DGS Spring Break and Return

Greetings South High Students and Families,

I am beyond excited to have more students in the building after spring break. Please know that we are committed to providing the safest learning environment possible for our students and our staff. To that end, I wanted to remind everyone that the proper wearing of a mask is required at all times when you are on campus. The mask must cover your nose, mouth, and chin. Students also have an option of wearing a face shield in addition to the mask. And, students should wear their ID on a lanyard while at school.

Click here if you would like to see and hear this information in video form.

Some of our students might be returning to school for the first time all year. If you are a 9th grade student, it’s possible that you have never attended classes within our building. We recognize that this alone presents challenges for the students. Because of this, we are going to open up our building to students over spring break. Just as students often come to campus during the summer to walk around the building, we are hoping students will come to campus to see the exciting changes, walk their “new” schedule, and simply check things out. The building will be open on Tuesday, March 30 from 9 a.m. to noon and on Wednesday, March 31 from noon to 3 p.m. We will have upperclassmen stationed around the building to help with directions or to just talk about the daily life within the building. Parents are welcome to accompany their students, we just ask that everyone check themselves against Covid symptoms, wear a mask at all times, and adhere to social distancing guidelines. 

Speaking of our changing building, there will be two noticeable changes for students after spring break. First, the Student Activities office has moved to our new community room within the cafeteria. This is a temporary move for the rest of this school year as we get a headstart on the remodel of the Activities and Athletic office area. Additionally, the entrance to the library will move to the D-hallway and IT support is now located outside of the former library entrance. These changes were made to accommodate the ongoing construction work with the goal of completing the Master Facility Plan in the fall.

As students return to school following spring break, we want to provide some specific procedural reminders. Bus routes and schedules are available on the transportation tab on the website. Bus riders should be sure to space themselves out on the bus as best they can. Parents who are driving their students to school can drop off students at the Dunham dropoff circle, the West Events Entrance, and the bus lot (yielding to busses of course). It should be noted that pick up at the end of the day cannot be done in the bus lot. Student parking is very limited and only those students who have been notified via email from Dr. Heap should park on campus in the areas designated.

Students attending in person are expected to attend all of their scheduled classes. Students should not be making period by period decisions on whether they are attending in person or remote, and should never make that decision to avoid a classroom activity. As has always been the case, an activity missed by not attending class may need to be made up at a later time.

As you know, the schedule has the block days beginning with periods 1 and 4 and ending with periods 5 and 6 respectively. On Tuesday and Thursday, students who have a study hall during 1st period may arrive late to school and students who have lunch/resource during 5th period may leave early. Similarly, on Wednesday and Friday, students who have lunch/resource 4th period may arrive late and students who have lunch/resource during 6th period may leave early. We asked parents to indicate on their response form if the students would be using this privilege. Students arriving late should arrive no more than 15 minutes before their first class. Students using the early dismissal need to leave campus as soon as possible following their last class.

During the third block each day on Tuesday through Friday, there is a break time. Students can choose to eat a snack during this time. Snacks will be available to students as they enter the building and they are welcome to take one. Students will be expected to only eat the snack at the designated time as there are strict guidelines that we must follow when students are eating. The teachers in their 7th and 8th period classes will observe a break during the class period. Students wishing to eat a snack will eat while seated in their assigned seat and all facing the same direction. Depending on the number of students in the class, the teachers may have the students “snack” in shifts. If students are uncomfortable being in the room while others are eating, they will be allowed to step out of the room for a few minutes. It is important that the students only eat the snacks at the designated times set by the teacher during 7th and 8th periods and under the guidelines established.

Finally, in addition to their academic classes, teachers will be offering Virtual Student Support during the afternoons on Wednesdays and Thursdays. From 2:10-3:20 p.m., teachers will have an open Zoom link (available on their Google Classroom site). Students are encouraged to drop in and receive assistance on any course topics on which they may need help. As a reminder, all teachers maintain office hours beyond the school day hours and the Paper tutoring service is available 24/7.

I will be reaching out next week with our April update. Until then, stay well and have a safe and restful spring break.

Ed Schwartz

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