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District COVID-19 Updates

Friday, May 15
5:11pm email
Subject:  5.15.20

Titans,

It is hard to believe this year is coming to a close. I am still not sure what day, month, or time of year it feels like, but today was the last day of school. We are glad you are Titans. We are already busy planning for the next school year.

Please remember your exchange time on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.  I believe signup genius will send you a reminder the day before your signup
time. Please do not hesitate to call the buildings beginning on Monday if you have any questions. We are here to support you and your student.

Thank you for a wonderful and memorable school year. This year will be remembered in history for a long time to come.

If you are looking for an email or message, most information can be found within our Parent Resource Guide.

As you head into your weekend, I will leave you with the article I wrote for the Tea Weekly:

Titan Graduates…It is about the Memories

As Superintendent of Schools, the first day of school and graduation day are my favorite days of the school year. Both are filled with potential,
memories, celebration, and in their own right “just the beginning”. Graduation is a time to celebrate accomplishments. It is a time to bring families together. It is a time to reflect on high school, elementary school, and life. Graduation is as much for the graduate as it is for his or her parents. It is a time to say, “We love you enough to say good-bye and good luck”. Graduation is not the same this year, but the purpose and the memories are the same.

COVID19 cannot steal graduation unless you let it. Commencement, held in person at the high school, is a powerful and important symbolic tradition, but it does not define graduation. My hope for Seniors and their parents is that they you all make graduation week memories that you will remember forever. Don’t let COVID19 take that from you.

This summer is my 20th class reunion, well, it was supposed to be my 20th class reunion. I do not remember who spoke at my graduation or who I sat by but I do remember the moments of graduation week. I had a special lunch with my Dad that week at McDonalds of all places. I remember working with my mom preparing the graduation memories from my childhood until midnight, night after night. My sibling put a family movie together and then we laughed at my parents as they cried. (Now, I understand why they were crying.) I made mints with my aunts.

Titan Graduates and parents, it is disappointing that we will not have a traditional ceremony on Saturday as tradition is important, but we will have a ceremony and we will have each other. The memories and the moments are up to you.

I will leave you to reflect on a song that my family traditionally sings at family birthdays, anniversaries, and celebrations of our faith and family.

We have this moment to hold in our hands
And to touch as it slips
Through our fingers like sand
Yesterday’s gone
And tomorrow may never come
But we have this moment today (Gaither Vocal Band)

I hope for each of you that you take the moments of today and make the most of your memories that will last a lifetime.

Blessings to you and your family for a safe, healthy, and memorable summer,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, May 14
7:23pm email
Subject:  5.14.2020

Titan Families,

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the 2019-2020 school year. It is hard to believe that it is the end of the year. We are grateful for your work and partnership. You did it and you were great! Parent involvement and engagement is critical to a successful school and we are blessed to have you as our Titan Parents.

Thank you for your work, patience, and placing education as a top priority.

Congratulations to the Outstanding 8th Graders of the Year: Taylor Johanneson and Carter Turek

Covid-19 Food Response –
Please note the District will not have a food pick up the week of May 25 due to completing a required District Food Service Inventory. We will resume the following week through the month of June. If you are in need, please sign up for the COVID19 Food Response which will support the week we are not able to serve.

In these uncertain times of hours and jobs cut, you may find yourself in a different situation than you have ever been in. There is no shame in finding alternative ways to provide for your family. We want to offer a stress-free alternative to get food. The Covid Food Response is a group of community members who have gotten together to create a supplemental food program during the Covid-19 pandemic. We care about our neighbors.  

To register for a food box, please use the confidential Google doc link below. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be provided through feeding South Dakota.  https://cutt.ly/lyxn5KK

The deadline to register is Thursday, May 15.

 Pick up will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 335 W 1st Street, Tea, SD, on Thursday, May 21 from 4:00 - 6:00pm (If you would like to donate a monetary gift or a Fareway gift card to support this program, please mail it or drop it off at the church. Thank you to those who have already done so. If you have questions, please contact Trinity Lutheran Church 498-2343.

Go Titans,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, May 13
5:43pm email
Subject:  5.13.2020

Titan Families,

Invitation from the Senior Class
Thursday evening, the Senior Class Officers have collaborated with Trinity Lutheran Church on Baccalaureate. Baccalaureate is not a school-sponsored
event, but it is a traditional part of Graduation week at Tea Area as our community churches work with senior class officers and rotate the sponsoring organization. The Senior Class and their officers invite you to join them Thursday evening at 7:00 pm on Trinity Lutheran Church YouTube Channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRE8AuNV613jPas7lwBVSKw

Virtual  Graduation
Virtual Graduation will begin at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 16. Please join our community in celebrating together at two o’0 0 clock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBM9tLDfoUQ

Please find the program here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ImanN04ZNDzzhxqUyQeH299LhsmnGBjQ/view?usp=sharing

A Tribute to  the Graduating Class of 2020 from Tea Area HS Staff: https://drive.google.com/open?id=16t7WRtnAKQH4q55gO1alhO5DQCtcFTDO

Titan Family Activity - COVID19 Time Capsule:
Our Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Desaulniers, shared a fun resource with her families that I am pleased to share with our greater Tea Area Family. Please enjoy the opportunity to create a Family COVID19 Time Capsule: https://letsembark.ca/time-capsule

Covid-19 Food Response – A note from COVID19 Food Response Team
In these uncertain times of hours and jobs cut, you may find yourself in a different situation than you have ever been in. There is no shame in finding alternative ways to provide for your family. We want to offer a stress-free alternative to get food. The Covid Food Response is a group of community members who have gotten together to create a supplemental food program during the Covid-19 pandemic. We care about our neighbors. 

To register for a food box, please use the confidential Google doc link below. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be provided through feeding South Dakota.
https://cutt.ly/lyxn5KK   The deadline to register is Thursday, May 15.

Pick up will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 335 W 1st Street, Tea, SD, on Thursday, May 21 from 4:00 - 6:00pm (Please note the District will not have a food pick up the week of May 25 due to completing a required District Food Service Inventory.)

If you would like to donate a monetary gift or a Fareway gift card to support this program, please mail it or drop it off at the church. Thank you to those who have already done so. If you have questions, please contact Trinity Lutheran Church 498-2343.

Go Titans,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, May 12
10:14pm email
Subject:  5.12.2020

Titan Families,

Senior Awards Program
JK-12 Graduation is a highlight of our year at Tea Area. It
is a celebration of academic excellence, school spirit, and in direct alignment
with our foundational goals. “All students at Tea Area are future Titan Graduates.” The energy in the gym from the time our seniors walk in with their cap and gown to our elementary children leading the Titan Fight Song is electrifying. We did not have our traditional academic celebration this spring,
but I would encourage you to watch the High School’s award video as Mr. Knudson, Mr. Preheim, and Mrs. Olafson announce over one million dollars in
scholarships. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_duF_J9_xs

Virtual Graduation
Virtual Graduation will begin at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 16. Please join our community in celebrating together at two o’clock. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBM9tLDfoUQ

Titan Care Team Tip of the Day:
Share how you’re feeling with people you trust. Find a mental health community to help you learn information, find resources that suit you, and feel supported by people who understand.  

Contact your local NAMI Affiliate or NAMI State Organization for information on programs in your area. 

Visit the NAMI Resource Library, an extensive list of in-person and online support groups and other mental health resources.

Covid-19 Food Response – A note from COVID19 Food Response Team
In these uncertain times of hours and jobs cut, you may find yourself in a different situation than you have ever been in. There is no shame in finding alternative ways to provide for your family. We want to offer a stress-free alternative to get food. The Covid Food Response is a group of community members who have gotten together to create a supplemental food program during the Covid-19 pandemic. We care about our neighbors.  

To register for a food box, please use the confidential Google doc link below. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be provided through feeding South Dakota. https://cutt.ly/lyxn5KK 

The deadline to register is Thursday, May 15.
Pick up will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 335 W 1st Street, Tea, SD, on Thursday, May 21 from 4:00 - 6:00pm (Please note the District will not have a food pick up the week of May 25 due to completing a required District Food Service Inventory.)

If you would like to donate a monetary gift or a Fareway gift card to support this program, please mail it or drop it off at the church. Thank you to those who have already done so. If you have questions, please contact Trinity Lutheran Church 498-2343.

Go Titans, 
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, May 11
10:37pm email
Subject:  5.8.2020

Titan Families,

Congratulations to Tea Area Teacher of the Year – Mrs. Kristi Desaulniers.

Please enjoy reading the High School Olympian Newspaper.

Covid-19 Food Response – A note from COVID19 Food Response Team
In these uncertain times of hours and jobs cut, you may find yourself in a different situation than you have ever been in. There is no shame in finding alternative ways to provide for your family. We want to offer a stress-free alternative to get food. The Covid Food Response is a group of community
members who have gotten together to create a supplemental food program during the Covid-19 pandemic. We care about our neighbors. 

To register for a food box, please use the confidential 
Google doc link .

The deadline to register is Thursday, May 15.

 Pick up will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 335 W 1st Street, Tea, SD, on Thursday, May 21 from 4:00 - 6:00pm (Please note the District will not have a food pick up the week of May 25 due to completing a required District Food Service Inventory.)

If you would like to donate a monetary gift or a Fareway gift card to support this program, please mail it or drop it off at the church. Thank you to those who have already done so. If you have questions, please contact Trinity Lutheran Church 498-2343.

