COVID-19 and School Updates

5/5/2021

VC Health Department Vaccination Clinic at De Soto HS

The Vernon County Health Department is offering a vaccination clinic on Friday, May 7 at De Soto Middle/High School from 1:00-2:00 p.m. The vaccination clinic is open to anyone 16 years or older including parents, family members, and the community; however, there are only 30 doses available. Specific time slots must be register for through an online process at this link: https://hipaa.jotform.com/211244519888161

Students 16 years or older will need the screening form filled out prior to their appointment. A link to this form was emailed out to families on Wednesday, May 5. If assistance is needed please contact the District Office at 608-648-0102. Additional information is available through the Vernon County Health Department at 608-637-5257.

VC Health Department Notes Increasing COVID Positives

The Vernon County Health Department has noted an increase in the number of positive cases among students who have attended proms. The Health Department noted that precautions still must be taken to prevent the spread for those not able to yet get the vaccine. The support of mitigation efforts by schools and the community is appreciated and continued mitigation measures are needed to effectively stop the spread of COVID-19. Please see the recent letter sent from the Health Department to schools regarding quarantine periods: School Quarantine Letter

De Soto High School Class of 2021 Graduation

The De Soto High School will hold graduation on Friday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the New Gymnasium for the Class of 2021. Due to COVID-19 restrictions each graduate may have 4 guests present for the ceremony. Four additional guests will be accommodated in the Old Gym and will be able to watch graduation via a live virtual link.

For those at home or another location, the graduation ceremonies will be broadcast live over a link on the District's web page: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

We are also cautioning our graduating seniors to be vigilant in following preventative measures to reduce or eliminate their exposure to any potential COVID-19 positive case, and to help prevent the spread of COVID. Our wish is for our senior students and their families to be safe, remain healthy, and enjoy this last month of school, graduation, and family celebrations.


5/4/2021

UW-System--Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The University of Wisconsin System is embarking upon a statewide campaign to address the decline in prospective Fall 2021 student families completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is an important step in ensuring college access and affordability for our Wisconsin high school seniors.

Parents of high school seniors, reminding them that it’s not too late to apply for financial aid and, importantly, there is money still available. Financial aid counselors at universities all across the UW System are collaborating in this effort, and they’re willing to help parents and students successfully complete the form. Furthermore, UW financial aid counselors will provide this assistance regardless of where a student ultimately decides to go to college. To schedule a time with one of our counselors, please visit https://uwhelp.wisconsin.edu/fin-aid/ for contact information.

Here are some additional resources that might be useful to parents and students.

College access and affordability have never been more important, and we want to ensure that all students who wish to go to college can have that opportunity. Submitting the FAFSA can be a key step in turning a dream into reality.

5/2/2021

National Teacher Appreciation Week--May 3-7

We wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge our dedicated teaching faculty for their commendable work this year. Our teachers worked throughout the summer to prepare for an unprecedented school year expanding virtual learning opportunities through Google Classroom and training in mitigation efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Teachers, as well as other district staff, also participated in training sessions on Trauma Informed Care, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), A.L.I.C.E. School Safety. Teachers and staff from each school building completed an Adolescent Mental Health two-day training, and Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI).

District-wide teachers started the school year on September 1 undertaking a dual educational model instructing students who began the school year in the classroom simultaneously with those students who were joining their classes from home. There were challenges for both teachers and students, and our teachers remained student-focused in their commitment to ensuring all students made academic progress as well as stayed connected with small group and social activities regardless if students were separated by 6 feet, Plexiglas and masks, or were on the other side of a computer screen.

Many of our teachers also serve as coaches/advisors, After-School Study tutors, sports assist with Surround Care, and serve as special programming event staff. As the year winds down many are planning for culminating programs as well as preparing to teach summer school offering remedial, recovery credit and enrichment classes. Because of their work our school year will hopefully be remembered as one where teachers, students, families and the community came together in a way that made this year truly remarkable and one to be celebrated.

This week, please consider sending one or more teachers a special note acknowledging their contribution to educating our students. It will mean a great deal!

Student/Parent Handbook Reviews

Parents/guardians and students are welcome to participate in the annual review of student/parent handbooks. The review process also includes the School Board's Curriculum Committee and the School Board. The review timeline: May/June--Stakeholder Feedback; June/July--School Board's Curriculum Committee; July--School Board .

Parents/guardians and students who are interested in participating in the review process are invited to contact their building principal for more information on how to participate.

COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts, Culminating School Programs & Quarantine Periods

The District remains committed to continuing mitigation efforts which have been effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in school environments. This is especially important as the school year is coming to a closure with traditional programs and celebrations that are very meaningful to our students and families.

The quarantine period for an individual who tests positive is 10-days from the onset of symptoms.

The quarantine period for an individual who has been contact traced is 14-days from the last date of exposure.

Traditional programs at this time of year include prom, spring sports conference championships and participation in the WIAA Tournament series, school promotion ceremonies, and high school graduation. These are important moments and the District will continue our mitigation efforts:

  • Mask/face covering required indoors unless eating; Outdoors--mask breaks are permitted if 6 feet physical distancing is maintained;

  • Hand washing/sanitizing when entering school buildings, classrooms, and large areas (cafeteria, gyms);

  • Physical distancing when feasible; Continued utilization of Plexiglas dividers separating seating areas;

  • Cleaning/disinfecting high touch surfaces, desks and chairs during student transition times.

We ask parents/guardians to inform your child's school if they are ill and keep them at home for 72-hours if sick and symptom free. Please click on "Additional Resources Link" under webpage header and then click on Parent COVID-19 Information Packet for specific guidance. Our school nurse, Opal Hostert, also welcomes questions. She can be reached through school offices or by email at: ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us


4/01/2021

Mental Health Grant

The De Soto Area School District is in the process of writing a School-based Mental Health Services (SBMH) grant for the 2021-2023 school year. The competitive grant process began on February 2 with participation by administrators and school guidance counselors in a grant workshop sponsored by the WI Department of Public Instruction (DPI). The grant is due to be submitted on May 3, 2021 and if received will provide funding to increase collaboration with community mental health agencies and providing mental health services to students which includes community mental health consultation, training for stakeholders, social emotional learning curriculum for school-day use, student and family assistance. Areas for educational and support services include Emotional Development and Social Competence, focusing on self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and decision making.

The grant requires data collection which includes feedback on needs assessment surveys from staff, students and parents. Teachers completed the survey in March. Students and parents will be invited to provide feedback on mental health concerns and needed services. Middle and High School parents/guardians are invited to preview the middle/high school student survey. Parents/guardians may opt their child out from taking the survey by contacting either Tim Fergot, tfer@desoto.k12.wi.us or Linzi Gronning, lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us (608) 648-0100 by Friday, April 9. The survey will be offered to students on Monday, April 12. Parents/guardians may request to be emailed or receive a hard copy of the survey by contacting the District Office at 608-648-0102 or Jackie Kreuzer: jkreuzer@desoto.k12.wi.us

Parents/guardians are also invited to complete a Family Survey to provide information on how the school district can best support mental health needs for your children and family. Parents/guardians who did not receive the Family Survey link via School Messenger may also contact the District Office to receive a link or hard copy of the Family Survey.

Additional information on the SBMH grant and Social and Emotional Learning is available using the Search link on the WI DPI webpage: www.dpi.wi.gov

Preview: Middle/High School Student Survey


3/31/2021

Mitigation Efforts are Effective in Our Schools

Today the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued a decision (4-3) to overturn the statewide mask mandate. We wish to assure our District parents, students, and staff that we will continue to base preventative decision through a continual review of data, guidelines, and recommendations as it pertains to COVID-19 mitigation and prevention efforts, and will continue to do so as Coronavirus vaccinations and other preventative efforts become available to our students, families, educational staff, and the greater community. Additionally, the District continually reviews school data on absences, causes, and connections to illness. School District data supports that the mitigation efforts in our schools and by students and staff have been effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as have likely impacted low incidences of the common cold or flu.

A study conducted by the CDC on COVID-19 cases and transmission in 17 rural Wisconsin schools was recently released. The study concluded that mitigation matters noting that "COVID-19 outbreaks related to K-12 grade classroom settings have been rarely reported.' The study further articulated that schools requiring mask-wearing have lower COVID-19 incidences among students and staff members.

Mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus in our District schools has included the required use of face coverings/masks within the school building and at school events. The District has received several commendations that wearing face coverings/masks combined with other mitigation protocols have together contributed to safer and healthier learning and work environments. These mitigation efforts have also been attributed to the District's ability to maintain in-person learning in each of our schools. The ongoing efforts include:

  • Face coverings/masks,

  • physical distancing when feasible in classrooms, hallways and large group areas,

  • Plexiglas dividers as additional barriers at desks and tables,

  • disinfecting student desks, chairs and high touch surfaces during class transitions,

  • personal hygiene hand washing,

  • hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms, school entrances and large group areas,

  • targeted and general daily cleaning and disinfecting procedures,

  • close monitoring of health issues and reported illness related absences, etc.

Following a review of current practices and recent research by the CDC, it was determined that to no longer require face coverings/masks would be counter indicated as well as a disrupting factor to the combination of mitigation efforts which have proven to be effective in keeping our schools open and in our ability to provide in-person learning.

Moving forward, the District's mitigation practice will be to continue requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear face covering/masks along with other preventative practices currently in place. The bottom line, mitigation matters, and these efforts are effective in preventing the transmission of the Coronavirus in our schools. Our intention is not to change what is working for our students and staff.

Message from WI State Health Officer

"The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has overturned the current public health emergency, which also ended the mask order. From a public health perspective, this decision is dangerous and disappointing, but it does not need to change our own decisions about protecting our health and the health and safety of our families and friends, our neighbors and colleagues, and all our fellow residents of Wisconsin.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Department of Health Services (DHS) have followed the science, and we know our local and tribal health departments have done the same. The science is clear – masks work. My mask protects you, your mask protects me, and mask orders protect our communities and everyone in Wisconsin. Science shows that wearing a mask helps prevent transmission of the virus, and science also shows that the more people who wear them, the more effective they are at stopping the spread of COVID-19. And the science is clear on mask orders as well – mask orders work.

We will continue to follow the science in our statewide response, and we’re asking you to do the same by doing everything in your power to support the adoption or continuation of mask orders in your jurisdiction. For more information on the science behind masks and the effectiveness of mask orders, there are links to research below.

After more than a year of dealing with COVID-19, I know people are tired, and that following public health guidance is more and more challenging by the day. More than one million Wisconsin residents have completed their vaccine series, and all Wisconsinites age 16 and up will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, April 5. We are moving in the right direction. However, at this point in the pandemic, mitigation measures like mask orders are more important than ever. The number of identified cases of the more contagious COVID-19 variants in Wisconsin are increasing, which means the virus is likely to spread even more quickly if we do not take significant action to stop it. Again, masks are effective, and so are mask orders. Together, we can stop the spread." Julie Willems Van Dijk. Interim State Health Officer, DHS Deputy Secretary


Note: Research on mask effectiveness, “An evidence review of face masks again COVID-19” from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United State of America, January 26, 2021. The evidence review shows that wearing masks reduces the transmission of respiratory droplets, and that there are benefits at the community level.


3/24/2021

De Soto Staff Receive COVID-19 Vaccination

Round two of the COVID-19 vaccinations was given on Tuesday, March 23 to De Soto staff at a clinic supported by the Vernon County Health Department and administered by HealthDirect Pharmacy from La Crosse. The clinic was held at Stoddard Elementary with 67 individuals receiving the 2nd vaccine following the first given on March 2, and 15 additional individuals receiving the Johnson & Johnson single vaccine.

Obtaining a vaccination is not a condition of employment in the De Soto School District; however, the clinic was offered as part of the District's overall mitigation efforts and participation was voluntary. Since the onset of COVID-19 employees have been following the District's mitigation protocols that were put in place to prevent exposure and transmission of the Coronavirus. Staff have also been responsible for guiding students in health and wellness protocols since the start of the school year with in-person learning that began on September 1. The vaccine is one additional level of protection that is valued by staff who have maintained their professional responsibilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and through the in-person classroom and Remote Learning options that has occurred for our students this school year.

The District will continue to work with the Vernon County Health Department in scheduling vaccination clinics for staff as well as students when vaccines become available to student populations.


