patrons on sites before comments become destructive concerning a student, teacher or administrator.
By law, employees cannot defend themselves, due to potentially disclosing private information about students, Bradley said.
Teachers’ names can be used on social media, however, falsehoods can be held as libel or slander upon the person who posted the statement, as well as the platform group’s leader.
Libel is written defamation, while slander is spoken defamation.

The district’s new practice field, fieldhouse and high school classroom addition is more than 95 percent complete.
After fall break, the fieldhouse should be open, according to Jason Pittenger, assistant superintendent of operations.
The Performing Arts Center is estimated to be completed Feb. 21.
As part of the consent agenda, the board approved the Victim of Crime Act, which is a public grant, for $124,000.
The funds go toward bringing in advocates to provide support to students, who have experienced trauma.
In event news, there will not be a large event for Veterans Day for COVID-19 precautions; however, Bradley said they are planning something special, which is yet to be determined.
In board member news, Vice President Todd Lovelace’s seat is open for a filing period from Dec. 7-9.

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