Go Titans,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Friday, May 8
9:35pm email
Subject:  5.8.2020

Titan Families,

Thank you for your incredible support over the past nine weeks. It is hard to believe, but we have one week of school left. We are studying the information available to make decisions for the summer including TASK. We hope to share more information by the end of next week. I recognize that this is difficult for families. We are studying the feasibility of the program and practices we would need to ensure.

I got to end my day celebrating our Titan staff. We had over half of our employees on a google meet this afternoon. We celebrated those nominated by our community. Thank you to the over 60 of you who nominated our Titan Teachers. The Teacher of the Year is sponsored by our community businesses and run by our Tea Area Parent Teacher Organization. This year's co-chairs are Angie Sabers and Amanda Powell. Our community sponsorships are lead by Reliabank as they sponsor the $2500 Teacher of the Year award. We are grateful for our lead community sponsors: Country Acres Tree Farm, Dart Boutique, DeGeest Steel Works, Get N’ Go, J & R Mechanical, Koch Insurance, Koele Family Chiropractic, Lauriebelles Boutique, Lakota Event Hall, Pyro City Fireworks, RBS Sanitaton, Reemtsma Window Washers, The Rainmakers Inc, Sabers Insurance, Schwartzle Real Estate, Sorlien Electric, Tea American Legion, and Tea Tots. We live in an incredibly supportive community. Thank you!

I am pleased to share our 2020 Teacher of the Year Finalists: Sandy DeJong, Kristi Desaulniers, John Niesen, and Tracy Schmidt. Please consider watching the Tea Area Board Meeting on our YouTube channel Monday evening at 6:30. The board representatives, Tara Johanneson and Brett Waltner, will announce the Teacher of the Year. In addition, Mr. Preheim and Mrs. Taylor will pay tribute to our two retirees, Mr. Nelson and Mrs. Hybertson.  

Thank you for your kindness and support!

Go Titans,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, May 7
10:21pm email
Subject:  5.7.2020

Titan Families,

We live in an incredible community. 

Did you know that this evening 41 COVID19 Care Food boxes were delivered to families?
      
Did you know that over 78 families have received Fareway grocery gift cards as a result of community donations? The total amount donated in over $2000 in the past two and a half weeks?
      
Did you know that tLINK is organizing adopt a window at Morgan Lane Village for Mother’s Day? If you would like to decorate an outside window, please connect with tLINK (found on facebook). They are also asking people to leave chalk messages on the sidewalk for residents to read while they walk.
      
Did you know that 200-600 families are taking advantage of the school’s breakfast and lunch program each week?
      
Did you know that the Titan Care Team has reached out to multiple families?

These are a few of the reasons that I am not only proud to be a Titan but also grateful to live in our community.

It is Teacher Appreciate Week and Nurse Appreciation Week. I am grateful for both. We have incredible nurses in our school system and in our community. Please help me in thanking them for their selfless care of others.

Breakfast/Lunch signup for the week of May 18. Please note the pick up will be TUESDAY, May 19 due to the student exchange. Please sign up for the meals by Tuesday, May 12th.

Titan Care Team Tip:
Do something kind for someone else. Offer to help others if you can, especially those may have more limited social contact – the elderly, those with disabilities, those who live alone, those who are quarantined or at high risk because of chronic health conditions. Write a card, call to check-in, make them a yard sign with encouraging words, drive by and wave from a safe social distance, send a care package, etc. 

Have a great evening,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, May 6
10:30pm email
Subject:  5.6.2020

Titan Families,

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! We appreciate our Titan Teachers
and that includes each of you. Parents, grandparents, friends, brothers, sisters,
and neighbors are all teachers. We appreciate how Titans have all come together to take care of one another and especially our students. We appreciate the planning, leadership, and care of our faculty. We are successful only because we are together providing a high-quality solution for our Titan student. Thank you to being part of our Titan Team.

Titan Care Team Tip of the Day:
Do meaningful things with your free time. Learn a new skill, create art, journal, play puzzles or games, or cook something new. Think about something you have wanted to learn or do for a long time.  Having a goal or task to work on can help you relax. 

Have a wonderful evening,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, May 5
6:21pm email
Subject:  5.5.2020

Titan Families,

My update is short on this beautiful evening. I hope each of you are all doing well.

Please find our Titan Care Team:
Practice relaxing in the present moment through mindfulness. Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgment. There are many types of mindfulness exercises, but each typically involves finding a quiet, comfortable place where you can observe your thoughts and focus on your breath. Some apps to explore include Headspace, Calm, Simple Habit, and Liberate. This Mayo Clinic mindfulness program is a great place to start. 

Week of May 11 Meal Sign up
Please sign up for breakfast and lunches for the week of  May 11 by Tuesday, May 5th, 7pm.

Have a wonderful evening,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, May 4
5:40pm email
Subject: 5.4.2020

Dear Titan Families,

The rain is rather peaceful today. I appreciate rainy days and look forward to the change of pace and beautiful colors that come when the earth takes a nice drink. I hope the rain brings you peace today and not gloom. Mrs. McCord is one of our district counselors and is a member of our Titan Care Team. Today, I am sharing a four minute video that she provides tips and strategies for students to deal with worry. It is elementary kid-friendly but it has helpful hints for all of us as we either are dealing with our own worries or work to meet the needs of our loved ones and their worries. Please enjoy her short video or checkout the helpful slideshow.

Lunch Week of May 11
Please sign up for breakfast and lunches for the week of  May 11 by Tuesday, May 5th, 7pm.

There are only 10 days of school left. You are doing a great job and we appreciate your work, focus, and the energy it takes to balance all the aspects of being a parent. This is teacher appreciation week. We appreciate all our teachers, especially those of you who are facilitating our Titan Learning.

Take care,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools 

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Friday, May 1
5:40pm email
Subject:  5.1.2020

Dear Titan Families,

While the Tea Area School District is not closed, we are not able to return to normal this school year. We have rolled out our  plan to complete the academic school year. The plan includes identifying students’ level of achievement and prepares us for the upcoming school year to the best of our ability. It also includes a plan to exchange personal items. If you have not signed up to exchange your items and return the District’s items please do  so today. The sign up link is in the Parent Resource Guide. Thank you for caring for your student and assisting them in their learning. We are stronger together. 

Summer
Decisions concerning the opening of our buildings for the summer have not been made. We are monitoring the Lincoln County data. We recognize the need for families to make plans for the summer. Plans will be flexible, but I plan to share more information over the next two weeks. This includes camps, buildings, services, and TASK.

Lunch Week of May 11
Please sign up for breakfast and lunches for the week of May 11 by Tuesday, May 5th 7 pm.

South Dakota Light Up the Night
This evening from 9:30 pm to 10:00 pm South Dakotans are lighting up their homes as aerial photos support us being one and bringing hope. My children are hoping for s’mores as join South Dakota neighbors in our driveway this evening.

Titan Care Team Tip of the Day:
Create structure around working/learning from home. Dedicate a space to your work that is separate from where you eat/play.  Schedule times when you work and times when you take breaks and put them on your calendar. Negotiate these times with the rest of the family.  Talk with family and work colleagues about subjects that are not just work-related or about COVID-19. Have virtual coffee breaks or virtual walks together.

South Dakota’s Back to Normal Plan

Have a fabulous weekend,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, April 30
10:20pm email
Subject:  4.30.2020

Titans,

This note is coming to you rather late this evening because as I prepared to write my update to the District, I was listening to a tip from our Titan Care Team member, Mrs. Bannworth. She was talking about stress. I think we can all agree that we are dealing with some level of stress. I decided to leave my office around 5:30 and take the advice I would be sharing later that evening with the rest of you. She encourages us to find the silver lining. When I came home with the intent to find the silver lining, everything became a silver lining. My boys were playing together, without fighting. I made my children’s night by having a picnic in our backyard. I had no idea how exciting it would be to eat outside. Finally, we enjoyed the evening in the beautiful outdoors. The adage, “If mama isn’t happy, no one is happy” is true in my family. The silver lining is always there; it often depends on my approach and delivery. I encourage you to listen to Mrs. Bannworth and her helpful hints for dealing with stress or review her overview

Tea Area Lunch and Breakfast Sign up for the week of May 11 - 15. Meal pick up will be at our three locations on Monday, May 11 from 4 pm - 6 pm. Please sign up for the meals by Tuesday, May 5 at 7 pm. 

Have a wonderful evening,
Jenn

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, April 29
10:25pm email
Subject:  4.29.2020

Titan Families,

It is nearing ten o’clock and it is quiet in our home. Like your family, my husband and I are working parents. I primarily work from my office, but I also work from home as we try to balance professional due dates and meetings. Often, we all get a little more work done after the dishes are done, floors are  swept, baths are taken, and hopefully a book or two read for story time. I found this Titan Care Team Video especially helpful this evening. Balancing Work and Distance Learning

A quick reference guide that accompanies the video can be found here.

Please let this team know if they can support you or your family by filing out this form

Here is our Titan Care Team’s Tip of the Day:

Follow a daily routine as much as possible. It can help you feel more in control of your own well-being and it limits the amount of change you have to experience. Even simple actions make a big difference.  Each day, make your bed, shower and get dressed, take similar breaks that you did at work/school, and engage in a physical activity if you can. Practice good hygiene (especially hand washing!). Brush your teeth, even if nobody can actually smell your breath :) Stick to a regular sleep schedule during the week.

Please visit the District’s website or the Parent Resource Guide for additional information.