3/18/2021

Upcoming 2021 Dates

  • FFA Awards Banquet--Monday, April 12--6:30pm--De Soto Middle/High School

  • Arts & Education Program--Wednesday, April 28--6:00pm--De Soto Middle/High School

    • MS & HS artwork, tech ed, and educational displays and spring music program)

  • NHS Induction & Senior Scholarship Awards--Wed, May 5--6:30pm--De Soto Middle/High School

  • High School Prom--May 22--7:00-10:00pm--De Soto Middle/High School

  • Class of 2021 Graduation--May 28--7:00pm--De Soto Middle/High School

  • 8th Grade Promotion--June 3--10:00am--De Soto Middle/High

  • Summer School--June 14-July 2

  • Summer School Jump Start--July 26-August 6

  • USDA Extends Free Breakfast and Lunch Meals to ALL students through September 30, 2021

A Year of Resiliency & Reflection--March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021

On Friday, March 13, 2020 Governor Evers ordered the 'Statewide closure of all public schools for purposes of pupil instruction and extracurricular activities.' The order went into effect on Wednesday, March 18 with the anticipated reopening of schools on April 6, 2020; however we all know . Three days later on Monday, March 16, Governor Evers released a Mass Gathering order limiting public gatherings to no more than 50, and the next day a revised Mass Gathering order was released limiting gatherings to no more than 10. Aligned to those orders, the De Soto Area School District closed school buildings for in-person student learning on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

One year later on the March 17, 2021 we took time to reflect as well as celebrate the fact that our schools have offered in-person classroom learning to approximately 92% of our students since September 1, 2020, and that on this anniversary date almost 100% of our students are learning in our schools with only a few families electing the Remote Learning model educational choice. This in truth is a tribute to our students and families who are committed to student academic progress and have collaborated and supported the efforts of our district staff. We also proudly acknowledge the professionalism of our teachers and aides, custodians, food service staff, secretaries, bus drivers, school nurse, auxiliary staff, administration and our school board who researched, planned and implemented best educational practices and support services throughout the pandemic period and school year. This included extensive preventative and mitigation efforts to ensure students could learn in a safe, healthy, and positive school environment.

This past year was certainly unprecedented in educational history. Students and teachers together adjusted to an online learning format via Google Classroom and virtual meetings. Together they experienced the cancellation of traditional activities including local and state field trips, national and international travel, sports seasons, prom, and culminating programs. Along with developing new learning formats, teachers, class advisors, and administrators worked with students to provide programs that would hopefully supplant to some degree those that were cancelled. Field trips occurred virtually, and with appreciation to Art Fahey, Director of the La Crosse Center, a special event was scheduled with magician and entertainer Michael Carbonaro who performed for our students and families via a 'live' interactive broadcast from our website. The Class of 2020 Graduation and the 8th grade promotion were virtual having been developed with students to best mirror the traditional programs with speakers, class videos, and ceremonial tributes. Both events were broadcast on the district website, and later held in-person and broadcast live in July and August respectively.

Services and supports were also offered to students and families last spring and through the summer which also included the Go-Bag meals prepared by food service staff and delivered by our Southwest bus company drivers who also picked up and dropped off school devices, educational materials and supplies. Our District gratefully received support from the De Soto Athletic Booster Club, PTO's, area banks, churches, businesses, and individual benefactors who provided financial resources to ensure we could meet student and family needs. Along with a huge thank you to Dairyland Power Company who provided staff to help us build Plexiglas Dividers on two separate dates.

During the summer months our custodians/maintenance staff as well as all district teachers and staff received training on COVID-19 symptoms, preventing the spread through a variety of mitigation efforts, and using the CDC/EPA approved disinfectants. The COVID-19 & School Updates page also served families and staff as a site for resources and information.

Reopening planning for Summer School and the school year involved extensive research by district staff, school board committees, and with consultation from the Vernon County Health and Emergency Management departments, Dr. Prior, school district medical advisor, disinfectant distributors, and the District's insurance company risk assessor. Summer School was offered in June virtually, and in July sports program initiated in-person activities, with the Summer School Jump Start program bringing students back to school for in-person learning. Reopening plans were shared with families through mailed registration materials, the COVID-19 & School Updates webpage and during three Virtual Town Hall Meetings where questions were received via the chat room, call-in, text and emails. An online COVID-19 Dashboard also provides updates as to each individual school's positive and contact traced status which is accessible from the District webpage.

At this point there is good news with state and local statistics showing declines in positive and contact traced cases along with increasing numbers of the population receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. District employees had an opportunity to take part in a vaccination clinic on March 2 (The State DHS eligibility date for those in public education was March 1.) with 76 individuals having received the COVID-19 vaccine through school district arrangements in coordination with the Vernon County Health Department and HealthDirect Pharmacy. The District will also work with the Health Department to establish vaccine clinics at our schools for parents who wish their child to receive a vaccine. students as well as for community members who fall within any defined eligibility grouping.

We are on the home stretch of the 2020-21 school year with 3rd quarter ending on March 26. Our staff and students have important work to do during these last three months which includes standardized testing now and into 4th quarter, and in the preparation of traditional activities including the FFA awards banquet, spring sports, prom, and elementary, middle school and high school promotions and graduation.

We wish to again thank our students, families, and the community at-large for the ongoing understanding, collaboration, and support we have received during this extraordinary year! Go Pirates!

School Board PowerPoint Presentation Click on link--Resiliency & Reflection

3/2/2021

De Soto School District Staff Receive COVID Vaccination

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held at Stoddard Elementary on March 2 for De Soto School District staff. The clinic was coordinated through efforts with the Vernon County Health Department with 67 district staff being administered vaccines by a pharmacist from the HealthDirect Pharmacy (La Crosse).

Obtaining a vaccination is not a condition of employment in the De Soto School District; however, the clinic was offered as part of the District's overall mitigation efforts. Staff who wanted to receive the vaccine were and remain able to schedule with their own medical provider, an alternative provider, or were able to take part in the clinic offered by the District today. Those who received their first vaccine today will have the second dose administered in three weeks.

Since the onset of COVID-19 employees have been following the District's mitigation protocols that were put in place to prevent exposure and transmission of the Coronavirus. Staff have also been responsible for guiding students in health and wellness protocols since the start of the school year with in-person learning that began on September 1. The vaccination is one additional level of protection that is valued by staff who have maintained their professional responsibilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and through the in-person classroom and Remote Learning options that has occurred for our students this school year.

The District will continue to work with the Vernon County Health Department in scheduling vaccination clinics for staff as well as students when vaccines become available to student populations.

2/27/2021

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences--Prairie View & Stoddard elementary school conferences occurred on Thursday, February 25 and are also scheduled for Tuesday, March 2 from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Parents who have not scheduled a conference may do so by emailing their child's teachers or by calling their elementary school office. Prairie View Elementary: 608-648-2227 or Stoddard Elementary: 608-457-2101.

De Soto Middle & High School Parent Teacher Conferences--Parent/Teacher Conferences for De Soto Middle & High School students occurred on Thursday, February 25 and are also scheduled for Tuesday, March 9 from 3:45-7:45 p.m. The conferences are virtual through Google Meet or phone conference as the indicated preference of parents. Parents who selected phone conference are advised they may not recognize the phone number as we are using Google conferencing.

Parents are still able to sign-up for the March 9 conferences by using the link which was emailed to them or by clicking on this link: P/T Conference Link Otherwise, parents are welcome to contact the teachers they would like to meet with via the teacher's email or by calling the office at 608-648-0100.


2/4/2021

Governor Evers Issues New Face/Covering Mask Order

Governor Evers issued a new face covering/mask order to be in effect immediately through March 20, 2021 . This order was issued follow the Wisconsin State Assembly approving a resolution today to throw out Governor Evers' previous emergency order which would end the statewide mask mandate once the resolution is signed on Friday.

As noted on February 2nd, in the update immediately below this information post, the District will continue with mitigation practices implemented at the start of the school year which includes face covering/masks for students, staff, and others in the school building, and those at school activities, sports, or programs. The District 's ongoing mitigation strategies are effective in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus resulting in our schools being open for students to learn in-person in the classroom setting. Mitigation strategies include:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks/face coverings and essential PPE;

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices;

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas dividers as additional barriers in classrooms, food service lines, and office areas;

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts;

  • cleaning and disinfecting student desks, chairs and high touch areas with CDC/EPA approved disinfectants between transitions;

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

For additional information on the District's mitigation efforts please click on the top right red tab Registration & Reopening Information and click on the link for the De Soto Area School District Reopening Plan Information. Questions, concerns and suggestions are welcome and may be shared with your child's teacher, principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent (lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us) or by phone: 608-648-0102.

2/2/2021

De Soto District Continues COVID-19 Mitigation Practices

The District continually reviews data, guidelines, and recommendations as it pertains to COVID-19 mitigation and prevention efforts, and will continue to do so as Coronavirus vaccinations and other preventative efforts become available to our students, families, educational staff, and the greater community.

A study conducted by the CDC on COVID-19 cases and transmission in 17 rural Wisconsin schools was recently released. The study concluded that mitigation matters noting that "COVID-19 outbreaks related to K-12 grade classroom settings have been rarely reported.' The study further articulated that schools requiring mask-wearing have lower COVID-19 incidences among students and staff members.

Mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus in our District schools has included the required use of face coverings/masks within the school building and at school events. The District has received several commendations that wearing face coverings/masks combined with other mitigation protocols have together contributed to safer and healthier learning and work environments. These mitigation efforts have also been attributed to the District's ability to maintain in-person learning in each of our schools. The ongoing efforts include:

  • Face coverings/masks,

  • physical distancing when feasible in classrooms, hallways and large group areas,

  • Plexiglas dividers as additional barriers at desks and tables,

  • disinfecting student desks, chairs and high touch surfaces during class transitions,

  • personal hygiene hand washing,

  • hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms, school entrances and large group areas,

  • targeted and general daily cleaning and disinfecting procedures,

  • close monitoring of health issues and reported illness related absences, etc.

Last week the Wisconsin Assembly delayed a vote on a resolution that would overturn the state's face covering/mask mandate which if overturned would have resulted in the state becoming ineligible for additional federal food stamp benefits. The Assembly may take up the vote at a future time; however if the face covering/mask order is overturned, the District's position would be to maintain face covering/masks in school and school sponsored event environments alongside other mitigation strategies as noted above.

Following a review of current practices and recent research by the CDC, it was determined that to no longer require face coverings/masks would be counter indicated as well as a disrupting factor to the combination of mitigation efforts which have proven to be effective in keeping our schools open and in our ability to provide in-person learning. Moving forward, the District's mitigation practice will be to continue requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear face covering/masks along with other preventative practices currently in place. The bottom line, mitigation matters, and these efforts are effective in preventing the transmission of the Coronavirus.

1/26/2021

WI DHS Announces Future Eligible Groups for COVID-19 Vaccines

Today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced future groups that will be eligible for vaccine. These populations will tentatively be eligible beginning March 1, though the start date is dependent on the vaccine supply from the federal government. The groups were selected after careful review and consideration from the State Disaster Medical Advisory Committee (SDMAC). Due to the limited amount of COVID-19 vaccine doses available, DHS must prioritize which populations can receive vaccine. DHS makes these decisions based on populations with an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those more vulnerable to severe complications from the virus.

Future eligible populations includes the following groups (in priority order):

Educators and child care

  • All staff in regulated child care, public and private school programs, out-of-school time programs, virtual learning support, and community learning center programs.

  • All staff in preschool and Head Start through K-12 education settings

Individuals enrolled in Medicaid long-term care programs

Some public-facing essential workers like food supply, public transit, utility and communications infrastructure, and 911 operators

Non-frontline health care essential personnel

Congregate living facility staff and residents


For more specific descriptions of these population, please visit our COVID-19 vaccine eligibility page.

Currently, the amount of vaccine allocated to Wisconsin does not meet the amount of vaccine doses requested by vaccine providers. The start date for vaccinations was determined given the current trend of Wisconsin’s weekly vaccine allocations. If the federal government increases DHS's weekly vaccine allocation, vaccinations for these groups may begin before March 1. If Wisconsin receives less vaccine than expected in the coming weeks, this date could be pushed back.


DHS recommends that you use the Wisconsin COVID-19: Vaccine webpage to stay informed on their efforts and also encourage you to widely share this resources with partners. Due to the nature of the vaccination initiative, information quickly evolves and changes. The vaccine team will make every effort to communicate the most up-to-date information as soon as it is available. The Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Program is a monumental undertaking and the DHS team is committed to the equitable, quick, and safe distribution of COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state.

Vernon County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-Registration Online Form

Those who plan to have the COVID-19 vaccine administered through the Vernon County Health Department, rather than an alternative medical provider, must complete the online pre-registration form via links:




1/24/2021

De Soto Staff In-Service--Monday, January 25

A scheduled in-service will occur for De Soto teachers and staff on Monday, January 25 following the end of the second quarter and first semester of the school year. Students will not be in school on Monday. Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 26 which is the start of 3rd quarter and second semester.

