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The Hamilton School District understands how challenging school closures are for everyone. We are doing our very best to make sure the needs of all students and staff are met. With the announcement by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers that schools will be closed indefinitely, a virtual learning plan will be in place for the duration of the public health emergency. Be assured, however, that we will work collaboratively with families to ensure expectations are meaningful and manageable.

We are committed to providing meals for all students who need them for as long as schools are closed during the evolving coronavirus situation. Because many Hamilton School District families rely on school lunches for their children, a five-day supply of bagged lunches will be available to any family in need on Mondays from 9 - 11 a.m. during the closure. Please pull up to the cafeteria doors and remain inside your vehicle. Lunch service staff will ask for the student name and will place the bag lunches in your trunk. In addition to lunch pick-up through the school district, Sussex Outreach Services provides food through its food pantry including weekly pre-boxed food for pick up and weekday to-go breakfasts and reheatable lunches. Those wishing to donate or help others in the community should contact Jenny at Sussex Outreach Services at (262) 347-3563. SOS has a need for food and financial donations as well as volunteers to shop for items. Children who receive free or reduced price school meals through the National School Lunch program may be eligible for temporary food benefits. Additional details can be found here.
The intention is to stay with the 2019-20 calendar. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has indicated that it will waive the requirement for hours of instruction for any school district that requests the DPI to do so due to this ongoing public health emergency. The Hamilton School Board will decide if it will request this waiver. In the meantime, our school community will continue to engage in online learning.
Families who do not have access to a device with a keyboard should contact their schools. Spectrum announced it is offering free access to broadband for 60 days to households with K-12 students who do not have a subscription. Those experiencing difficulties with logging into Infinite Campus can put in a help desk ticket to the district’s Information Technology Department.
Just as it is in an in-person class, daily attendance is important in an online learning environment. For students to be considered “present,” they must complete learning activities for each class by the date identified by the teacher. For extended projects, teachers will track attendance by work completed.

If assigned activity is not completed after two class periods, teachers will contact the student and parents; after three periods, the student will be marked absent. Students will have an opportunity to make up missing work.
  • State Forward exam requirements will be waived
The U.S. Department of Education announced on March 20 that students impacted by school closures due to the pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-20 school year. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction said it will apply for the waiver from the federal requirement to administer statewide assessments to all students.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) exams modified
The College Board announced students will be able to take AP exams. AP announced, for the 2019-20 exam only, they will:
  • Develop secure 45-minute online free-response exams for each course.
  • Focus exam content on what most schools were able to complete by early March.
  • Allow students to take exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet or smartphone – and will be able to write responses by hand and submit a photo.
  • Work with students who need access to mobile tools or connectively  (reach them directly)
The College Board said colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.
  • ACT, ASPIRE exams
Students at Hamilton High School already took the ACT which is required as part of state testing. Students who signed up to take the ACT on April 3 and 4 were informed by the College Board that the exam was rescheduled to June 12 and 13 in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The message from the College Board included instructions for free rescheduling to June 12 or 13 or a future test date.
The district:
  • called off in-person classes the week of March 16;
  • monitored student absences to identify illness trends;
  • maintained close communication with the Waukesha County Health Department to report trends and follow its guidance and recommendations;
  • used effective hospital-grade cleaning supplies and equipment (including ultraviolet lamps) to reduce the spread of germs, paying special attention to disinfecting commonly touched objects and surfaces during this flu season;
  • reminded students about hand-washing and other healthy habits;
  • provided additional hand sanitizers to staff and in computer labs, classrooms and other key areas; and
  • ensured that people who had flu symptoms were sent home.
In addition to our focus on preventing the spread of disease, prior to the closing of schools we reviewed plans that would allow students to continue learning during a shutdown. We asked families to review their contingency plans (childcare, transportation, access to technology) in case schools close for an extended period.
Concern over COVID-19 can make children and families anxious. Acknowledging some level of concern, without panicking, is appropriate and can result in taking actions that reduce the risk of illness. As children look to adults for guidance on how to react to stressful events, parents can reassure them that health and school officials are working hard to ensure the people stay healthy and provide factual, age-appropriate information. Here are some resources:
  • Coronavirus – A large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals.
  • COVID-19 – Abbreviation for the coronavirus disease 2019, a disease caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.
  • Social Distancing – Measures intended to limit the movement of people to interrupt the transmission of infectious, contagious diseases.
  • Isolation – Separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.
  • Quarantine – Separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.
  • Community Spread – When people have been infected with the virus in an area and some are not sure how or where they became infected.
  • Epidemic – Affecting or tending to affect a disproportionately large number of individuals within a population, community or region at the same time.
  • Pandemic – Occurring over a wide geographic area and affecting an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
  • Presumptive Positive - Individuals with at least one respiratory specimen that tested positive for the virus.that causes COVID-19 at a state or local laboratory
Sources: Centers for Disease Control Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary
Flattening the curve refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection so hospitals have room, supplies and doctors for all of the patients who need care. The purpose of taking the drastic step of closing schools is to slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing. For it to be effective, families should avoid gathering with others in homes or other places during this school closure.

Families can also help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses by practicing good personal health habits list on this page under "CDC urgently recommends."
According to the Centers for Disease Control, patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms, which may appear 2-14 days after exposure, can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms and think you have been exposed to COVID-19.  
Health experts are still learning the details. Currently it is thought to spread:
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC has a comprehensive webpage that addresses issues related to travel, including a list of countries where community spread of COVID-19 is occurring and guidance for returning travelers.