Take care,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, April 28
10:07pm email
Subject:  4.28.2020

Titan Families,

I did watch the Governor’s press conference this afternoon. At this time, there is no major shift in our plan, but we will do our due diligence in reviewing all executive orders, CDC guidelines, and the specific local information. I spent most of my time following the announcement with our high school team recording the final 1/3 of our seniors receiving their diploma. I do not have an answer for when our building restrictions will be lessened or when TASK will reopen. I recognize that TASK is an important part of planning for many families. We all have different views on COVID19, but we all agree that our people (students and employees) are our top priority. I take the responsibility of making recommendations and implementing decisions very seriously and recognize the magnitude of the decisions being made right now. Thank you for your grace, patience, and partnership.

Here is our Titan Care Team’s Tip of the Day:

Exercise and move! Exercise is a powerful way to improve both your physical and mental health. Some ideas: walk, stretch, dance, do yoga, garden, shoot hoops, play frisbee or beanbags, or play catch.

Please let this team know if they can support you or your family by filing out this form.

Community Outreach - Covid-19 Food Response

A note from Covid-19 Response and Deacon Christie:

In these uncertain times of hours and jobs cut, you may find yourself in a different situation than you have ever been in. There is no shame in finding alternative ways to provide for your family. We want to offer a stress-free alternative to get food. The Covid Food Response is a group of community
members who have gotten together to create a supplemental food program during the Covid-19 pandemic. We care about our neighbors. 

To register for a food box, please use the confidential Google doc link.

The deadline to register is Thursday, April 30.

Pick up will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 335 W 1st Street, Tea, SD, on Thursday, May 7 from 4:00 - 6:00pm

If you would like to donate a monetary gift or a Fareway Meat and Grocery gift card to support this program, please mail it, drop it off at the church, or purchase and Fareway managers will take care of the logistics. Thank you to those who have already done so. If you have questions, please contact Trinity Lutheran Church 498-2343.

Please visit the District’s website or the Parent Resource Guide for additional information.

Take care,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, April 27
10:35pm email
Subject:  4.27.2020

Titan Families,

I hope this note finds you doing well on this beautiful evening. I have the opportunity to join the high school team filming graduation. We are in the middle of three days of filming. There are many emotions as these amazing young people walk across a stage. The walk in the same. The stage is the same. The parent’s emotions are the same. The purpose is the same. The situation is unique, anti-climatic, and special all at the same time. One thing is for sure, they will remember these days. The energy comes when individuals become one as a class. We are looking forward to the energy on May 16 as each Titan comes together to be the Tea Area Graduating Class of 2020.

NWEA MAP Test

If your 6th grade – 10th grade student told you that the MAP assessment was hard, they did it correctly. The assessment is meant to measure their personal growth, ability, and highlight each student’s instructional areas. The assessment asks the student harder questions to see how far the student can go within the content. The student must get questions wrong for the assessment to identify the student’s  present level. The student’s teachers will use the information to identify what content the student needs reinforced, developed, or introduced. Thank you for helping to facilitate these assessments so we can better prepare to meet each student’s need next fall.

Community Outreach - Covid-19 Food Response

A note from Covid-19 Food Response and Deacon Christie:

In these uncertain times of hours and jobs cut, you may find yourself in a different situation than you have ever been in. There is no shame in finding alternative ways to provide for your family. We want to offer a stress-free alternative to get food. The Covid Food Response is a group of community members who have gotten together to create a supplemental food program during the Covid-19 pandemic. We care about our neighbors. 

To register for a food box, please use the confidential Google doc link below.

https://forms.gle/zQnfA5bh3RJ2ZYma6

The deadline to register is Thursday, April 30.

Pick up will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 335 W 1st Street, Tea, SD, on Thursday, May 7 from 4:00 - 6:00pm

If you would like to donate a monetary gift or a Fareway gift card to support this program, please mail it, drop it off at the Trinity church, or purchase at Fareway and Fareway Managers will collect and facilitate. Thank you to those who have already done so. If you have questions, please contact Trinity Lutheran Church 498-2343.

Please visit the District’s website or the Parent Resource Guide for additional information.

Take care,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Friday, April 24
4:55pm email
Subject:  April 24, 2020

Titan Families,

It is Friday! I hope each of you have a wonderful weekend with your family. Enjoy your time with your family and taking a little time to meet your own needs so you are able to meet the needs of your family.

Our Titan Care Team’s google form is available through this weekend; please consider providing feedback as we work to enhance our service model to better meet for the social and emotional needs of our students and their families: https://forms.gle/ydTkxoRoCsRreY3P7

Titan meal sign up for the week of 5/4 to 5/8 is now open. Meal pick up will continue at three locations on Monday, May 4 between 4 pm – 6 pm. The sign up will close on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm.

Enjoy our tip of the day from our Titan Care Team:

If talking about COVID-19 is affecting your mental health, set boundaries with people about how much and when you talk about it. Balance this with other topics. If you’re struggling to find things to talk about, watch a virtual concert together, read the same book or article and talk about it, join an online exercise class, or do a multi-player video game together. 

Blessings to you and your family,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer N Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, April 23
6:10pm email
Subject:  4.23.2020

Titan Families,

I hope this note finds you doing well. This is an odd time for all of us. It feels like June, but it is only April. Most of the time I do not even remember which day it is. Last week, we were either a day late with our garbage or six days early. My children are snacking like it is a holiday, but the holiday snack attack has lasted over a month. As we all work towards finding our center, we want to help where possible. Please consider filling out the google form for our school psychologist, counseling, and healthcare team as we work on a service model to meet our community needs: https://forms.gle/ydTkxoRoCsRreY3P7

Remember:

  • Sign up for your end of year item exchange – sign up links can be found in our Parent Resource Guide.
  • Teacher of the Year Nominations due next week 
  • Purchasing gift cards at Tea Fareway will provide access to perishable items for those who may be in need.

Enjoy our tip of the day from our Care Team:

If you feel isolated and lonely, find a way to connect with others. Call an old friend, text a co-worker, or video chat with loved ones. Consider social distancing as you talk with a neighbor across the fence.  Contact your children’s friends’ parents to organize a FaceTime call or video chat with classmates.  

The best location to find updated COVID19 information is on the Department of Health website. 

Blessings to you and your family,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer N Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, April 22
5:49pm email
Subject:  4.22.2020

Titan Families,

We have a team of District leaders working towards providing additional support to families focusing on our need to support the physical, social, and emotional needs of not only our students but also our families. Together we are stronger. We have leaders in our district focusing on assisting families through this difficult time beyond the academic and technical needs of our students. This leadership team is comprised of our counselors, healthcare professionals, and led by our school psychologists. Please consider filling out this google form to help us understand the needs of our families: https://forms.gle/ydTkxoRoCsRreY3P7

Please consider this tip from our team:

Be selective about how you consume news. It is a good idea to stay informed from reputable sources (such as the Centers for Disease Control, CDC, and World Health Organization, WHO), but having limits on your news consumption can be good for your mental health. Watching or listening to the same news constantly can increase stress. Set limits for when and for how long you consume news, especially through social media.  When children are in ear-shot, consider consuming just the bits of news you need through an online source or one you can read, rather than listen to.  

Our Head Track Coaches, Mr. Decker and Mrs. Miles, would like to invite you and your family to join the at-home Run, Jump, and Throw Run, Jump, and Throw challenge brought to you by USA Track and Field and the Hershey Company. Enjoy this short introduction as we get up and get moving in our own backyards or sidewalks. We will be getting out our old towels to create some hurdles in our backyard! 

Take care!
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery 
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, April 21
8:59pm email
Subject:  4.21.2020

Dear Titan Families, 

I hope this brief update finds you doing well this evening. The sunshine is good for the soul. 

I took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful night with my family outside. As we washed up for bed, my four-year-old put into words some of the reasons this virus is causing so much stress. She asked me, "Where is the Coronavirus?"; "Why can we not see it?"; and "When is it going to be done?" Her questions were very difficult to answer because I would like to know the same thing. As she cried just a little bit, I gave her a hug and kissed her forehead. My four-year-old can be soothed with a hug, kiss, and a little rocking during a story. It is not that easy for the rest of us. This reminded me of the email Nurse Krell sent the staff last week. She reminded everyone the importance of fruits, vegetables, water, and exercise. She also reminded us to not eat all of our children's Easter candy when they went to bed or as we sat at our computer during day. Let's just say that her comment hit home. I have been more mindful of my own nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Remember to take care of yourself as you are a model to your children and they need you. People are stressed because they have lost their job or decreased hours. On the other hand, people are stressed as they are working full time or more and trying to balance everything. Take a moment, breathe, and think of one thing to be thankful for today. It is impossible to be thankful and stressed at the exact same time. To differing degrees, we all need a little stress break. We continue to centralize information to the best of our ability on our COVID19 website and Parent Resource Guide. We are here for you. Thank you for your work and dedication.

Blessings, 
Jenn

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, April 20
6:18pm email
Subject:  TASD Additional May 18, 19, 20 Exchange of Items - Sign up

Titan Families, 

Exchange of Items: District & Personal Items

Our goal is to make the “exchange of items” as smooth, timely, and efficient as possible. The District JK-11th grade exchange is Monday, May 18 from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm; Tuesday, May 19 7:00 am – 3:45 pm; 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm; and Wednesday, May 20 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. Please read these directions carefully and let us know if we can be of assistance.

Please sign-up for an exchange time at your child’s school.We will organize each building by family. If you have more than one student at any one school, please sign up your family for one time slot.

If you have multiple children in the District, please sign up for an exchange time with your youngest student first. Then, sign up for a time slot for your next youngest child. If a time slot is not available to “work nicely” with your first exchange, please email Courtney Burrack (Courtney.Burrack@k12.sd.us). She will manually schedule you, if needed, to maximize our customer service and limit the inconvenience this may cause on you and your family.