Governor Evers Extends Face Coverings

Governor Evers extended face coverings to March 20, 2021 as part of ongoing strategies in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The District will continue with mitigation practices implemented at the start of the school year which includes face covering for students, staff, and others in the school building and at school activities or programs where they are hosted. The District 's ongoing strategies include:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks/face coverings and essential PPE;

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices;

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers in classrooms;

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts;

  • cleaning and disinfecting student desks, chairs and high touch areas between transitions;

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

For additional information on the District's mitigation efforts please click on the top right red tab Registration & Reopening Information and click on the link for the De Soto Area School District Reopening Plan Information. Questions, concerns and suggestions are welcome and may be shared with your child's teacher, principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent (lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us) or by phone: 608-648-0102.

1/7/2021

Holiday Concerts Available on School Building Webpages

The school holiday concerts and programs, originally linked on the District homepage, are available for continued viewing on the Stoddard and De Soto MS/HS webpages. Click on SCHOOLS found in the top tool bar of the District homepage and then click on the appropriate school building. Click on the red tab for Videos and then Programs. Click on the Holiday Program 2020.

12/25/2020

School Holiday Concerts & Programs

Please enjoy viewing the school holiday concerts and programs throughout the holidays with your family and friends. Click on the the concert and program links on the top right of the De Soto School District homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

We wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful New Year 2021!

12/23/2020

Statewide At-Home COVID-19 Testing

Governor Evers announced on December 22 a COVID-19 saliva testing kit available to everyone who lives in Wisconsin, with or without symptoms, and at no cost. A kit can be ordered on line and shipped to home residences. The kit includes detailed information on how to collect the saliva sample, and a video call option with a testing supervisor through Vault Medical Services. The sample will need to be shipped back to the lab for processing. Click link for Gov. Evers Announcement

More information is on the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website and can be found by clicking on: COVID-19: At-Home Collection Kit


12/07/2020

CDC Revises Quarantine Recommendations

The Vernon County Health Department (VCHD) and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services released information today pertaining to the CDC’s recent guideline reducing the quarantine period of individuals who were contacts of a person with COVID-19.


Quarantine Options for Contact Traced Individuals

  • Option 1: 7 Day--Return to school/work after the 7th day of quarantine if negative test and no symptoms. The School District will ask parents and staff to provide verification of a negative test.

  • Option 2: 10 Day—Return to school/work after the 10th day of quarantine if no symptoms. A test is not required.

  • Option 3: 14 Day—Remaining quarantined for the full 14 days remains the safest option with return to school/work after the 14th day of quarantine if there are no symptoms. A test is not required.


Click here for VCHD information: Quarantine Recommendation Options and Reduced Quarantine Time


Note: Daily symptom monitoring must continue through Day 14. If symptoms develop at any time, individuals should immediately self-isolate and get tested. Individuals must adhere strictly to all recommended guidelines (i.e., consistent mask use, social/physical distancing, hand washing/sanitizing).

Individuals Who Were Previous Positives—Additionally, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms. If they develop symptoms of COVID-19 they should isolate until they are well for at least 24 hours, or if an alternative diagnosis is made, until they can return to work or school according to that diagnosis. Encourage the individual to be evaluated by their healthcare provider for an alternative diagnosis other than COVID-19.

Parents, students, and staff are welcome to contact the District nurse, Opal Hostert at 608-648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or visit the District’s COVID-19 & School Updates page and resources for more information.

Two Prairie View Elementary Students Test Positive

The De Soto Area School District received confirmation today from the Vernon County Health Department of two Prairie View Elementary students who tested positive for COVID. The students have not been at school for an extended period of time; therefore, no contact tracing will occur for other students and staff.

For more information on the District's COVID-19 plan and protocols, please click on the Additional Resources Links in the red tab above or scroll through information on this page.

12/03/2020


De Soto Middle/High School Resumes In-School Learning on Monday, December 7

De Soto Middle and High School students may plan to return to school on Monday, December 7 for in-person classes. Parent/Guardians who plan to have their child(ren) continue to learn remotely are asked to notify secretary Kim Bohnenkamp at 608-648-0100.

District Notified of Prairie View Elementary Positive Cases

De Soto Area Schools received official notification this afternoon by the Vernon County Health Department that a Prairie View Elementary staff person and a Prairie View Elementary student has tested positive for COVID-19. There are no students or staff who will be contact traced as neither the staff person or student have been at school since November 23. The District maintains and updates daily a dashboard of county health department confirmed positive cases and contact traced students and staff. The dashboard can be found from a link on the District's homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us or by clicking on the center red tab on the District's COVID-19 & School Updates page linked from the homepage as well.

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols at all school buildings are established to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school setting. Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting occurs targeting all areas the individuals used while at school. This will continue to be our practice as we work with the county health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. The District will continue to follow the best practice recommendations:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks and PPE;

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices;

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers;

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts;

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

For additional information, please contact our school district nurse Opal Hostert at 608-648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent at 6080-648-0102 or lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us


12/01/2020

Holiday Giving Tree Financial Donations Needed

Each year the De Soto High School Student Activities Council (SAC) sponsors a Giving Tree. The tree has had paper ornaments with information on each ornament listing a particular student's needs along with some of that child's wants for the holidays. In previous years anyone has been welcome to stop by De Soto High School, select an ornament, purchase the items listed, and return them to the school for wrapping with the SAC team delivering the gifts to the child and family in time for Christmas.

This year is distinctly different due to COVID limitations; however the HS SAC members wanted to continue the Giving Tree tradition, and with support from the community will be able to meet needs and wants from PK-12th grade students.

Due to COVID it is not feasible to have people select ‘student ornament tags’ from the Giving Tree, purchase items for students in need, and return those to the school. Instead SAC members are collecting monetary donations and will make the online purchases for students and families in need. A holiday basket containing, desired toys and clothing items will be delivered or available for pick up to our school families the week of December 14.. Families who are experiencing challenging times are most welcome to communicate with their child’s teacher, school counselor, principal or office secretary if you would like to receive the Holiday Basket for your child and family.

Those interested in contributing may do so by dropping off or sending a monetary donation to: De Soto HS Giving Tree, C/O Scott Kelly (advisor), 615 Main Street, De Soto, WI 54624. Your assistance in sharing the Giving Tree information to other organizations or benefactors who would like to financially support this effort is also greatly appreciated. See Holiday Giving Tree/Basket link below.

Thank you for your consideration as well as your assistance in passing this on! Your support of the annul Giving Tree would be greatly appreciated! Happiest of holidays, and wishing wellness to you and your families now and into the new year!

Holiday Giving Tree/Basket

11/30/2020

District Informed of Positive Prairie View Student

The De Soto Area School District received official notification this afternoon from the Vernon County Health Department that a Prairie View Elementary student tested positive this past weekend for COVID-19. There are no students or staff who will be contact traced as a result of school not being in session for the Thanksgiving holiday break.

Individuals who test positive are asked to self-quarantine at home for 10 days from the date of symptom onset or if asymptomatic from the date of the positive test. Positive individuals are eligible to return to school after 10 days if they have been symptom free without the use of medication for 24-hours. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (temperature 100.4 or higher), cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle/body aches, loss of sense of taste or smell, runny nose or nasal congestion, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The CDC’s website has helpful information regarding COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Cleaning and disinfecting protocols at all school buildings are established to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school setting. Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting targeting all areas the individuals used while at school has occurred. This will continue to be our practice as we work with the county health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. The District will continue to follow the best practice recommendations:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks and PPE,

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices,

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers,

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts,

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

Information on COVID-19 and available resources can be found on the Additional Resources link in the red tab at the top of the page. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our school district nurse Opal Hostert at 608-648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent: lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us or 608-648-0102


11/25/2020

Free Community COVID-19 Testing

The Vernon County Emergency Management has scheduled two additional upcoming COVID-19 test dates for the community. The free testing will be available to the public on Tuesday, December 1 and Thursday, December 10 at the Old County Shop in Viroqua across from the Viroqua Food Cooperative. Testing will be available from 10:00am-6:00pm for individuals 5 years old and older.

The free testing is available to individuals who are asymptomatic (who have no known symptoms) or who are symptomatic (with one or more symptoms). The Vernon County Emergency Management recommends that individuals with symptoms stay home until they get the test results. Individuals who have been contact traced or are a close contact to a positive must stay home for the 14 days even after having a negative test.Those individuals taking the test for 'peace of mind' and have NO close contact with a someone who is positive, and NO symptoms may return to work/school after getting the test and while awaiting test results.

11/21/2020

Administration Notified of a COVID-19 Positive Staff Person at Prairie View Elementary

This evening administration received information from a Prairie View staff member that they had tested positive for COVID-19. Administration reached out immediately to contact families of students who were contact traced. Those families of contact traced children have been either personally contacted or a message was left with information. The health department recommends the students who are contact traced be quarantined at home through Wednesday, December 2, and may return to school on Thursday, December 3, 2020.

The definition for contact tracing is to be within 6 feet for a cumulative of 15 minutes or longer in a 24-hour period of someone who has tested positive or who is a known positive. Due to the educational format of elementary classrooms the health department has recommended that the grade level class impacted be quarantined.

This recommendation is common for elementary classrooms, and the District will follow cautionary guidelines for grade level quarantine. While at school the staff person followed preventative protocols wearing their face mask, following cleaning and disinfecting procedures, monitoring students for wearing face masks and hand washing/sanitizing, and maintaining physical distancing as feasible within the classroom. Plexiglas barriers were also in place at student tables and at the teacher desk. The staff person is complying with quarantine recommendations from the county health department.

Parent/Guardian Information— It can take up to 14 days after being exposed to a person with COVID-19 before symptoms begin. The health department recommends parents/guardians:

  • Monitor their child for symptoms,

  • Minimize contact (practice social/physical distancing) their child has with other people in their home during the quarantine,

  • If your child develops symptoms during the quarantine, parents/guardians should contact their medical provider for information on care and testing.

Daily Symptom Check for School Age Children and for Contact Traced Individuals

  1. Take children’s temperature daily. A child should not be sent to school with a temperature of 100.4 or higher.

  2. Check daily for symptoms of COVID-19:

    • fever

    • cough

    • trouble breathing

    • chills

    • muscle/body aches

    • loss of sense of taste or smell

    • runny nose or nasal congestion

    • fatigue

    • nausea or vomiting

    • or diarrhea.

Contact your medical provider for guidance and testing information when symptoms appear or with questions. The CDC’s website has helpful information regarding COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting targeting all areas the individual used while at school has occurred. The intent is to mitigate the potential for exposure, and this will continue to be our practice as we work with health departments to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. The District will continue to follow the best practice recommendations:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks and PPE,

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices,

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers,

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts,

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures; and

  • closely monitoring health situations and illness related absences.

Food Service--Breakfast and lunch meals are available to students who are quarantined and/or Remote Learning. To arrange for meals please contact Betsy Knutson at 608-648-0111 or via email: bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us

Food Assistance—If your family is experiencing food insecurity during this challenging time, we encourage you to reach out to your school office, guidance counselor, or Betsy Knutson. Food boxes are available through the De Soto MS/HS Food Pantry for any school district family. If you are in contact with others experiencing food insecurity, please encourage them to reach out as well.

Social/Emotional Supports & Counseling Services—The elementary school counselor is available for students and parents to contact with questions or concerns. The school’s counselor, Kurt Gaylor may be reached at 608-648-0124 or by email at kgaylor@desoto.k12.wi.us

School Chromebook & Materials—Parents/Guardians may pick up their child’s Chromebook and materials on Monday, November 23. Contact the school office (608-648-2227 ext. #2) if you need the items to be delivered.

Technology Support--If students are experiencing challenges with technology or internet services families should notify the teacher first, and then notify the school if problems persist. Additional support is offered from the Technology Director, DuWayne Gronning at (608) 648-0133 or by email at: gronning@desoto.k12.wi.us

Parent COVID-19 Information Packet & School/Community Resources Flier--Please also note there is a Parent COVID-19 Information Packet and a School Community COVID Resources flier which is available by clicking on the Additional Resources Link red tab at the top left of the COVID-19 & School Updates page. The COVID-19 & School Updates can be accessed under Quick Links on the District’s homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

School Nurse--For additional health related information, please contact the District's school nurse, Opal Hostert by email: ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or by phone: 608-648-0104.

11/20/2020

De Soto Middle & High School Will Shift to Remote Learning from Mon, Nov 23 through Fri, Dec 4

Today marks the 55th day of instruction for our students and we are proud to have offered families a choice of Traditional In-Person learning, Remote Learning, or enrollment in our De Soto Virtual Charter School. We sincerely appreciate the efforts of our families in supporting your children, as well as our teachers and staff which has ensured a positive start to the school year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shift to Remote Learning for De Soto MS/HS Students—We wish to inform you that De Soto Middle/High School is experiencing untypically high staff shortages due to COVID-like seasonal illnesses, and quarantining. These shortages are anticipated to continue over the next two weeks. As a result of these circumstances, we have decided to make a short-term change for De Soto Middle and High School students shifting from at-school In-Person learning to Remote Learning from Monday, November 23 through Friday, December 4. The targeted return date for in-person learning is December 7, 2020. A schedule will be provided to students and is included on a link at the bottom of this information. Current Remote Learners should follow the revised class time schedule.

Please note, at this time there will be no change for 4K-5th grade Stoddard and Prairie View elementary school students.

Continuity of Learning—While we know learning remotely is not optimal, we are working hard to ensure a high-quality learning experience for all students as well as maintaining essential support connections between and among students and teachers.

Transition—In order to facilitate a smooth transition, teachers will review schedules, assignments, and expectations today, Friday, November 20 in order to assist with a smooth transition to Remote Learning. Students will be able to bring home school-issued devices and materials for virtual instruction. Families will be able to pick up additional learning materials offered by individual teachers on Tuesday, November 24 and Tuesday, December 1. The daily class schedule for Remote Learning and the Remote Learning Expectations information sheet are located at the bottom of this communication and were attached to the School Messenger email. Students who were absent on Friday, November 20 may contact the office at 608-648-0100 to make arrangements to pick-up their Chromebook and personal items out of their locker.

Attendance—Middle/High School students are expected to participate and engage in their daily class learning. Teachers will take and report attendance daily. Families with students who do not regularly engage will be contacted by the teacher or administration to offer support and discuss a plan for student success.

Minimal Capacity In-Person Instruction—If your student receives specialized services, your child’s teacher or the Special Education Director may contact you to discuss how services will be implemented during Remote Learning. A small number of students with IEPs or 504 plans may be provided in-person instruction and support in school buildings as appropriate.

Technology & Access to Supports—Students who have technology problems should first contact their teachers for assistance and to make them aware of the issue.

Tech Support—In the event a student needs additional tech support, please call 608-648-0133 or email Mr. DuWayne Gronning: gronning@desto.k12.wi.us

Internet Access—All Chromebooks/iPads can connect to the home internet using Wi-Fi. If you don’t have access to the internet at home, the school district can provide some alternatives such as a HotSpot or hard copy materials depending on your location. Please call 608-648-0133 or 608-648-0100.

Food Service—Free school meals are available for remote learners, home school families, and children who are not yet school-age. Meals for the week’s school days can be picked up every Tuesday at any of the three school buildings between 7:30-8:30 a.m. or by appointment. Parents must pre-order meals by calling Betsy Knutson at 608-648-0111 or email bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us

Food Assistance—If your family is experiencing food insecurity during this challenging time, we encourage you to reach out to your school office, guidance counselor, or Betsy Knutson. Food boxes are available through the De Soto MS/HS Food Pantry for any school district family. If you are in contact with others experiencing food insecurity, please encourage them to reach out as well.

Social/Emotional Supports & Counseling Services—The School Counselors are available for students and parents to contact with questions, concerns or if you just want to talk. Counselors: Jeni Rapraeger, 608-648-0115 or jrapraeger@desoto.k12.wi.us or Kurt Gaylor, 608-648-0124 or kgaylor@desoto.k12.wi.us If there is an emergency please call 911 or 211. Please also note the School Community COVID Resources flier is available by clicking on the Additional Resources red tab at the top left of this page.

Extra-Curricular Activities & Winter Sports Programs—Academic co-curricular activities may continue virtually. Advisors will communicate with students setting up Google Meet dates and times.

Winter Sports—The District intends to continue with the winter sports season. High School coaches will arrange practice dates and times with their teams which should follow the end of the school day. Student-athletes will be expected to follow all preventative practices (wearing masks, physical distancing as feasible, hand washing/sanitizing, etc.)

Communications & Updates—The District will continue to utilize School Messenger and the COVID-19 & School Updates website as parent communication tools. We encourage families to visit the webpage frequently for information and resources. The COVID-19 & School Updates page is found under Quick Links on the District’s homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

We appreciate your understanding and we hope you recognize that we are taking this action to best protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and families. We hope to be able to return to in-person learning on Monday, December 7. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your building principal or Linzi Gronning at 608-648-0102 or lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us

Best wishes for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Daily Remote Learner Schedule

Gold/Maroon Day Schedule

Remote Learning Expectations

11/19/2020

District COVID Dashboard

The District has implemented a COVID Dashboard to provide current information from health departments pertaining to positive and contact traced students and school staff. The dashboard will be updated daily by 8:00 p.m. The dashboard can be found on the COVID-19 & School Updates page by clicking on the middle red tab above: District COVID Dashboard.

District Notified of Two Positive Cases

Notification of New Positive Cases—The De Soto School District received notification this morning from the Vernon County Health Department of two positive cases. A De Soto Middle/High School staff person has tested positive. There are no students who have been contact traced back to the teacher. The Health Department also confirmed that one high school student has tested positive; however, no contract tracing will occur related to the school environment as the student has been Remote Learning for an extended period of time.

Two additional staff who work at De Soto Middle/High School are listed as contact traced.

Preventing the Spread—The county health department acknowledged the District’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school setting. Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting targeting all areas the individuals used while at school has occurred. Our intent is to mitigate exposure and this will continue to be our practice as we work with the county health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. The District will continue to follow the best practice recommendations:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks and PPE,

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices,

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers,

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts,

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

Parent/Guardian Communication to Schools—The District appreciates receiving information from parents/guardians indicating that their child has tested positive or has been contact traced. This information is very helpful and allows the District to assist with contact tracing and any mitigation practices in an efficient and timely manner. The health departments are extremely helpful although due to the number of cases a lag may occur between 24-48 hours before information is able to be provided or verified with the school district.

Parent/Guardian Partnerships in Prevention—The District appreciates the efforts of parents/guardians to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus by daily:

  • Taking your child’s temperature. A child should not be sent to school with a temperature of 100.4 or higher.

  • Checking for symptoms of COVID-19: fever, cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle/body aches, loss of sense of taste or smell, runny nose or nasal congestion, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

The CDC’s website has helpful information regarding COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html


11/18/202

Governor Evers to Extend Face Mask Order

Governor Evers announced today that he will be issuing an order later this week that extends the face mask order through mid-January.

This aligns with the De Soto Area School District's prevention strategies that includes mask wearing. Preventing the spread of COVID will take everyone's efforts. The District encourages parents to follow best practice preventative protocols including:

  • Checking your child's temperature and for symptoms in the morning before sending your child to school.

  • If your child has symptoms or is ill, keep them at home.

  • Contact your child's school with information pertaining to why they are home, if they have tested positive or been contact traced.

Parents are asked to help support the school's efforts by reminding your child to:

  • wear their mask over their nose and mouth,

  • hand wash/sanitizing between transitions,

  • keep physically distant when feasible

  • limit social contacts

For more information on COVID-19 please click on the Additional Resources box at the top of the page.

11/15/2020

De Soto Middle & High School Resumes In-School Learning Monday, November 16

De Soto middle and high school students may plan to return to school on Monday, November 16 for in-person classes. The quarantine period for any known De Soto Middle/High School positive cases and known contact traced students and staff has ended. Parents/Guardians who plan to have their child(ren) continue to learn remotely are asked to notify Kim Bohnenkamp, De Soto Middle/High School secretary at 608-648-0100.

Vernon County Health Department--Related to the confirmed cases in Vernon County, the Health Department released a letter to the community last Friday sharing recent testing data and asking for everyone to wear masks when in public, maintain physical distancing, and limit unnecessary contacts. Please click on the link to read: Vernon Co Health Department Letter to the Community

Prevent the Spread--Symptom Check at Home--For the safety and well-being of everyone we are asking parents/guardians to:

  • check their child(ren) for COVID-19 symptoms each morning before their child(ren) come to school.

Keep Children Home who have Symptoms or who are Ill--If your child has symptoms please keep them home for their own health, and call your medical provider, the County Health Department or our school nurse Opal Hostert at 608-648-0114 for questions and testing referrals.

Call the School if Your Child is Positive--We appreciate receiving notification from parents/guardians if their child(ren) have tested positive. This is essential if we are to assist with timely contact tracing of students or staff.

Testing Result Process--Families or the adult individual, in most instances, will learn first from the testing center if test results are positive. Information from test centers is forwarded through the Wisconsin Electronic Surveillance System to County Health Departments who within 24-48 hours will contact the positive individual or family. Due to the HIPAA Law, the County Health Department cannot release information to schools until receiving authorization from the parent/guardian or adult positive. Due to the timeline within the process, Parent/Guardian notification to our schools becomes essential for schools to respond effectively and timely.

Parent Screening Begins at Home--Please help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by checking for symptoms before sending your child(ren) to school:

  • Take daily temperatures--Do not send your child to school with a fever of 100.4+

  • Children who have symptoms of COVID-19 should remain at home and if feeling well should join their classes remotely.

  • If a student arrives at school and becomes ill they will be screened at school, and parents will be contacted to pick up their child if they have symptoms:

  • Fever 100.4+

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Students who do not test positive may return to school after 72 hours and at least 24 hours symptom free without the use of medication. Students who are positive or who are contact traced are asked to follow the timeline guidelines outlined by the CDC and County Health Departments or their medical provider.

De Soto School District is committed to educating our students providing parent/guardian choice of in-school, remote learning, or enrolling in the De Soto Charter School. In order to maintain in-person learning it is essential that everyone is working together towards that goal. Everyone...our students, staff, families and the community should follow the known practices that help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • stay home when ill or when having symptoms

  • wear face masks/coverings

  • hand wash/sanitize frequently

  • maintain physical distancing

  • limit social contacts

For more information, questions, or how we can be of assistance to your family, parents/guardians are welcome to contact your building principal.

11/11/2020

District Notified of COVID-19 Positive Case

Today, the De Soto Area School District received notification that a staff member from Prairie View Elementary has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff person has not been in the school building since Wednesday, November 4. One other staff member was contact traced to this individual. While at school the two staff practiced physical distancing and wearing their face masks. The staff are complying with quarantine recommendations from the county health department.

There are no students who have been contact traced.

The District maintains the daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, with protocols recently reviewed with staff. The expectation is for all in our school buildings to follow preventative practices which include:

  • Wearing face masks/coverings

  • Washing hands and using hand sanitizer at transition times

  • Maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet or more whenever feasible

  • Cleaning and disinfecting desk tops, chairs, and high touch areas during transitions

Please note that face masks/covering are not required when eating, drinking, and when outside and maintaining an awareness for appropriate physical distancing. Teachers and staff may also remove their masks when they are alone in their room for prep time.

Veterans Day Program

De Soto Middle and High School produced a virtual Veterans Day Program. The program has been pre-recorded is available to watch from a link on the District's website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us by either clicking on the Veterans Day Program link or at a later time:

  • From the homepage Click on: Video Recordings Link

  • Click on: Programs (in red box) and

  • Click on: Veterans Day Program 2020

Thank you to our Veterans!

11/9/2020

Governor Evers Order #94

Earlier today, Governor Evers signed Executive Order #94 - Relating to Actions Every Wisconsinite Should Take to Protect their Family, Friends, and Neighbors from COVID-19. This Order offers recommendations and suggestions about actions that individuals and businesses should take with regard to gatherings, travel, sanitization, and social distancing.

This Order does not include any explicit requirements or obligations. Nor does it explicitly address educational institutions, virtual or in-person instruction. Therefore, despite this new development, each school district continues to have the authority to make its own decisions regarding in-person, virtual, and hybrid education, except to the extent that a local health department has issued orders applicable to a particular school district or area. Link to Order #94: Recommendations to Protect Family, Friends, and Neighbors from COVID-19

The District recognizes that even with the best planning efforts we cannot fully eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other communicable diseases in the school setting. The District is committed to mitigation efforts that prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, and with the foremost consideration for the well-being of students and staff. The most current guidance is followed as closely as possible and as feasible in order to maintain a healthy and safe learning environment.