Families living near Frontier, if you have a middle or high school student, we will bring your student’s exchange items to Frontier. Please email Mrs. Hansen, she will help facilitate (Barbara.Hansen@k12.sd.us).

Frontier Elementary Sign up

Monday, May 18

Tuesday, May 19

Legacy Elementary Sign up

Monday, May 18 

Tuesday, May 19 

Wednesday, May 20

Venture Elementary Sign up

Monday, May 18 

Tuesday, May 19

Wednesday, May 20

Middle School Sign up

Monday, May 18 

Tuesday, May 19

Wednesday, May 20

High School Sign up

Monday, May 18 

Tuesday, May 19

Wednesday, May 20

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Monday, April 20
6:11pm email
Subject:  4.20.2020

Titan Families,

Thank you for your grace, flexibility, and patience as we work on meeting the needs of our Titan community. I know “ everything” is a lot right now, but the sunshine helps and we can do this.

Please find the meal sign up for the week of April 27, a note about graduation, and a letter from Dr. Warzecha.

Meal Sign up Week of April 27

Please sign up to receive meals the week of April 27 - May 1.

The meal pick up date will be Monday, April 27 from 4 - 6 at the designated pick up sites. Please sign up by Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm. 

Seniors and Senior Parents

You received an extensive email this afternoon from Mr. Knudson outlining graduation. This included a link to sign up for the senior and his/her parent(s) to attend with him/her as he/she walked across the stage to receive his/her diploma. The sign up is for Sunday (April 26), Monday (April 27), or Tuesday (April 28). The District has contracted with an individual who will be producing graduation for the class of 2020. The production will air on Saturday, May 16 at 2 pm with the seniors watching it live on zoom as a class. If you did not receive the email or have additional questions, please contact Mr. Knudson ( Collin.Knudson@k12.sd.us).

Academics – Dr.  Warzecha

Dear Titan Elementary Families,

We believe it is important to provide feedback on the tremendous effort our students and families have exhibited during distance learning and provide as much academic normalcy as possible during this time. Therefore, Dr. Warzecha, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, and a team of JK-5 teachers, have identified essential standards of learning that will be graded on the 4th quarter report card. These standards align with the learning activities shared through the learning platforms utilized in each grade level. The evidence of learning that the students are uploading for their teachers will be used to determine the feedback on the report cards. Tea Area is committed to meeting each student where they are at when our school year begins next year, and this report card feedback is an essential component to this commitment.

In addition, to help us prepare for your child's learning as we transition back to school in Fall 2020, we will be administering our NWEA MAP assessment as two of your child's learning activities the week of May 11 in Grades 1-5. Students are already familiar with this as we take this quick assessment three times per year. These are independent activities that provide us with excellent information on where your child is at in both Reading and Math. More information will be provided as the date gets closer.

You have done an amazing job during this difficult time, and we are so honored to partner with you for your child(ren)'s education. We look forward to seeing your children livening up the hallways and playgrounds of our very lonely buildings next Fall.

If you have any questions, I encourage you to contact me via email at Tonia.Warzecha@k12.sd.us.

Best wishes,
Dr. Tonia Warzecha
Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment 

Take care,
Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area School District

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Friday, April 17
5:08pm email
Subject: TASD Meal SIgn up for Monday, April 27

Titans,

I promises this is the last email for today!

Please sign up to receive meals the week of April 27 - May 1.

The meal pick up date will be Monday, April 27 from 4 - 6 at the designated pick up sites. Please sign up by Tuesday, April 21 at 7 pm. 

Take care, 
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

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Friday, April 17
5:03pm email
Subject:  Press Release Tea Area 2020 Graduation

TAHS Commencement/Graduation:  The senior class officers have decided to hold TAHS 2020 Commencement ceremony virtually. Various K-12 Graduation awards will be announced during the ceremony. Commencement will be held on the original date Saturday, May 16th at 2:00 p.m. The class officers have scheduled a traditional Commencement service for July 25th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. 

K-12 Graduation/Commencement (Saturday, May 16th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.): 
The vision of this day is to create a virtual celebration for the TAHS Class of 2020 graduates.  Details will be worked out over the next few days. Titan
graduates will have a scheduled time in the school (following strict CDC guidelines) to receive their belongings and materials.  Graduates will also receive caps and gowns at this time and take pictures/videos while obtaining a diploma.  Guardians will be allowed to attend with seniors. 

A professional video will be created and released at 2:00 p.m. on May 16th.  The traditional commencement program will be followed with additional
recognition of awards, distinctions, and accomplishments.  Graduates will be encouraged to sign in and watch graduation on May 16 together as a class on Zoom (all Titan graduates will have access to a closed network to watch the video together) and Youtube as it is live streamed to the public for the first time.

TAHS Commencement (Saturday, July 25th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.): 
The vision of this day is to host a formal Commencement ceremony in Tea Area High School’s gym.  This day will include as many formal presentations,
speeches, and performances as possible. The day will only be allowed within CDC guidelines of the date.  Should large gatherings not be allowed, the
ceremony would be cancelled. We hope to, in the least, have an opportunity to
gather our Titan graduates in the gym this day for a formal Commencement.

TAHS Class Officers
TAHS/TASD Administration

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Friday, April 17
4:58pm email
Subject:  4.17.2020

Titan Families,

This is an important and information filled update with required action. Thank you for reading. 

The purpose of this email is to outline the remainder of 2019-2020 Academic School Calendar. During these times, it is important to identify our why and provide clarity.

Calendar
The last academic day at Tea Area for junior kindergarten thru 11th-grade
students is Friday, May 15. The following week will be used to coordinate our exchange of items (Items that need returned to the District and items that need returned to the student.) The week will also be used for teachers and administrators to close out the year and plan for the Fall of 2020.

  • Seniors will have their own schedule

Exchange of Items – District & Personal Items (Monday, May 18)

Our goal is to make the “exchange of items” as smooth, timely, and efficient as possible. The District JK-11th grade exchange is Monday, May 18 from 7 am – 7 pm. Please read these directions carefully! 

  1. Please sign-up for an exchange time at your child’s school.
    1. We will organize each building by family. If you have more than one student at any one school, please sign up your family for one time slot.
    2. If you have multiple children in the District, please sign up for an exchange time with your youngest student first. Then, sign up for a time slot for your next youngest child. If a timeslot is not available to “work nicely” with your first exchange, please email Courtney Burrack ( Courtney.Burrack@k12.sd.us). She will manually schedule you, if needed, to maximize our customer service and limit the inconvenience this may cause on you and your family.
    3. Families living near Frontier, if you have a middle or high school student, we will bring your student’s exchange items to Frontier. Please email Mrs. Hanssen, she will help facilitate ( Barbara.Hansen@k12.sd.us).

 Frontier Elementary Exchange Sign Up – click here 

  • Exchange will occur in the front of the building.
  • Do not leave your vehicle.
  • Please wear a mask.
  • Please have your return items, except for your electronic devices, in a bag. When you arrive there will be specific District bags to place your chromebook and charger or iPad and charger.

Legacy Elementary Exchange Sign Up – click here

  • Exchange will occur in the front of the building near the main office.
  • Do not leave your vehicle.    
  • Please wear a mask.
  • Please have your return items, except for your electronic devices, in a bag. When you arrive there will be specific District bags to place your chromebook and charger or iPad and charger.

Venture Elementary Exchange Sign Up – click here 

  • Exchange will occur in the front of the building near the main office.
  • Do not leave your vehicle.    
  • Please wear a mask.
  • Please have your return items, except for your electronic devices, in a bag. When you arrive there will be specific District bags to place your chromebook and charger or iPad and charger.

Middle School Exchange Sign Up – click here 

  • Exchange will occur on the EAST side of the building (bus loop).
  • Do not leave your vehicle.    
  • Please wear a mask.
  • Please have your return items, except for your electronic devices, in a bag. When you arrive there will be specific District bags to place your chromebook and charger.

High School (9th - 11th) Exchange Sign Up – click here

  • Exchange will occur at the front of the building.
  • Do not leave your vehicle.    
  • Please wear a mask.
  • Please have your return items, except for your electronic devices, in a bag. When you arrive there will be specific District bags to place your chromebook and charger.

All staff will have their temperature checked and go through a health questionnaire before their shift. Masks and gloves are required.

Academics

Fourth quarter academic content in Tea Area classrooms matter. Most content and skills taught is sequential. The content is sequential based upon kindergarten thru high school standards. Skills are sequential based on standards and development. This is why we will continue to age-appropriately assess students (collect work sample, complete assignments, or administer tests and quizzes) of their learning. These pieces of evidence will come together and be recorded on their on their report card as their current achievement level. As noted in the COVID19 document, we will continue to work with students beyond the end of the year and into the Fall as we identify what students do and do not know.

Students First-Grade – 10th-grade will take the math and reading MAP assessment. These assessments will be used to inform instruction at the beginning of next school year. This assessment will help us better prepare for next fall when we may have multiple ability levels entering a classroom.

Take care and enjoy your weekend, 
Jenn

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent

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Thursday, April 16
10:05pm email
Subject:  Update 4.16.2020

Titan Families,

I hope this note finds you doing well this evening. My update is coming out rather late as today was “the day” in our home. I am quite sure you all have days that are positive and we think we can do this and then “the day” when it is a little too much for everyone comes along. Today, was our family’s “ the day”. It was topped off by my four-year-old sharing in tears that she misses her friends, her real preschool teachers, and that she may never learn how to read. After drying the tears, giving her a big hug, reading three stories, and a little bowl of ice cream, we both decided we could make tomorrow a better day. We all will have those days and it is okay to have them. Give yourself permission to be sad and mad; then, pick yourself up and get after it again.