From an educational standpoint, we believe in-person instruction is the best way for our students to grow intellectually, socially, artistically, and through extracurricular sports and activities. Families have had the option to choose from one of three District instructional models for their child's education. 1) Traditional Classroom Instruction where students learn in the school setting; 2) Remote Choice Learning where students are at home and will use internet devices to join their daily classes at the time the classes are in session; and 3) Enrolling in the K-12 De Soto Virtual Charter School with online course curriculum.

Remote Learning is intended for families who choose this option for personal reasons relative to health and family well being, or as an alternative to the classroom setting if the student is quarantined. Remote Learning may also be instituted by the district as needed during the school year for a particular grade, class, or school building.

Remote Learning is not intended to be a day-by-day choice, but rather for learning continuity purposes be a choice made for several weeks as necessitated by quarantine, a quarter, semester or for the school year. Moving at-will from one learning model to another on a daily basis is challenging and reduces learning productivity and advancement.

Enrollment in the De Soto Virtual Charter School is for a semester period due to the structure of the online curriculum. Scott Kelly is the director and may be contacted for more information by email: skelly@desoto.k12.wi.us or by phone at (608) 648-0116,

For additional information, families are encouraged to contact their school building principals.

District Notified of COVID-19 Positive Cases

The De Soto School District received confirmation this afternoon from the Crawford and Vernon County health departments of two De Soto High School students who tested positive for COVID-19. The District has not been informed of any contact tracing that will occur related to the school environment as both high school students have been Remote Learning for an extended period of time.

Reminder: De Soto Middle and High School shifted to Remote Learning for all middle and high school students from Friday, November 6 through Friday, November 13.

Veterans Day Program

De Soto Middle and High School will present a virtual Veterans Day Program. The program which has been pre-recorded will air on Wednesday, November 11 at 11:00 a.m. via a link on the De Soto School District webpage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

11/8/2020

Veterans Day Program

A Veterans Day Assembly will be broadcast on Wed, Nov 11 at 11:00 a.m. Our area veterans, students, families and the community are encouraged to watch this program honoring America's veterans, and can do so by clicking on the Veterans Day Assembly link from our District website homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us The link will be available on Wed, Nov 11.

11/7/2020

Reminders

School Meals Available for Remote Learners--Parents of remote learners or De Soto Virtual Charter School learners, who reside in the District, and other children 18 years old or younger, who live in the district boundaries may contact Betsy Knutson, Food Service Director, to arrange to pick-up weekday meals. Betsy can be reached at: 608-648-0111 or bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us

De Soto Middle & High School Parent Teacher Conferences--Parent/Teacher Conferences for De Soto Middle & High School students are scheduled for Thu, Nov 12. The conferences will be held virtually through Google Meet or phone conference as the indicated preference of parents. Parents who did not sign-up for conferences are welcome to contact teacher's they would like to meet with via the teacher's email or by calling the office at 608-648-0100.

Stoddard Elementary 2019-20 Pre-School Graduation--The pre-school graduation program will be broadcast live on Friday, November 13 at 2:00 p.m. Parents, families, and the community may watch the program by clicking on the link found on the District webpage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

Remote Learning--All De Soto Middle & High School students will continue with remote learning through Friday, November 13. Students are asked to report any technology issues to their teacher by email or by calling the school office at 608-648-0100. Students who live in Stoddard and experienced the power outage last Friday, November 6 will receive additional time to obtain the lesson information and catch-up on any work assignments.

11/6/2020

Power Outage in Stoddard

A power outage in Stoddard has been reported at approximately 11:00 a.m. which impacts the elementary school building along with other residential areas and businesses. The estimated time for the power to be back on is 12:30 p.m.

Students were able to have lunch and classes are occurring as scheduled. We are not anticipating an early release and are planning that the school day ends at the normal time.

11/5/2020

Pre-School 2019-20 Graduations

Princiapls Kelly Olson, Prairie View and Derek Fuglsang are pleased to announce the reschedule 2019-20 preschool graduations will take place this month. Abbey Sedlmayr, preschool teacher knows the students are looking forward to these fun ceremonies which will be broadcast live on their respective dates. Parents, family members and the community members are able to watch the programs live by clicking the link found on the District webpage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

Click on the following links for more information pertaining to each school's program:

Prairie View Elementary Preschool Graduation--Friday, November 6

Stoddard Elementary Preschool Graduation--Friday, November 13

De Soto Middle & High School Remote Learning Schedule

De Soto Middle and High School students will Remote Learn starting Friday, November 6 though Friday, November 13. Remote Learning will follow the normal Gold and Maroon Day Schedule with all classes occurring in the morning starting at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 11:48 a.m. Teachers will utilize the afternoon to follow up with students who need extra assistance and tutoring, have late work, attempt to reach those who were not in attendance, and for prep. Teachers will be available for questions from 12:40 - 3:35 p.m.

Students who have been previously remote learning from home will also follow this posted schedule for morning classes, and afternoon tutoring or assistance as needed. Please note the following attachments for the schedule of classes, gold and maroon day schedule, and the expectations for students during Remote Learning.

De Soto Middle & High School Remote Learner Schedule--Nov 6-13

Gold & Maroon Day Schedule

Remote Learning Student Expectations

De Soto Middle & High School Will Shift to Remote Learning from Fri, Nov 6 through Fri, Nov 13

The De Soto Area School District was notified this afternoon by the Vernon County Health Department of a De Soto High School student who has tested positive for COVID-19. The student was not at school this week. The school will be assisting the county in quickly identifying any high school student(s) or staff who may be contact traced (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or longer in a 24 hour period).

De Soto Middle & High School students will shift to Remote Learning starting Friday, November 6 through Friday, November 13. With the recent case this week, Administration has made the decision to shift to remote learning for all De Soto Middle and High School students until after the quarantine period ends respective of the four high school positive cases. The quarantine period is defined by the health department and is based on the last contact date with a positive individual. The quarantine associated to the positive high school cases will end next week by November 11 or 12 (again depending on the last date of contact with a positive case) for those who have been contact traced. Contact traced individuals may return to school if they remain symptom free without the use of medication for 24 hours at the end of the quarantine period.

Middle and High School students are being informed by their end-of-day Homeroom Teachers to take their Chromebooks and any items they need out of their school lockers home with them.

Prairie View and Stoddard Elementary Schools will remain in session. There have been no positive cases of students or staff in either school and there has been no known contact tracing to elementary students in respect to the high school student cases.

he District’s established school-day protocols include cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, high touch surfaces, and common areas. These and other mitigation efforts have been noted by the VCHD as apparently effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and include: wearing masks and other essential PPE, hand washing/hand sanitizing, disinfecting (CDC/EPA approved disinfectant) classroom desk tops and chairs between transitions, physical distancing efforts, utilization of Plexiglas dividers when physical distancing is not feasible, re-purposing gyms and the cafeteria for instruction, and posting prevention signage.

The District will continue working with the health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. Our plan moving forward if a case is reported to the District includes:

  1. Collaboration with the Vernon and other area county health departments in regards to best practice recommendations and contact tracing;

  2. Continue the requirement of wearing masks, daily hand washing/sanitizing practices, and as feasible physical distancing, and minimum contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts;

  3. Continue best practice cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures throughout the school building;

  4. Closely monitor health situations and illness related absences.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to call or email our school district nurse, Opal Hostert at (608) 648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent at lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us or 608-648-0102.

Consider Testing with Symptoms

Because COVID-19 symptoms are very similar to cold or flu symptoms it is hard to know if or when an individual should get tested. Those who have symptoms are encouraged to contact their medical provider, the county health department in which they reside, or our school nurse, Opal Hostert at (608) 648-0104 or ohostert @desoto.k12.wi.us for information on testing.

Those who have multiple symptoms are encouraged to get tested and isolate until test results have been determined. Because it can take up to 14 days after being exposed to a person with COVID-19 before symptoms begin, testing results may be negative early on in the 14-day period and could be positive on the 14th day.

Knowing if you are positive allows individuals to follow all safety and health precautions including isolation, self-monitoring, and helping prevent the spread during contagious periods. Current health information also indicates that those who tested positive and have recovered are able to return to school or work. Those individuals will not be contract traced for 90-days from the date of their positive test.


11/01/2020

Flu Shots Available at Stoddard Elementary Tue, Nov 3

The Vernon County Health Department will offer their second Flu Shot Vaccination Clinic in the De Soto Area School District on Tuesday, November 3 at Stoddard Elementary School. Parents must complete and turn in the Student Consent Form for students to be eligible to receive a flu vaccination. Adults are also welcome to receive flu vaccinations and must complete a consent form as well. Both forms are linked here.

Student Consent Form

Adult Consent Form

Remote Learning Expectations for Student Success

Learning Models--Remote Learning is one of three options the District offered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to parents and students. The school-year opened with parents able to choose for their child the 1) Traditional in-school model, 2) Remote Learning at-home connected to the classroom, or the 3) De Soto Virtual School with family selected online curriculum not connected to the school classroom.

Remote Learning is intended for families who choose this option for personal reasons relative to health and family well being, or as an alternative to the classroom setting if the student is quarantined. Remote Learning may also be instituted by the district as needed during the school year for a particular grade, class, or school building.

Weeks to Months--Remote Learning is not intended to be a day-by-day choice, but rather for learning continuity purposes be a choice made for several weeks as necessitated by quarantine, a quarter, semester or for the school year. Moving at-will from one learning model to another on a daily basis is challenging and reduces learning productivity and advancement.

Expectations of Remote Learners--Remote Learners are expected to be connected via the internet to their classes at the time their classes are in session.

  • Students should be dressed appropriately, and anything in the view of the camera should be appropriate for the school learning environment.

  • Students must keep their cameras on and key their mic to respond to questions, provide discussion comments, and to share presentations.

  • Students may use the ‘chat room’ for comments and responses, but must key their mic to inform their teacher to check the ‘chat room.’

  • Students should utilize work time to keep up with their assignments.

  • Students may contact their Common Study Time (CST) teacher or their teacher for assistance and tutoring.

  • Middle and High School Students are encouraged to contact the office (608) 648-0100 by 1:00 p.m. to sign-up for the After School Study tutoring assistance program offered Monday through Thursday.

  • If students are experiencing technical problems, they should immediately email their teacher at the time and call the office for assistance (608) 648-0100.

Attendance Avoids Truancy--Class attendance will be taken with tardies and absences recorded. The WI Department of Public instruction requires schools to document attendance and follow truancy procedures if students are absent and not attending in-person or virtually. Parents should call their child's school if a Remote Learner is tardy or absent. If leaving a message please provide the parent name, student's name, and reason for absence (E.g. dentist appointment, illness, family trip, etc.). For students to be considered in attendance the student will need to:

  • be present for real-time instruction (synchronous), or

  • complete and submit an independent learning task as assigned by the teacher on the virtual learning platform (asynchronous), or

  • engage in two-way communication (phone call, email exchange, or virtual visit) with the teacher they are scheduled to receive instruction from on that day .

School Meals & Support Services--School Meals are available for Remote Learners. To sign up for school breakfasts and lunches please contact the District Food Service Director, Betsy Knutson at (608) 648-0111 or bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us Other support services are available through our school nurse, Opal Hostert at (608) 648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or by contacting Jeni Rapraeger, the MS/HS School Counselor at (608) 648-0115 or jraprager@desoto.k12.wi.us and Kurt Gaylor at (608) 648-0124 or kgaylor@desoto.k12.wi.us

COVID-19 Information & School Resources

The De Soto School District's 2019-20 calendar had pre-scheduled 'no school' dates for students on Thursday, October 29, and for students and staff on Friday, October 30. All buildings are cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis with target disinfecting in areas needed.

While positive cases were noted at De Soto High School, all De Soto middle and high school classrooms and areas were additionally disinfected last week on the non-school days as an additional preventative measure to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Classes will resume as scheduled on Monday, November 2.

Please note the following for additional information. Please scroll down both documents to review all information. The packet has some blank pages which are page breaks and are not missing information.

Community & School Resource Flier

Parent, Student, Staff COVID-19 Information Packet


10/30/2020

District Notified of Two Positive High School Students

De Soto Area Schools was notified today by the Vernon County Health Department that two high school students tested positive for COVID-19. We are actively working with the Vernon County Health Department to quickly identify any high school student(s) or staff who may be contact traced (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or longer in a 24 hour period). Vernon County Health Department has asked the District to assist with personally notifying the families of high school students who have been contact traced.

Any individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will not be eligible to return to school for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, and also have symptom reduction or be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

Individuals who are contact traced will be asked to self-quarantine for 14-days from the date of last exposure to the positive case. Contact traced individuals are expected to follow the guidance of their medical provider and the Vernon County Health Department pertaining to self-quarantine, monitoring for symptoms, and any recommendation for testing or medical care.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (temperature 100.4 or higher), cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle/body aches, loss of sense of taste or smell, runny nose or nasal congestion, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The CDC’s website has helpful information regarding COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

The county health department acknowledged the District’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the school setting. Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting targeting all areas the individuals used while at school has occurred. Our intent is to mitigate exposure and this will continue to be our practice as we work with the county health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. The District will continue to follow the best practice recommendations:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks and PPE,

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices,

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers,

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts,

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

Classes at De Soto High School will continue as scheduled. If you were not contacted personally by the Vernon County Health Department or the District, our hope is you will continue to send your child to school to maintain the continuity of their learning process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our school district nurse Opal Hostert at 608-648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal, or Linzi Gronning at 608-648-0102 or lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us


10/29/2020

De Soto Schools Notified of Positive Case

This morning, De Soto Area Schools was notified by the Crawford County Health Department that a high school student tested positive for COVID-19. We are actively working with the Crawford County Health Department to quickly identify any high school student(s) or staff who may be contact traced (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or longer in a 24 hour period). Crawford County Health officials will be personally notifying the families of high school students and staff who have been contact traced.

Any individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will not be eligible to return to school for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the date of the positive test if asymptomatic, and also must be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication. Individuals who are contact traced will be asked to self-quarantine for 14-days from the date of the positive test. Contact traced individuals are expected to follow the guidance of their medical provider and the Crawford County Health Department pertaining to self-quarantine, monitoring for symptoms, and any recommendation for testing or medical care. Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever (temperature 100.4 or higher), cough, trouble breathing, chills, muscle/body aches, loss of sense of taste or smell, runny nose or nasal congestion, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. The CDC’s website has helpful information regarding COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting targeting all areas the individual used while at school has occurred. Our intent is to mitigate exposure and this will continue to be our practice as we work with the county health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. The District will continue to follow the best practice recommendations:

  • maintaining the requirement of wearing masks and PPE,

  • personal hygiene--hand washing/hand sanitizing practices,

  • feasible physical distancing and use of Plexiglas barriers,

  • minimizing contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts,

  • daily and targeted cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures; and

  • close monitoring of health situations and illness related absences.

Classes at De Soto High School will continue as scheduled. If you were not contacted personally by the Crawford County Health Departments, our hope is you will continue to send your child to school to maintain the continuity of their learning process.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Opal Hostert, District nurse at 608-648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent at lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us or 6080-648-0102.

COVID RESOURCE INFORMATION

Please click on this link for: Parent COVID-19 Information

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new coronavirus. It spreads from person to person through droplets created when we cough, sneeze, talk, sing or laugh. Most people—especially young people—who get COVID-19 have mild illness, similar to having a cold or the flu. However, in others it can cause severe illness, such as pneumonia. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (temperature 100.4°F or higher)

  • Cough

  • Trouble breathing

  • Chills

  • Muscle/body aches

  • Loss of sense of taste or smell

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

The CDC’s website has good information about COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Prevent Further Spread

The following guidelines will help to prevent further spread of illness at our school:

  • Notify the school if your child is diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Notify the school if your child had contact with someone who you know was diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Keep students home from school if they are sick.

  • Encourage good habits: frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, use of face coverings and physical distancing.

10/27/2020

Class of 2021 Cap, Gown & Tassel Orders Due

Seniors can save a late fee by ordering their cap, gown & tassel by November 1.Please add 2 inches to your height when ordering your maroon cap & gown set. (Unopened Cap & Gown units may be returned if you do not participate in 2021 Ceremony). To order a graduation tassel only, please select the Souvenir Tassel.

Please arrange to have orders placed online by NOVEMBER 1, 2020 to avoid late fees.

De Soto Schools Notified Today of Positive Employee

This morning the De Soto Area School District was notified by the Vernon County Health Department (VCHD) that an employee at De Soto Middle/High school has tested positive for COVID-19. Our protocol is to actively work with the Vernon County Health Department to quickly identify, notify, and quarantine any students or staff who may have come into close contact with the positive case and who may be at risk of getting sick.

The VCHD has informed us that there are no students or staff who have been contact traced (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or longer). De Soto Middle/High School classes will continue as scheduled. We will closely monitor this situation and will provide updates if there is additional information.

The impacted employee is complying with quarantine recommendations in place by the CDC and the Vernon County Health Department and will not be eligible to return to work for:

  • at least 10-days from the onset of symptoms, or

  • from the date of the positive test if they are asymptomatic, and

  • must also be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

Per our established protocol, a thorough and targeted disinfecting has been completed in all areas of the building that the individual used.

The District’s established school-day protocols include cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, high touch surfaces, and common areas. These and other mitigation efforts have been noted by the VCHD as apparently effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and include: wearing masks and other essential PPE, hand washing/hand sanitizing, disinfecting (CDC/EPA approved disinfectant) classroom desk tops and chairs between transitions, physical distancing efforts, utilization of Plexiglas dividers when physical distancing is not feasible, re-purposing gyms and the cafeteria for instruction, and posting prevention signage.

The District will continue working with the health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. Our plan moving forward if a case is reported to the District includes:

  1. Collaboration with the Vernon and other area county health departments in regards to best practice recommendations and contact tracing;

  2. Continue the requirement of wearing masks, daily hand washing/sanitizing practices, and as feasible physical distancing, and minimum contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts;

  3. Continue best practice cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures throughout the school building;

  4. Closely monitor health situations and illness related absences.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new coronavirus. It spreads from person to person through droplets created when we cough, sneeze, talk, sing or laugh. Most people—especially young people—who get COVID-19 have mild illness, similar to having a cold or the flu. However, in others it can cause severe illness, such as pneumonia. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (temperature 100.4°F or higher)

  • Cough

  • Trouble breathing

  • Chills

  • Muscle/body aches

  • Loss of sense of taste or smell

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

The CDC’s website has good information about COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Prevent Further Spread

The following guidelines will help to prevent further spread of illness at our school:

  • Notify the school if your child is diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Notify the school if your child had contact with someone who you know was diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Keep students home from school if they are sick.

  • Encourage good habits: frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, use of face coverings and physical distancing.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to call or email our school district nurse, Opal Hostert at (608) 648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent at lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us or 608-648-0102

10/23/2020

P/T Conference Sign Up & Reminders

Parent/Teacher Conferences (Phone or Virtual)

  • Tue, Oct 27—All Schools

  • Thu, Nov 12—De Soto Middle/High School

Sign Up for Phone or Virtual Conference

Masks

Please be sure your child brings a clean mask each day to school. If they need additional masks, please let your school know as we have plain white cotton masks that we can provide.

No School Dates

There will be no school for students on Thursday and Friday, October 29 & 30.


10/22/2020

De Soto Schools Notified Today of Positive Staff Person

This morning, the De Soto Area School District was notified by the Vernon County Health Department that a De Soto Middle/High school staff person has tested positive for COVID-19. Our protocol is to actively work with the Vernon County Health Department to quickly identify, notify, and quarantine any students or staff who may have come into close contact with the positive case and who may be at risk of getting sick. At this time, Vernon County has informed us that there are no students or staff who have been contact traced (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or longer).

The county also noted that the District’s mitigation efforts appear to be effective. These efforts include: wearing PPE, handwashing/hand sanitizing, disinfecting (CDC/EPA approved disinfectant) desk tops and chairs between transitions, physical distancing efforts and Plexiglas dividers when physical distancing is not feasible. Per our established protocol, a thorough disinfecting has been completed in all areas of the building that the individual used. We have also reviewed our protocols with the health department to ensure there were no other necessary steps we could take to protect the health of our students and staff.

De Soto Middle/High School classes will continue as scheduled. We will closely monitor this situation and will provide updates if there is additional information.

Any individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will not be eligible to return to work for at least 10-days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of the positive test if they are asymptomatic, and must also be symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

Per the District’s established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of our classroom and common areas occurs on a daily basis. As mentioned previously, targeted disinfecting also occurred in areas where the staff person used. Our intent is to mitigate exposure and this will continue to be our practice as we work with the county health department to take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff. Our plan moving forward if a case is reported to the District includes:

  1. Collaboration with the Vernon and other area county health departments in regards to best practice recommendations and contact tracing;

  2. Continue the requirement of wearing masks, daily handwashing/sanitizing practices, and as feasible physical distancing, and minimum contact during the school day outside of classroom cohorts;

  3. Continue best practice cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting procedures throughout the school building;

  4. Closely monitor health situations and illness related absences.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new coronavirus. It spreads from person to person through droplets created when we cough, sneeze, talk, sing or laugh. Most people—especially young people—who get COVID-19 have mild illness, similar to having a cold or the flu. However, in others it can cause severe illness, such as pneumonia. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (temperature 100.4°F or higher)

  • Cough

  • Trouble breathing

  • Chills

  • Muscle/body aches

  • Loss of sense of taste or smell

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

The CDC’s website has good information about COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Prevent Further Spread

The following guidelines will help to prevent further spread of illness at our school:

  • Notify the school if your child is diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Notify the school if your child had contact with someone who you know was diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • Keep students home from school if they are sick.

  • Encourage good habits: frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, use of face coverings and physical distancing.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to call or email our school district nurse, Opal Hostert at (608) 648-0104 or ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or your school principal, or Linzi Gronning, Principal/Superintendent at (608) 648-0102 or lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us


10/19/2020

This Week's School Reminders

Flu Vaccination Clinics

  • Tue, Oct 20 for De Soto MS/HS and Prairie View students at De Soto MS/HS

  • Tue, Nov 3 for Stoddard students at Stoddard

  • Requires a Parent/Guardian Authorization Form

  • Available for students who are remote learners or Virtual Charter School learners who reside in the district boundaries.

LifeTouch Picture Re-take Day

  • Thu, Oct 22--all schools

Parent/Teacher Virtual or Phone Conferences

  • Thu, Oct 22--Stoddard & Prairie View

Scroll down to previous days for additional information.

10/13//2020

De Soto Middle/High School Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher Conferences for De Soto Middle and High School students will be held on:

  • Tuesday, October 27, and

  • Thursday, November 12.

Conferences will not be conducted in-person and instead will be conducted over the phone or via a virtual meeting at parent preference. Parents/Guardians may sign-up to conference with any teacher on either of the two dates from 3:45-7:45 p.m. by:

  • Go to the De Soto District Website www.desoto.k12.wi.us

  • Click on: Schools

  • Click on: Middle & High School page

  • Click on: Sign Up for Parent/Teacher Conference Here!

Or: Click on link to sign up for De Soto MS/HS P/T Conferences: https://sites.google.com/desotopirates.org/middlehighschool/home

Middle/High School Reminders

  • Wed, Oct 15--Bridging Brighter Smiles at De Soto MS/HS

  • Tue, Oct 20—Student Flu Vaccinations at De Soto MS/HS—Requires parent permission form

  • Thu, Oct 22—Picture Retake Day

  • Thu/Fri, Oct 29-30—No School

Prairie View Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences

Information for Prairie View Elementary parents was sent home in children's backpacks. Parents have the option to choose either a phone conference or a virtual Google Meet on:

  • Thursday, October 22 from 3:15-7:15 p.m., and

  • Tuesday, October 27 from 3:15-7:15 p.m.

Parents received a letter indicating the date/time when the conference with their child's teacher is scheduled. Parent are asked to return the letter as soon as possible indicating if they prefer a virtual Google Meet or a phone conference.

Prairie View Elementary Reminders

  • Tue, Oct 20—Student Flu Vaccinations at De Soto MS/HS—Requires parent permission form

  • Thu, Oct 22—Picture Retake Day

  • Thu/Fri, Oct 29-30—No School

Stoddard Elementary Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teachers conferences will look a little different this year and will be conducted virtually through Google Meet on:

  • Thursday, October 22 from 3:00-7:00 p.m., and

  • Tuesday, October 27 from 3:00-7:00 p.m.

Parents received a letter in their child's school backpack of the date/time when the conference is scheduled. Parents are asked to return the letter as soon as possible indicating their preference for either a phone conference or a virtual Google Meet.

Stoddard School Reminders

  • Wed, Oct 15--Bridging Brighter Smiles at Stoddard Elementary

  • Thu, Oct 22—Picture Retake Day

  • Thu/Fri, Oct 29-30—No School

  • Tue, Nov 3--Student Flu Vaccinations at Stoddard Elementary School--Requires parent permission form


10/12/2020

Class of 2021 Jostens Caps, Gowns & Announcements

With the current COVID-19 concerns, Jostens has asked senior students and parents to use the link below to place GRADUATION orders for the class of 2021. Senior accessory items will be shipped directly home this year (hoodies, sweatpants, t-shirts etc.) in approximately 2- 3 weeks after order is placed.