Please enjoy the High School’s April Newspaper

If you need anything, including your basic needs, please reach out to us. We are here to help and provide resources.

Resources:

District Parent Resource Guide

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, April 15
6:36pm email

Subject:  Update 4.15.2020

Titan Families,

I spend most of my days on multiple conference calls or phone calls from my office desk with other adults talking, planning, and brainstorming. Today, I had the opportunity to join Mr. Knudson, Mr. Preheim, and the senior class officers as they collaboratively reviewed senior class feedback. Our students are incredible, respectful, and care deeply. Two of the three students were 4th-graders when I was principal at the Intermediate School. It is amazing to see them grow and become young adults. Education is the greatest profession in the world because we get to watch, nurture, push, and grow our next leaders. Today, the call rejuvenated me as our halls are empty but they refilled my energy and spirit.

By the end of the week, we hope to release a comprehensive plan identifying how report cards, transcripts, graduation, and item pick-up/drop-off will work. We sincerely appreciate your patience.

Resources:

District Parent Resource Guide

Sincerely,

Jennifer

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, April 14
10:58pm email

Subject:  Update 4.14.2020

Titan Families,

I hope you enjoyed your four-day weekend with your children without schoolwork. To those of you who worked this weekend, thank you for serving our community. We are grateful to all of you who are pulled in multiple different directions. I know this would be easier if we knew when it would be over, but we do not know when or why or how. We know we can do the best we can, take care of one another, and practice patience.

At the end of this week we will be rolling out the end of year plan. This evening the Board met and built consensus around our COVID19 District overview. The Board acknowledged our District calendar. We will be upholding our calendar and are proud of the fidelity of our academic effort during this crisis. The last day of academics will be May 15. There will be exchange of materials (student and district) on May 18, 19, and 20. Thank you for being a critical partner in providing top academic service for our students. You are the reason why our children’s learning gap will be minimal. Thank you for being part of the solution.

I am pleased to share a project spearheaded by Mr. Jamison and supported by tLINK. The project connects the Tea Area School District and Tea’s Fareway Grocery Store.
 

Here is how it works:

As you buy your groceries at the Tea Fareway you add a donation to
your purchase in the form of a gift card. Fareway will collect the cards and
get them to t
he Tea Area school superintendent. School principals will hand out
to families enrolled in the school backpack program. With the Fareway gift card
families will have access to perishable items for the children, milk, eggs,
fruits and vegetables.

Thank you for helping those most in need!

Resources:

District Parent Resource Guide Parent Resource 

Shop Local

Sincerely,
Jennifer

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, April 9
6:38pm email

Subject:  Update 4.9.2020

Titan Families,

While our traditions and beliefs may differ this weekend, we are all Titans who care for one another and deeply value the time we have with our families. Please enjoy your Friday thru Monday Holiday Break. Classes will resume on Tuesday morning via eLearning. 

The Board Meeting is Tuesday, April 14 beginning at 6:30 pm. The Board will meet via zoom and the meeting will be available to our public via the District YouTube Channel.

The agenda is standard with a time for public comment. Requests for public comment need to be requested prior to the meeting by calling Dr. Lowery at 605-498-2700 x5 or emailing Jennifer.Lowery@k12.sd.us . I will not be able to access my email during the meeting; therefore, all requests for comment or accommodations need to be planned prior to the Board meeting. Thank you for understanding.

Meals for April 20, 2020 – April 24, 2020 sign up  here.

Meals should be picked up from the location you selected on the survey between 4 – 6 pm on Monday, April 20. The form will close on 4/14 at 7:00 pm. Meals are free for all children who live in Tea, ages 1-18.

As previously indicated, the District will provide clear direction at the end of next week concerning our plans, preparation, expectations, and scheduling through the end of May. We recognize that during these uncertain times it is helpful to know as much as possible as soon as possible. You have all been gracious and we appreciate your patience.

Resources: 
District Parent Resource Guide 
Shop Local

Sincerely,
Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, April 8
6:16pm email

Subject: Update 4.8.2020

Titan Families,

I hope this short note finds each of you doing well. We recognize that providing clarity, timelines, and clear plans is helpful. We will be providing more direction concerning our spring events, academics, and logistical exchange of items following Easter break. We appreciate your diligence in providing support to our Titan learners. Thank you for your partnership.

Mrs. Krell has provided the following resources concerning face coverings and a “How to Video”.

Resources: 

Sincerely, 
Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, April 7
5:13pm email

Subject:  Update 4.7.2020 

Titan Families,

The sunshine is therapeutic this afternoon. I hope you are able to enjoy the sun this afternoon or evening. I am looking forward to a jog after work. When I jog, it is if some of the worries of the day and scheduling concerns for tomorrow “drip away”. I remember how lucky I am to be able to breathe and be outside compared to those who are not healthy enough to run or are trapped in a city. Each day is a decision on what we will get done and how we approach it. Remember, your children will push you to not want to do their work, but remember they are lucky to have you as a parent who makes them do things they do not want to do. We became successful adults when we do things we do not want to do. It is part of growing up and identifying who you want to be and what you will stand for in life. We can do this, it will be hard at times, it is emotionally draining, but “Yes” we can.

Resources:

Sincerely, 
Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, April 6
6:10pm email

Subject:  Update 4.6.2020

Titan Families,

I am confident you have heard the news that South Dakota schools will continue eLearning through the end of their school year. While eLearning is not our first choice, it is our reality. While there is a mix of emotions you may be feeling (sad, anxious, angry, uncertain, relief), we understand because we feel all of them too. We can do this. We can continue because it is the right thing to do for our kids and their future. It allows for some sense of normalcy and productive purpose. We are stronger together and we can embrace today. The days are quick while the weeks are long as we do not know the end of the crisis nor in some cases do we know the beginning. Information will be coming out concerning the next six weeks. We recognize that you have materials in the school building and you have school equipment. We will work through the logistics to exchange items. I will provide an update following Easter Break.

We know kids may be sad, disappointed, or happy. I recognize and acknowledge all of these feelings. They are valid and important. Remember, we have each other and you have your most precious possession, time with your children – seize this precious moment in time. Today is an opportunity tomorrow is the challenge and we can do this together.

Resources:    

  • Sioux Falls Mayor’s Executive Proclamation – Safe at Home

  • Meal signup for the week of Tuesday, 4/14 - 4/17, is available now. We are now able to serve children ages 1 to 18. Please sign up prior to Tuesday, April 7th at 7 pm. Food pickup will be on Tuesday, 4/14, due to Easter Break. We will continue to have three pick-up locations (Frontier, Middle School, Venture) from 4 pm to 6 pm.

Governor’s Proclamation


Sincerely,
Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Friday, April 3
4:29pm email

Subject:  Update 4.3.2020

Titan Families,

Our nightly update comes from your friendly Titan Nurse, Miss. Tara!

Meal signup for the week of Tuesday, 4/14 - 4/17, is available now. We are now able to serve children ages 1 to 18. Please sign up prior to Tuesday, April 7th at 7 pm. Food pickup will be on Tuesday, 4/14, due to Easter Break. We will continue to have three pick-up locations (Frontier, Middle School, Venture) from 4 pm to 6 pm. 

I did watch the Governor’s address this afternoon. She indicated schools would be receiving more guidance next week. I will be waiting for that information prior to making any additional plans or announcements.

Thank you for providing feedback to your building principals and/or teachers. We sincerely appreciate the feedback. We care about our Titan Family!

Remember our District Parent Guide is on our homepage as we work to keep information in a central location.

Blessing to you and your family,
Jenn
Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, April 2
5:28pm email

Subject:  Update 4.2.2020

Titan Families,

I have good news today. We may have icy conditions in the morning and I do not have to make a difficult decision about what is the best option for our schools being open or closed.

I do not have a long update. I appreciate the work you are all doing and the feedback you are providing so we can learn. You are an amazing part of our team. As a reminder, we do not have school on Friday, April 10 or Monday, April 13. Common Sense Media is a common resource for District’s teachers. I would encourage you to consider checking out their site as there are some wonderful extensions to learning. It is organized K-5 and 6-12. 

Remember our District Parent Guide is here or on our homepage as we work to keep information in a central location.

Blessing to you and your family,
Jenn

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, April 1
5:18pm email

Subject:  Update 4.1.2020

Titan Families,

Happy April Fools Day! It is a good thing that COVID19 crisis did not start today or no one would believe it was real. Sadly, it is quite real and now is the time to take care of one another in unique ways. Facetime, google meet, old fashion letters are wonderful ways to take care of one another!

As a reminder, our playgrounds are locked and equipment is closed. Please support the city and the district’s efforts to keep people safe from this invisible enemy. Please do your part to be part of the solution. We care about each and everyone of you!

Today is Census Day! It is very important to take part in the 2020 census. As a member of the chamber board, I know businesses consider towns when they officially reach 5000 people. Tea would benefit if we were officially identified as a community over 5000. I believe you can do it right here: https://my2020census.gov/

Remember the District Parent Resource Guide Resource guide is the centralized location for information and resources.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools
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Tuesday, March 31
5:17pm email

Subject:  Update 3.31.2020

Titan Families,

We hope this note finds you doing well.