Cap/Gown/Announcement packages are available to fill all your needs or you may order an individual cap/gown/tassel unit (Click on "Browse all Cap/Gown products" under Individual Products to find this option) Please add 2 inches to your height when ordering your maroon cap & gown set. (Unopened Cap & Gown units may be returned if you do not participate in 2021 Ceremony). To order a graduation tassel only, please select the Souvenir Tassel.

Please arrange to have orders placed online by NOVEMBER 1, 2020 to avoid late fees.

Graduation packets will also be available in the High School main office if you have difficulty with online access or ordering, and may be mailed in. Please let the De Soto High School office know if you need assistance in any way.

Questions?-Please call 1-800-JOSTENS (567-8367) OR EMAIL: www.jostens.com/contact.

https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1117369/De-Soto-High-School/

Free Breakfast & Lunch School Meals Extended

The US. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the continuation of the free breakfast and lunch meal service to all children throughout the entire 2020-21 school year. This unprecedented decision is part of the USDA's commitment to ensuring all children have access to nutritious food as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The De Soto District will be able to offer these meals at no cost to families through June 30, 2021.

Parents of remote learners or De Soto Virtual Charter School learners, who reside in the District, and other children 18 years old or younger, who live in the district boundaries may contact Betsy Knutson, Food Service Director, to arrange to pick-up weekday meals. Betsy can be reached at: 608-648-0111 or bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us

Children who eat breakfast at home or who bring their own lunch bag to school are welcome to take part in the meal service if they wish to try one of the free meals. Our food service staff take pride in serving quality, nutritious meals for our students!

10/7/2020

Homecoming Spirit Week--Oct 12-16

The De Soto School District will celebrate Homecoming Spirit Week October 12-16. Each school is planning week day activities for students that culminate on Friday, Homecoming Day with a virtual assembly featuring fall sport coaches and teams, the Homecoming Court, and the crowning of this year's Homecoming King and Queen.

The virtual assembly will be broadcast LIVE on Friday, October 16 at 12:30 pm via the District's website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us Families, friends and the community can watch the assembly by clicking on the Homecoming LIVE link found at the top right hand corner of the District home web page. The assembly will be also recorded and available to watch at a later time through a website link.

More information may come home in elementary and middle school backpacks. To see the activities by school click on the following building links:

Middle/High Spirit Week Activities Prairie View Spirit Week Activities Stoddard Spirit Week Activities

10/6/2020

2019-20 5th Grade Class Promotion & Ice Cream Social

COVID-19 and school closure cancelled some end of year celebrations that we would like to capture for our students. One of those was the celebration for 5th grade students who completed their elementary schooling at Prairie View and Stoddard elementary schools. The principals and 5th grade teachers put together a video tribute at the end of last year; however, wanted to do something that would additionally mark the occasion. We have planned a virtual class promotion and ice cream social for last year's 5th graders. who are now Middle School students.

The program will occur following lunch and the ice cream social on Friday, October 9 from 11:45am-12:15pm. The elementary principals, Mr. Olson (Prairie View) and Mr. Fuglsang (Stoddard) and the 5th grade teachers Mr. Wick (Prairie View) and Mr. Paletta (Stoddard) will participate virtually. Each student will be introduced and share their favorite elementary subject and memory. They will also receive a promotion certificate.

Family members can join by clicking on the 5th Grade Class Promotion link on the District website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us The program will also be recorded and may be accessed at a later time from the website. Click to see: Parent information flier.

Bridging Brighter Smiles--Dental Services at Schools

Bridging Brighter Smiles offers the following dental services to students in the school setting: Oral Screening, Dental Cleaning, Fluoride Varnish Sealants, Silver Diamine Fluoride and Referral Assistance. Parents will need to complete online enrollment forms in order for the child to receive services: https://enrollment.bbsmiles.org Fall visits are scheduled at all of our schools on:

  • October 14 at Prairie View

  • October 15 at Stoddard & De Soto Middle/High School

Bridging Brighter Smiles, Inc. accepts Forward Health/BadgerCare Insurance Only. Charitable care is offered for those students who do not have the financial resources to access dental care. Click here: Information flier

Any questions can be directed to Bridging Brighter Smiles at (262) 896-9891 or visit www.bbsmiles.org

School Flu Vaccination Clinics

Annually, the De Soto Area School District coordinates with the Vernon County Health Department (VCHD) to offer flu vaccination clinics at our schools. Parent authorization will be required in order for students to receive vaccinations. Completed authorization forms will need to be returned one week ahead of the vaccination date.

The VCHD will provide flu vaccinations on the following dates and school locations:

  • Tuesday, October 20—at De Soto Middle/High School

    • Prairie View students who have parent authorization to receive the vaccination will be transported by school bus to De Soto.

  • Tuesday, November 3—at Stoddard Elementary

Click on the following links for information:

School Nurse Parent Info Letter VCHD Parent Authorization Form

Oct 20--VCHD De Soto MS/HS & Prairie View Flu Clinic Nov 3--VCHD Stoddard Elementary Clinic

9/22/2020

Governor Evers Extends Face Coverings Order

This morning, Governor Evers declared a new public health emergency in Wisconsin due to the recent surge in cases and issued a new face coverings order effective immediately. The new face covering order expires on November 21, 2020. Here is a link to the order: Face Covering Order Extended

District-Wide

As noted at the School Board’s meeting last night, our plan is to continue with all of our District’s reopening plan guidelines as we move further into the school year. The primary practices include:

  • cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting practices

  • physical distancing to the extent possible

  • hand washing/ hand sanitizing protocols

  • mask wearing & PPE

Please note that any one or more of these practices may be extended beyond the Governor’s Order(s) as all are considered an effective component of the District's prevention plan practices. Administration actively reviews and pursues information on best practices for maintaining and safe and healthy learning and work environment, and has extended research to include guidance from inflection control specialists. Information on district-wide new or revised protocols will be shared out to our parents, students and staff as these revisions are developed.

Preventative Strategy Update--We are reviewing information on preventative strategies that include offering students their own eye safety glasses to wear as another preventative tool. This would be initiated as an option for family's and individual students to consider and would not be required. Feedback is welcome from families, students and staff on offering this as an option. There are some cleaning logistics we need to work through if this is offered.

As always, the District welcomes families, students, staff and the community to share ideas and suggestions on any educational, safety and wellbeing topic at the building or district levels. We appreciate working any issue or concern and recognize the benefit of doing so together!

Breakfast & Lunches Available for Remote Learners

Families with students who are remote learning are welcome to continue to participate in free breakfast and lunch school-day meals. Free meals are offered to all students and children 18 years and under who reside in the district. For more information please contact Betsy Knutson at: bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us or at (608) 648-0111.

9/19/2020

COVID-19 Positive Case at De Soto High School

The Vernon County Health Department notified administration Saturday afternoon of a high school student who tested positive for COVID-19. Administration is working with the Health Department to quickly identify any high school student(s) or staff who may be contact traced (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or longer). Over the next 24 hours Vernon County Health officials will personally contact families of high school students who have been contact traced. Currently, no staff members are being contact traced.

Per the District's established protocol, cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms and common areas occurs on a daily basis. Additional disinfecting targeting all areas the individual used last week will occur over the weekend. The District's intent is to mitigate exposure and take the necessary steps to protect the health of our students and staff.

Classes at De Soto High School will continue as scheduled. If you were not personally contacted by the Vernon County Health Department, our hope is that parents will continue to send their child to school to maintain the continuity of the learning process.

School Messenger email and text messaging was used to communicate with families. The letter with information is also linked here: Confirmed Case at De Soto High School.

Families who are not receiving information may sign up under the Parents tab of the District's homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us NOTE: If more than one parent wishes to receive information, please contact Jackie Kreuzer in the District Office at 608-648-0102 for assistance.

The Vernon County Health Department provided additional COVID-19 information on Friday, September 18 which was posted on that date to this webpage with the updated information provided by the De Soto Area School District. Scroll below to find information posted on September 18, 2020.

9/18/2020

Health Department COVID-19 Information Updates

The Vernon County Health Department provided three additional documents pertaining to COVID-19. Information on who should test and when they should test. This information is discussed in 'Recommendations/FAQs on Testing for Schools.' The document titled, 'Next Steps: Close contacts of someone with COVID-19' reviews self-monitoring and self-quarantine information. Both documents are from the WI Department of Health Services (DHS).

Amy Kleiber, Public Health Nurse from the Vernon County Health Department also prepared the 'COVID-19 Exposure Risk' document based on the questions the Health Department has been receiving. The three documents are linked here:

Recommendations/FAQs on Testing for Schools

Next Steps: Close contacts of someone with COVID-19

COVID-19 Exposure Risk

Parent/Guardian & Student COVID-19 Information Packet

Additionally, schools are providing COVID-19 information packets for parents/guardians and students. Blank sheets separate information and are not missing information. A copy of the packet is linked here: COVID-19 Information Packet

A school and community resource flier has also been developed by the District to assist families and is linked here: School l& Community COVID Resources

De Soto Schools Make-Up/Retake Picture Day Thur, October 22

Lifetouch Photograpphy will be at Stoddard, De Soto Middle/High and Prairie View schools on Thursday, October 22 for picture make-up or retakes.

9/14/2020

De Soto Middle & High School Yearbooks

Middle School Students--Order your De Soto Middle School yearbook by September 18 and pay $15 for your yearboook. After September 18 the yearbook costs $20. For more information visit: Jostensyearbooks.com

High School Students--Order your De Soto High School yearbook by September 18 and receive 4 free icons to personalize your individual yearbook. For more information visit: Jostensyearbooks.com

Jostens Class Rings--Class of 2023 & Parents

Due to COVID-19 concerns, Jostens will be providing the opportunity to order your class rings/jewelry online this fall. Click on the link below to check out the Jostens RING DESIGNER. Design & order your ring between SEPTEMBER 18th - OCTOBER 31st and receive a bonus pair of CLEER-EARBUDS. Please click this promo option when checking out. (P11,P12, P30, P31 not included). If you are uncertain of your ring size, Click on "unknown" when asked for size. Once you click "Place Order Online" you will receive a prompt asking if you would like to have a ring sizer sent home.

Rings will ship directly home in approximately 6-8 weeks with payment programs available. Earbuds to follow.

https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1117369/De-Soto-High-School/

QUESTIONS? 1-800-JOSTENS (567-8367) or EMAIL: www.jostens.com/contact

Thank you- Dale Komro -Jostens 1-800-567-8367 and Linda Antony, Office manager


9/13/2020

Student Picture Day--Wed, September 16

Lifetouch Photography will be at each school building on Wednesday, September 16 to take student and staff photographs. The retake day will be Thursday, October 22.

9/1/2020

USDA Announces Free School Meals Through December 31

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that the summer free meal program will be extended for all children through December 31, 2020. Yesterday's announcement ensures that schools are able to provide safe, healthy and nutritious breakfast and lunch meals to students on weekdays. All students attending school are eligible to receive breakfasts and lunches at no cost to their families through December. Students are welcome to these meals every school day.

Free meals are also available by for those students who are Remote Choice learners, enrolled in the De Soto Virtual Charter School, or who are home-schooled. Families interested in this meal service for weekday breakfasts and lunches are asked to contact Betsy Knutson by email: bknutson@desoto.k12.wi.us or by calling 608-648-0111. Pick up times and days will be established at the school building where it is most convenient for the family to pick up their child's meals.


8/26/2020

Virtual 'Town Hall' School Reopening Meeting

The De Soto Area School District is offering the third virtual School Reopening Town Hall meeting on Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. Parents, students, staff and community members are welcome to join by clicking on the link found on the District's home web page: www.desoto.k12.wi.us The 'School Reopening Meeting' link will be activated on Thursday ahead of the meeting.

Families are encouraged to use the CHAT function to type in any questions or feedback. Questions may also be emailed to the District in advance or during the meeting at: livestream@desotopirates.org or by calling in to: 608-648-0100. We will make every effort to respond to questions received prior to and during the meeting.

Reopening Plan Information--Information on the District's Reopening Plan is available throughout the notifications throughout this page. Specific information is available by clicking on the maroon toolbar for 'Registration & Reopening Information' found above and to the right under this page's headline. Additionally, the previous Town Hall meeting recordings from July 28 and August 10 are available on YouTube by entering: de soto pirates (with the spaces). The meetings are titled, 'School Reopening Meeting' and "School Reopening Meeting II.'