The outdoors are wonderful therapy, but please support social distancing as you enjoy the outdoors. All equipment and basketball courts are not accessible, we must do our part to lower the curve. You are amazing Titans and we value you and appreciate everything you are doing to support one another and our learners.

Please know, you are enough and you are doing a great job. There is a lot of information and if you miss something, it is okay! We are here to help,
support, and take care of you (virtually).

Remember the District Parent Resource Guide is the centralized location for information and resources.

Highlights within the resources include:

   *Sign-up for 4/6 – 4/10 meals by Tuesday at 7 pm
   *Tea Community Library Resources (New!) 
   *Shop Local


Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, March 30
5:25pm email

Subject:  Update 3.30.2020

Titan Families,

Welcome to our second week of Titan eLearning. We appreciate your feedback as we are learning and adapting to our quickly changing environment. We are grateful for your partnership.

Remember the  District Parent Resource Guide is the centralized location for information and resources. Highlights within the resource include: 

Additional Reminders:

  • The Titan Sports Complex (Track & Field) is closed. We are not cleaning these facilities regularly as they are not identified as essential and we do not have the capacity to ensure social distancing.
  • Please fill out the census information you received from the Federal Government in the mail. This is very important to your schools, community, and state for funding and other program eligibility reasons. 
  • High School Graduation
    • No decisions have been made concerning high school graduation. Mr. Knudson is working with the senior class officers. We care about our seniors and their families. It is and will continue to be a high priority for us.


Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Saturday, March 28
9:05am email

Subject: Lunch/Breakfast Request for April 4/6 - 4/10

Titan Families, 

This Food Service team will distribute food for the week on Monday evenings from 4 pm to 6 pm from the Middle School bus loop, Venture Elementary,  and Frontier Elementary. 

Please sign up for the week of 4/6 - 4/10 by Tuesday, March 31 at 7 pm: survey

Have a great weekend!

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Friday, March 27
5:22pm email

Subject:  Update 3.26.2020

Titan Families, 

Congratulations to Mrs. Wranek, South Dakota Bandmaster’s Outstanding Bandmaster of the Year. 

New Items:

Technology Help Desk Opens Monday, March 30 

Are you having difficulty with your student’s District Issued Chromebook or Ipad?

Please submit this form so we can assist you and your student. 

The help desk form may be completed at any time of the day or night, but our help desk hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 10 am - 6:30 pm. 

Please note:

  *If a device transfer needs to occur, these will occur at the High School Door H-18 just south of the library entrance.
  *Responses to your request will be text from 605-679-7334 or emailed from TeaAreaHelpDesk@k12.sd.us

Lunch Program – Meals 4/6 – 4/1

For planning purposes, please complete this meal request form by Tuesday, March 31 at 7 pm for meals 4/6 – 4/10. The meal pick up will remain on Monday evenings from 4 pm – 6 pm at Frontier, Middle School, and Venture. 

Feedback Opportunity

We are learning right alongside of you. Please provide feedback on the forms being sent today from either your classroom teacher (elementary) or principal (middle and high school). Thank you for your partnership. 

HelpLine or Call 211

If your family is in need or financial or emotional support please know the helpline is available (call 211). 

CDC Symptom Checker:

Please remember that 99% of all information sent out to our community, other than classroom specifics,  can be found in one location on our District Parent Resource Guide.

I believe a community cruise night is planned for this Saturday night at 7 pm. More information can be found on Facebook (Sorry, I cannot seem to find the specifics quickly this evening.)

Sincerely, 

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, March 26
5:42pm email

Subject:  Update 3.26.202

Titan Families,

You are amazing! You are doing great and your best is enough. We all have different situations occurring and we can only do our best during this time to balance everything. Please understanding we are grateful and proud of your work and effort. If you cannot do everything, it is ok. Communicate with us so we are able to make you and your student’s life “ doable”.

Please Read and Respond:

Lunch Program

We are preparing to serve lunches for the week of March 30. Pick up for meals the week of March 30 will be Monday, March 30th from 4 pm to 6 pm at Frontier, Middle School, and Venture. Families need to pre-order their meal requests by noon on Friday, March 27. Please fill out this survey.

Community Blood Drive

Trinity Lutheran Church will be hosting the Blood Mobile. It will be at Trinity on April 3rd from 9 am – 11 am and 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm. For an appointment please call Trinity (605-498-2343) or email melody@teatrinity.org


Support our Small Local Businesses

Our communities are stronger when we work together. Each family is experiencing unique economic times and impact. If you are able to be part of the solution for our small businesses, we encourage you to shop local

Events

All April events have been canceled or rescheduled. State events are being reviewed on a conference call next week. Regrettably, Prom was canceled. When restrictions are lifted, the District will support an alternative.

Updates concerning COVID19 can be found here

Information is coming at you from multiple directions, please know that your consistent source of all information is the District Parent Resource Guide:

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Wednesday, March 25
7:04pm email

Subject: Update 3.25.2020

Titan Families,

Our buildings are closed through May 1, 2020, but education is occurring at Tea Area! I have the distinct opportunity to participate in our staff google meets today and tomorrow. I can tell you our teachers are worried about our kids and our families. We want to provide you with enough but not too much. Thank you for help and patience as we learn from you, each other, and most importantly our kids!

Please Read:

Lunch and Breakfast Program
We served over 200 families on Monday with lunches and breakfasts
for a week. We are preparing to serve lunches for the week of March 30. As we  transition to a longterm building closure, the feedback received from families was that the meals were appreciated but the pickup time was difficult for working parents. Pickup for meals the week of March 30 will be Monday, March 30th from 4 pm to 6 pm at Frontier, Middle School, and Venture. Families need to pre-order their meal requests by noon on Friday, March 27. Please fill out this survey  if you wish to pickup a weeks worth of breakfast and lunch meals for your school-aged child(ren).

Community Blood Drive
A community blood drive will be occurring at the beginning of April. There will be more information to come.

Support our Small Local Businesses
Our communities are stronger when we work together. Each family is experiencing unique economic times and impact. If you are able to be part of  the solution for our small businesses, we encourage you to shop local. This list will be updated to the best of our ability as local shops and restaurants reach out.

If you would like on the list or to update your information, please email Courtney.Burrack@k12.sd.us.

Events
We will continue to update you as events are canceled or postponed.

Updates concerning  COVID19 can be found here.

District Parent Resource Guide can be found here


We are proud to be a Titans!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Tuesday, March 24
11:09pm email

Subject:  Update 3.24.2020

Titan Families,

I apologize for the late update, but it is better late than never!

Tea Area will follow the direction of the Governor and close our buildings through May 1, 2020. Many requests have been made concerning student
items being picked up from school. I believe we are managing those requests and working well with our families. Please note, all items must be requested and picked up from the principal prior to 4:00 pm on Thursday. We want to serve our families, but we are tightening our processes of social distancing as more COVID19 cases continue to spread into our area. We are focused on everyone’s safety and well-being.

As we enter our third day of eLearning, please remember what you are doing is amazing. You are enough and we will be seeking your feedback yet this week. As I came home late this evening, the story of the Three Bears resonated with me. The porridge was too hot, too cold, and just right. I predict our eLearning experiences are too much, too little, and just right. We will work with you to get to the point of just right. Thank you for your patience. Learning is about people and not about places. We can do this together as a Titan Community. Please give your children an extra hug this evening as they are precious and we miss them.

Items to note for the future: 

  • Decisions concerning April Events·      
  • Decision concerning Prom·      
  • Food Service for Students·      
  • Community Support  
    • If you are a local business and you are running a special or have particular hours/instructions for pick-up or delivery, please email me so we can put a guide together and try to support our local shops. (Jennifer.Lowery@k12.sd.us)  
  • Support to families in the evening for eLearning      
  • Discussion concerning our Graduating Class of 2020

Thank you for being an incredibly supportive community.

Updates concerning COVID19 can be found here.

District Parent Resource Guide can be found here

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Monday, March 23
6:15pm email

Subject:  Update 3.23.2020

Titan Families,

Thank you for your work and patience today. You all passed! We deployed eLearning to nearly 2000 student devices today. We are up and jogging! We have an incredible team at Tea Area and we are all learning our new roles. We are grateful for your patience. Please reach out to your student’s teacher or principal if you are having issues. We do not want to cause frustration. We want to help provide quality work to guide our young people’s day.

I stopped home to grab lunch this afternoon and found out from my middle school student that it is “intense”, my fourth-grader just communicate with his teacher for his needs, and my four-year-old rocked preschool (If you need anything cut, she is your girl).

Governor Noem provided the following Executive Order. She will be providing additional guidance to schools on Tuesday.

Thank you for being an incredibly supportive community.

Updates concerning COVID19 can be found here.

Tea Area Parent Guide is continually being updated here.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Saturday, March 21
8:40pm email

Subject: Tea Area - COVID19 Parent Resource

Titans, 

The purpose of this email is to provide an overview of Tea Area School District's COVID19 response and centralize our parent resources. 

The attached resource is a ten-thousand foot overview of our technology, instructional program, and community resources. The attachment is also available by clicking this link. The linked document will be updated as we learn from each other. 

As a parent, I strongly encourage you to identify a learning area for each of your children. This area should be consistent, free from distraction, and appropriate for devices. We already lost a power cord at our home, but it was easily found as we have not gone anywhere. Now, I have a storage bin by each of their learning areas to keep their school items together. 

Your principals and teachers will be in contact with you on Sunday and Monday with specific information. I am grateful for their work and organization. 

Thank you all for your support and grace,
Jenn

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Friday, March 20
8:25pm email

Subject:  Update 3.20.2020

Titan Families,

Our efforts at Tea Area continue as we prepare to launch our online classrooms on Monday morning. We have an incredible team working to meet needs across our schools and the greater community. I am grateful to be a Titan.

I had promised additional guidance concerning our online learning rollout on Friday night. I am going to provide additional information tomorrow as I have a few more items to finalized. Essentially, you will receive an overview from me on Saturday. On Sunday, between noon and two your child’s  principal will be sending an overview. Elementary parents will receive additional information from the classroom teacher on Sunday evening. Middle and High School students will be utilizing their google classrooms to work on their work which will be outlined by the principals and facilitated by our teachers. We will be providing opportunities for parent and student feedback so we are able to learn and adjust as we facilitated our new program.

Our Food Service Director and Business Manager were awarded the program to support feeding breakfast and lunch to our school-aged Titans. This team will distribute food for the week on Monday from both the Middle School bus loop and Frontier Elementary (11:00 am – 1:00 pm). Please signup for this
weeks service: https://forms.gle/DvAhZF6Dxfr3hjha9

Our Director of Curriculum and Assessment and Director of Technology are working to provide Internet options to every JK-12 learner. If you do not
have Internet access from home please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/9nof9Fh7ZVbYN4TNA (If you accidentally filled out the form and you do have Internet please email Courtney.Burrack@k12.sd.us)

Sanford and Avera reached out to area schools requesting we collaborate with the Childcare Cooperative for First Responders and Patient-Facing
Healthcare workers, we agreed to adopt their model and host a site. Their guidelines and recommendations are outlining the program including small environments, extended hours, and health checks. Our Human Resources Manager and After School Director are collaborating to extend this outreach. Please contact Wendie.Morehead@k12.sd.us for additional information concerning hours, regulations, and pricing.

Thank you for being an incredibly supportive community.

Updates concerning COVID19 can be found here: https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, March 20
1:20pm email and text

Subject:  internet access

Titan Families,

As we move into online instruction next week, please fill out this form by midnight tonight if you DO NOT have internet access at home.  For questions, please call the DEC at 498-2700 Option 5.

​https://forms.gle/9nof9Fh7ZVbYN4TNA

Thank you.

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Thursday, March 19
7:05pm email

Subject:  Update 3.19.2020

Titan Families,

This update will be brief as information has not significantly changed in the last 24 hours.

Mrs. Esping, District Business Manager, and Mrs. Stratmeyer, Food and Nutrition Director, have applied for meal disbursement for all JK-12 students requesting meals. Our hope is to begin on Monday. When our application is approved, we will provide specifics for our JK-12 students. A huge thank you to our community partner, J & R Mechanical for their work and continued support.

We have been asked to be part of a regional solution for some school-aged childcare concerns for Emergency Responders and Medical (Patient-Facing) Workforce. We will be following a standardized regional model.  We are working to be able to provide comparable services.

We are strictly limiting access to our buildings. Each building principal is working with families to navigate concerns or problems. Thank you for working directly with them via email. Please do not hesitate to call the District Office, if needed.

The District Education Center will remain open with limits on visitors (7:30 am – 4:00 pm). Our phone number is 605-498-2700 x5 as it is important we serve our community. Administrators will continue answering emails but may not be in their office. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us via the phone (498-2700 x5) or email (first name.last name@k12.sd.us).

Thank you for being an incredibly supportive community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

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Thursday, March 19
5:43pm email

Subject:  Tea Area School District Breakfasts and Lunches for March 23-27

Titan Families-

The District will be providing free breakfasts and lunches to all Tea Area enrolled JK-12th grade students during the week of March 23-27. The meals for all five days will be available for pickup by families on Monday, March 23, from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Middle School or at Frontier Elementary. In order for us to prepare enough meals, please complete the google form in the link below.

https://forms.gle/DvAhZF6Dxfr3hjha9

If you have any questions please call the District at 605-498-2700x5

-Tea Area School District Food Service

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Thursday, March 19
5:43pm email

Subject:  Tea Area School District Breakfasts and Lunches for March 23-27

Titan Families-

The District will be providing free breakfasts and lunches to all Tea Area enrolled JK-12th grade students during the week of March 23-27. The meals for all five days will be available for pickup by families on Monday, March 23, from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the Middle School or at Frontier Elementary. In order for us to prepare enough meals, please complete the google form in the link below.

https://forms.gle/DvAhZF6Dxfr3hjha9

If you have any questions please call the District at 605-498-2700x5

-Tea Area School District Food Service

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Thursday, March 19
10:30am email

Subject: Message to Tea Area K-6 Families - Chromebooks and iPads

Good morning Titan Families,

Thank you for the great participation at our device handout event yesterday. We know that your child likely did not receive his/her iPad/Chromebook that they usually use at school. Directions on how to log-in to these devices will be sent to you Sunday evening in preparation for the week’s instruction. At this time, there is no need to log-in or use the device for instructional purposes. After you receive directions, if you are still encountering difficulties, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or building principal for help. We are here to support you and welcome the opportunity to do so.

Dr. Tonia Warzecha, Ed.D.
Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, March 19
9:15am email

Subject:  

Subject: Healthcare Workers & Emergency Responders Please Read

Tea Area Families,

The Tea Area School District is collaborating with our regional partners to identify if our community has a need for childcare (school-aged 5 - 12 years old) for essential healthcare workers and emergency personnel.

While we recognize many families are at a hardship and every person is vital to keeping our community and country running, this survey is for the following defined individuals with children in our District:

* Patient-Facing Healthcare Workers
* Custodial Healthcare Workers
* Emergency First Responders

Identification of responsibility either in the form of a letter from the employer or work-issued identification badge may be required.

Keeping our children home or in a very small environment is everyone's goal. We appreciate every effort to take care of childcare within your family or friend circle but recognize that we may have single-parent households or dual households who are essential healthcare or emergency care providers.

If you are in the identified group above and are in need of emergency childcare so that you are able to provide essential healthcare services, please fill out this survey. The survey will accept responses until midnight tonight, but if possible, respond by 3:00 pm. today.

Survey Link: https://forms.gle/iCDHmC6d6oESN3fv7

Respectfully,

Jennifer Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, March 18
9:25pm email

Subject:  Update 3.18.2020

Titan Families, 

As you know, the Governor has extended the closure of schools through the week of March 23. We are closed including, out-of-district programs and transportation. At this time, we plan to reopen on March 30. Online instruction will begin on Monday, March 23. 

A huge thank you to our community, parents, and amazing staff as we distributed over 500 devices this evening across the district. We are the middle of a huge collaborative effort and I am grateful for the unbelievable work ethic, communication, and grace of our Titan family.

Here are the next phases of implementation:

*Thursday and Friday are spring break! It is time for a snowstorm. We are honoring spring break to the greatest extend possible. We are not rolling out our instructional plan because it is spring break and we are still ironing out issues to streamline our process as much as possible and limit frustration. 

*Late Friday, I (the superintendent) will provide a District overview of our instructional implementation plan. Sunday, you will receive an email from your student’s building principal followed by specific communication from your teacher(s).

I am confident many students and parents are trying to login and get started. I would ask that you are patient and wait for our instructions on Friday, Sunday, and Monday. We needed to distribute devices this evening because of the weather and we have staff on duty today. 

Example of potential issue, school devices and login (@k12.sd.us) must be used to maximize our efficiency. When students at particular age groups login after certain hours their device will not work. We will be adjusting our timelines based on parents’ need in the future. If a student is using his or her own Chromebook, you need to add an account and login using their k12 login. We will provide guidance and tips concerning signing on and when the internet will or will not work based on our filters. This will be a learning process. We will be getting information out soon, thank you for your patience.

TITAN FAMILY OVERVIEW:

*We will be rolling out information concerning how we will support lunches for students beginning March 23. 

*We will be providing additional information on what instruction will look like beginning on March 23 from our newly developed digital platform. The timeline is device distribution (Wednesday), Superintendent Overview (Friday evening), Building Principal (Sunday Afternoon), and Teacher(s) (Sunday Evening). We thank you for your kindness and patience in advance. We are learning with you and are grateful for your grace, feedback, and help. 

*We are aware of the regional issue with elementary students whose parent(s) are healthcare workers who work directly with patients or provide for the sanitary hospital-environment as well as emergency workers. We are working with our regional partners to be part of the solution. 

We recognize this is putting a strain on everyone. Thank you for helping one another.  
If you have a need, please call our office, communicate with your building principal, or share with your teacher. We want to support our families and communities. We are in a unique position with resources and strong connections. Please let us know how we can help. 

The District Education Center will remain open with limits on visitors (7:30 am – 4:00 pm). Our phone number is 605-498-2700 x5 as it is important we serve our community. Administrators will continue answering emails but may not be in their office. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us via the phone (498-2700 x5) or email. 

Please respect the needs of our greater community and maintain social distance. The purpose of closing school is to allow people to be at home and slow the spread. Please do your part by staying away as much as possible from public places. 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, March 17
7:40pm email

Subject:  Update 3.17.2020

Titan Families,

Please read this email as it is unique and not a generic update.

As you know, the Governor has extended the closure of schools through the week of March 23. We are closed including, out-of-district programs and transportation. At this time, we plan to reopen on March 30. Online instruction will begin on Monday, March 23. Additional information will be coming to help support our Titan families and students. 

Authorized personnel are the only individuals allowed in our buildings. These individuals will receive health checks before beginning their work.
The District Education Center will remain open with limits on visitors (7:30 am – 4:00 pm). Our phone number is 605-498-2700 x5 as it is important we serve our community. Administrators will continue answering emails but will not be in their office. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us via the phone (498-2700 x5) or email. 

Here are a few logistical updates:

*All Kindergarten, First-Grade, and Second-Grade
  *Families will need to come to their elementary school to pick up a District iPad. We are able to electronically “push out” content to our iPads. We are not able to “push out” content to your personal iPad.

  *iPad distribution will be Wednesday, March 18, from 4 pm to 7pm at each elementary school.

  *Stay in your car.

  *Do not come if you are sick.

  *Please have a piece of paper with your student’s or students’ first name, last name, and grade on a piece of paper. This piece of paper will be handed through the car window to a staff member who will give you the iPad or iPads and charger. The staff member will keep the sheet of paper and write the four-digit code from the device for record-keeping purposes.

  *To expedite the process for all families, you will be asked to pull as far forward as possible and then leave when you have the devices you need.
If you are sick or cannot attend the distribution, please email the principal or call the District Office 605-498-2700 x5.

*Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grade
  *Families please read carefully. Online instruction will be delivered through google classroom. We recognize that a family may have a device in their home with google, but may not have enough devices for parents to work from home and each of their children to be doing their classwork. We would like your child to have his or her own chromebook to limit this difficulty in your home. If you need or would like an additional chromebook to facilitate learning in your home, please come to the chromebook distribution. The chromebook distribution will occur at the same time as the iPad distribution. 
Chromebook distribution will be Wednesday, March 18, from 4pm to 7pm at each child’s school (Legacy, Venture, Middle School, Frontier). Please note: 6th graders living in Sioux Falls may pick a chromebook up at Frontier.

  *Stay in your car.

  *Do not come if you are sick.

  *Please have a piece of paper with your student’s or students’ first name, last name, and grade on a piece of paper. This piece of paper will be handed through the car window to a staff member who will give you the correct device(s) and charger. The staff member will keep the sheet of paper and write the four-digit code from the device for record-keeping purposes. 

  *To expedite the process for all families, you will be asked to pull as far forward as possible and then leave when you have the devices you need.
If you are sick or cannot attend the distribution, please email the principal or call the District Office 605-498-2700 x5).

*7th – 12th Grade
  *Students should already have their chromebook and charger. Please email their principal or assistant principal if there is a concern.

Legacy Electronic Device Pick-up Traffic Plan
Please enter Legacy’s main entrance from the north coming from the stop sign at Brian and Cole. Please exit Legacy’s main entrance and head south towards Charish.

Middle School Device Pick-up Traffic Plan
The distribution will be from the door closest to the student dropoff and playground on the west side of the building.

ALL FAMILIES
We will be rolling out information concerning how we will support lunches for students in need.

We will be providing additional information on what instruction will look like beginning on March 23 from our newly developed digital platform. We thank you for your kindness and patience in advance. We are learning with you and are grateful for your grace, feedback, and help.

If you have a need, please call our office, communicate with your building principal, or share with your teacher. We want to support our families and communities. We are in a unique position with resources and strong connections. Please let us know how we can help.

Please respect the needs of our greater community and maintain social distance. The purpose of closing school is to allow people to be at home and slow the spread. Please do your part by staying away as much as possible from public places.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, March 16
6:30pm email

Subject:  Update 3.16.2020

Titan Families,

The purpose of this email is to update you on the progress the Tea Area team has made concerning cleaning and academic preparations.

The entire District is being deep cleaned per CDC guidelines. The products our teams are using are on List N of the EPA recommendations. The high school is substantially complete. Our electronic devices are being cleaned by an additional team utilizing microfiber. A third team is cleaning our kitchens. After a building is cleaned, it will remain closed until 5:00 am Monday, March 23.

Titan faculty are making preparations to provide instruction virtually. I had the opportunity to meet with our administrative teams. They shared the incredible amount of work and preparation going into the development of a virtual school. We are working on a foundation that will provide age-appropriate amounts of parental communication, opportunities for daily virtual interactions with students, and feedback opportunities for parents, students, and instructors.

We appreciate your patience as we all walk together through this unforeseen circumstance. Please know we are here to help. If your student is in need of a lunch, please reach out to your building principal via email or call 498-2700x5.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

https://doh.sd.gov/news/Coronavirus.aspx 

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, March 15
10:40am text

Subject: Message sent 3.15.2020

Reminder: No school at Tea Area or access to buildings other than authorized personnel (March 16 - March 22). The District Office will remain open (605-498-2700 x5). J & R Mechanical (125 Main Street Tea) has generously coordinated lunch from 11-1 for those is need during the week. I believe it will be a quick grab and go format. If you or a family member are ill and in need of food, please call the District Office and we will help facilitate. Please honor social distance during this week.

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, March 13
9:41pm email

Subject: Titan Family Update

Titan Families,

As you know, the Governor has recommended closure for the week of March 16. We are closed including out-of-district programs and transportation. We will always comply with the Governor’s recommendations as she has information beyond our privy. At this time, we plan to reopen on March 23.

Authorized personnel are the only individuals allowed in our buildings. These individuals will receive health checks before beginning their work.

The District Education Center will remain open with limits on visitors (7:30 am – 4:00 pm). Our phone number is 605-498-2700 x5 as it is important we serve our community. Administrators will continue answering emails, but will not be in their office. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us via the phone or email.

Here are a few logistical updates:    

  • Conferences will happen via email JK-8.
  • Report cards and eligibility reports are delayed (unknown date of completion).
  • 2020 9th –Grade Registration is canceled. Information to come from our high school principals on alternative method of delivery.
  • 2020 Kindergarten Screening is postponed (unknown date).
  • We are trying to update our District calendar online, but please understand no matter what the calendar says there is nothing allowed in our buildings.

Please respect the needs of our greater community and maintain social distance. The purpose of closing school is to allow people to be at home and slow the spread. Please do your part by staying away as much as possible from public places

Sincerely,

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, March 13
12:18pm text

Tea Area will close as directed by the Governor for the next week (March 16 - March 20).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, March 13
9:48am email

Subject: Preparation for Instruction - Please read

Titan Parents,

Please read this email.

As you know, we have a pre-scheduled early release this afternoon. We are working to be proactive in our potential solutions to deliver instruction. We plan to have school next week, but as we watch national trends there is a possibility that school closures may happen. We would like to be able to continue instruction with our students to limit make-up days during the summer. This is preparatory only.

We are sending home 7-12 Chromebooks and chargers for the weekend and each evening moving forward.

Children in grades 3-6 are being asked if they have a Chromebook at home that they use. If they do not know or say no, they are being issued a chromebook and charger today. These devices need the internet. We are working on innovative solutions to provide the internet to those who do not have it available. Please understand more information will be coming. Also, please know that these devices go through our Internet filter. Currently, 3-5 chromebooks only have access to the Internet from 8 am – 5 pm. This is regulated by the school. It will turn on after 5 pm, but it will not work. If we get to an online education situation, we will ask for feedback concerning the 5 pm
cutoff.

There is no charge for this Chromebook rental. If you do not want your child (k-6) to have a device issued, please call the building secretary prior to noon today.

We recognize there are many questions. We will continue to provide guidance and clarity. We are working on a delivery solution for age-appropriate online education. This is not complete at this time.

We sincerely appreciate your patience, help, and understanding that we are trying to be as proactive as possible.

Updates on events for next week will come later this evening.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Lowery

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, March 12
9:37pm email

Subject: District Update 3.12.2020

Titan Families,

Thank you for your patience this evening. We had a school board
meeting this evening prior to finalizing this daily update. The Board was updated on our work planning and communication during this meeting.

We are working with other school districts and closely following the guidance of the Department of Health. We are participating in conference calls, learning sessions, and providing opportunities for staff question and answer sessions.

The recommended website for the Governor's office for central communication and updated information concerning COVID-19 is https://covid.sd.gov

The District has canceled the use of our facilities by outside organizations. Friday, we will review all of the up-coming events and provide information on when they will be rescheduled or provided via an alternative service model. Our before and after school program (TASK) is running their normal operational hours. This program is our students and does not invite others into our student’s community.

As a reminder, Friday is a half day of school as it is the end of the quarter.

Thank you for working through this unique situation with us,

Dr. Jennifer N. Lowery
Superintendent of Schools

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, March 11
12:45pm email

Subject: COVID-19 information

Dear Titan Families,

Our Titan students and families, along with the rest of the community’s health and safety, are always a top priority in the Tea Area School District. With the Coronavirus making its way into South Dakota, we wanted to update you to let you know the steps we are taking as a District to help protect our families and staff from the virus. We do not currenlty have a case in the Tea Area School District.

• Students are being encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water more frequently for 20 seconds.
• Students are instructed to cough/sneeze in the crook of their elbows.
• Students are being reminded to not touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.
• ALL staff at TASD is diligently cleaning and wiping desks, tables, door knobs, keyboards, computers, lockers, etc. They are also setting great examples for the students in regards to washing their hands and covering their cough/sneeze.
• Buses are being cleaned daily.
• Lunch staff is wiping down lunch tables more frequently with a special bleach solution.

If your student is ill, please keep them home. Students need to be free of fever for 24 hours without fever reduction medication.

We will be working with the South Dakota Department of Health and the CDC as the situation evolves in our State. We will keep parents informed as more information is available.

If you have any concerns regarding your student or yourself, please contact your health care provider.

Sincerely,

Tara Krell, RN
Tea Area School District Nurse

Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery
Tea Area Superintendent of Schools