The District's initial draft of the Reopening Plan was presented to the School Board in June with the updated plans presented at both the July 20 and August 17 Board meetings which were broadcast live via the District's website. Virtual meetings were also offered to families and staff in an effort to provide the most current information, and to create an additional forum to respond to questions, as well as obtain stakeholder feedback. We believe has been essential in assisting us as we complete preparations for the upcoming school year. Along with information presented at the June, July and August school board meetings, the District held two previous virtual Town Hall style meetings on July 28 and August 10 to share information on the Reopening Plan.


8/19/2020

WI Department of Health Services

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released a 36 page document with guidelines for schools and local health departments to reference for a COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance includes provisions for: physical distancing, wearing face coverings, absence policies, identifying cases and contact tracing, exclusion from in-person instruction, isolation and quarantine, cleaning and disinfecting practices, etc.

Our focus and dedication remains to provide a safe and supportive learning environments with structure, routines, and needed support services for our students. Our district is committed to implementing feasible and financially accountable practices as we review current information from the DPI, DHS, Governor Evers, local health departments, CDC, etc. We wish our families, students, and the community to know that our preparation over the summer months and throughout the school year is dedicated to providing our students with:

  • age-appropriate in-person instruction that supports the academic and holistic development of our students;

  • critical services including tutoring, special education, and learning supports;

  • interpersonal interaction between teachers and students, and students with their peers;

  • nutrition services;

  • communication and social skill development;

  • curricular lessons that develop students’ skills to: recognize and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, appreciate others’ perspectives, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions;

  • critical psychological, mental and behavioral health counseling, and mental and behavioral assessment;

  • opportunities to be physically active, and participate in organizational programs and activities that provide holistic growth.

As a District we have spent months coordinating, planning and preparing for the academic school year, and developing mitigation strategies to maintain healthy environments for in-school learners. We have engaged and collaborated with state and local support agencies, organizations, and governing bodies, reviewed and assessed data, information, and guidance, formulating proactive plans that include provide information educating staff, parents, and upon return our students.

We are committed to working with all stakeholders in ongoing review, revision and responsiveness to changing circumstances in our schools and communities in order to maintain a positive, supportive and healthy learning and work environment, now in the present, and as we move forward.

One of the ways we do so as a district is to continue to share out information in order to engage others in essential discussions and planning. As always, feedback and ideas are welcome. Reference: DHS Guidelines for Prevention, Investigation, and Control of COVID-19 Outbreaks in K-12 Schools


8/17/2020

School Year Start--Tue, September 1

Parents/guardians should have received in the mail information from their child's school regarding the start of the school year. If you did NOT receive a letter indicating the start date the first week of school for your child, please contact your school's office.

Each K-12th grade student has been provided with starting date information for the first week of school based on their parent/guardian preference for one of the three instructional models:

1) Traditional Classroom Instruction in-school; 2) Remote Choice Learning connected to the classroom at the time classes are in session; or 3) Enrollment in the Virtual Charter School for online learning--a full semester commitment is required.

Stoddard & Prairie View Elementary Students

  • K-5th grade Stoddard and Prairie View Elementary students have been divided into two groups with each group starting either September 1 or 2

  • All K-5th grade Stoddard and Prairie View Elementary students will be expected to be in school from September 3 on.

  • Remote Choice learners will be expected to be in their virtual Google Classroom for attendance and class information on Thu/Fri, September 3 & 4

  • The earliest starting day for PK4 students is September 8.

Please reference: Prairie View Remote Choice Learners

De Soto Middle & High School Students

  • The students divided into the De Soto cohort will attend school on Tue/Wed, September 1 & 2

  • The students divided into the Pirates cohort will attend school on Thur/Fri, September 3 & 4

  • Remote Choice learners are expected to be in their virtual Google Classrooms for attendance and class information on Thu/Fri, September 3 & 4

  • All De Soto Middle/High School Students will expect to be in attendance starting September 8

Traditional In-School Students Remote Choice Learners


8/7/2020

8th Grade In-Person Promotion--Monday, August 10

The 8th Grade in-person promotion ceremony will be held, as scheduled last spring, for Monday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony will take place in the New Gym at De Soto Middle/High School. The ceremony will also be broadcast live from a link on the District's website homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us.

Students and parents/guardians who are in attendance will be asked to adhere to physical distancing and mask wearing requirements. Those who require handicapped accessibility are asked to contact the District Office at 648-0102 by 3:00 PM on August 10.


7/30/2020

Governor Evers Releases Face Covering/Mask Order

Governor Evers issued an order beginning August 1 through September 28, 2020 requiring face coverings in certain situations for people age 5 and older. Schools or other educational institutions do not appear to be exempt from this order, with the exception that "while a single individual is giving a religious, political, media, educational, artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical presentation for an audience, the single speaker may remove the face covering when actively speaking. While the face covering is removed, the speaker must remain at least 6 feet away from all other individuals at all times."

The Governor's order will require face covering/masks of District staff and students as described in the informational links.

Executive Order 82

Emergency Order 1

Frequently Asked Questions


7/27/2020

Parent/Guardian School Year Information

Please scroll through the following information posted on 7/27/2020 to learn about the:

  • District Student Registration process

  • District Reopening Plan

  • Virtual Town Hall Meetings for information on school reopening and instructional model options

District Student Registration by US Mail

Student registration packets will be mailed out this week to all families. The in-person registration process scheduled for Monday, August 10 has been cancelled.

There are many items included in the mailed packets that families are asked to review carefully. Items on colored paper along with the student/parent handbooks, and the Reopening Plan information may be kept for reference throughout the school year.

Items to Be Returned to School by August 10

  • Items in the mailed packet which are on plain white paper need to be reviewed, updated, signed and returned to either your school building or District Office. Not all forms are universal to everyone. Forms that are universal and need to be returned can be found by clicking on the Registration and Reopening red tab found at the top of this page.

  • We have enclosed a stamped return envelope for convenience in the mailing, and request families return the forms by August 10 or they may be drop-off at one of our school buildings beginning August 3 from 8:00am--3:00pm.

  • Incoming Pre-K students will be receiving a separate packet of materials from Ms. Sedlmayr since there are additional items that are needed for starting school.

For additional information, please contact Jackie at the District Office (608) 648-0102.

Please reference: Registration Welcome Letter

District Reopening Plan

We are just a little over one month away from the traditional opening day of school on September 1. We hope our students and families share in looking forward to a new school year start!

When students return to school we know things will look and feel different than in previous years. Careful thought and consideration has gone into the District's Reopening plans with the well-being of our students and staff being our foremost priority. The plan was developed with consultation and guidance from many sources including the Vernon County Health Department, the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Health Services, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and additionally was reviewed by the District's physician advisor. We sincerely hope our students, parents, teachers and staff will support and facilitate the health, safety and wellness procedures outlined in this plan which include new preventative measures, facility modifications, classroom reorganization, and procedural changes that will be implemented with the intention of keeping everyone safe and healthy. We also wish to note that we consider all plans to be fluid and may require modifications as information the District receives changes.

From an educational standpoint, we believe in-person instruction is the best way for our students to grow intellectually, socially, artistically, and through extracurricular sports and activities, We acknowledge that the plan may not answer all questions nor fully ease the worry families may have about their child's upcoming school year. With that in mind, families have the option to choose from one of three District instructional models for their child's education. 1) Traditional Classroom Instruction where students learn in the school setting; 2) Remote Choice Learning where students are at home and will use internet devices to join their daily classes at the time the classes are in session; 3) Enrolling in the K-12 De Soto Virtual Charter School with online course curriculum. Families may elect Remote Choice Learning on a day-to-day basis as comfortable. Enrollment in the De Soto Virtual Charter School is for a semester period due to the structure of the online curriculum. Scott Kelly is the director and may be contacted for more information by email: skelly@desoto.k12.wi.us or by phone at (608) 648-0116. All options will start September 1.

While we choose to remain optimistic, the District may need to respond to changing community health situation and need to close a classroom school building, or possibly all District schools for a short period of time. If this were to occur, the District would have those impacted students who are learning in the school setting switch to learning remotely at home. Technology devices and support will be provided to families as needed.

Please reference School Reopening planning documents found in the Registration and Reopening red tab at the top of the page.

Virtual 'Town Hall' Meetings for Families

The District's initial draft of the Reopening Plan was presented to the School Board in June with the updated finalized plan being presented at the July 20 Board meeting which was broadcast live via the District's website.

Virtual meetings are being offered to families and staff in an effort to continue providing information, and to create an additional forum in order to respond to questions, as well as obtain stakeholder feedback. We believe this will be essential in assisting us as we complete preparations for the upcoming school year. The District will hold three virtual Town Hall style meetings for families to share information on the Reopening Plan. Families may join by clicking on the "School Reopening Meeting" link which will be published on the date of the meeting on the District website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us Families are encouraged to use CHAT to type in any questions or feedback.

All District families are invited to attend the virtual Town Hall meetings linked live on:

  • Tuesday, July 28 at 7:00 PM

  • Monday, August 10 at 3:00 PM

  • Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 PM


7/15/2020

District School Reopening Plan to be Discussed at Upcoming School Board Meeting

Administration will present the District's School Reopening Plan at the School Board meeting on July 20. Due to COVID-19 the meeting will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. from the District's website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

The School Board reviewed a preliminary reopening plan at their meeting on June 15 which was developed by a team of teachers, staff and administrators and included parent and staff feedback from surveys conducted at the end of the 2019-20 school year. The team felt it was essential to begin planning forward and initiated work on the reopening plan well ahead of the WI Department of Instruction 'Education Forward' guidance document issued at a later date on June 22.

Throughout the process, team members have spent considerable time reviewing guidance from multiple educational agencies and associations, and health department sources in order to become better aware of what must occur in order to reopen our schools as safely as possible. Ongoing work has aligned the District's plan to guidance from the DPI and from multiple agencies including recommendations from the state and county health departments. It is noteworthy to indicate that like the general public the District receives updated information almost daily resulting in the need to continually modify and revise procedures and processes within the plan.

Administration appreciated that families and staff took part in the end-of-year survey which has provided helpful feedback in respect to the virtual at-home learning that occurred last spring. Those issues that parents, students and teachers found challenging will be addressed so that virtual learning occurs with a greater fluidity as well as understanding of the learning processes and formats. It is important to note that the DPI's compulsory education standards are established for both in-school and virtual learning. This mandate requires the District to establish daily expectations for at-home virtual students to join classes at their regularly scheduled days and times as class attendance taken by teachers for students in-classroom as well as online. These guidelines will be in place for those families who choose to have their children continue to learn virtually at the start of the year or throughout the year, or if it becomes essential to provide virtual learning due to a school closure period.

The District will be sending out an additional survey in the upcoming weeks to verify from families if their plans are to return their children to school for classroom instruction, or if families are planning to choose that their child receive virtual at-home learning. Again, students participating in virtual learning will be expected to connect on a daily basis to their classes and with their teacher(s) at the time of instruction. The parent survey will also include questions for families to identify their need for internet/hot spots, electronic devices, and if they plan to transport their child to and from school. Teachers and staff will receive a survey as well verifying training, professional development, materials, equipment, and support needs.

There is also an additional education option the District has provided for 5 years. The De Soto Virtual Charter School, directed by Scott Kelly, offers parents/students with the opportunity to personalize curriculum with self-paced independent learning. All courses are online and while there is teacher support the Virtual Charter School does not offer virtual in-person instructional lessons. This option would be recommended for students who work extremely well independently and without direct supervision of an adult. Students enrolled in the De Soto Virtual Charter School are expected to complete a full semester of coursework.

We recognize that even with the best planning efforts we cannot eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 or other communicable diseases in the school setting. Our plan is being developed with foremost consideration for the well-being of students and staff. The current best guidance for health and safety will be followed as closely as possible and as feasible for the District to implement. The reopening plan with a September 1 start date will be reviewed by the Vernon County Health Department, the District's advisory physician, and other agencies associated with our District. This plan strives to balances safety and health concerns with the expressed wishes of parents, students and the community to have students learn in the school setting. Each family will need to make their own decision if they are comfortable sending their child to school based on the safety precautions established in the District's plan.

Parent, student, teacher and staff feedback, suggestions and questions are welcome at any time to any member of the administrative team.


7/14/2020

Summer School Jump Start Program

Information on the District’s Summer School Jump Start program was sent out today. The program will run from August 3-14 with students attending in-person. The Jump Start plan, which included safety precautions for returning students to learning in the school environment, was reviewed by the Vernon County Health Department and other agencies associated with our school district. The School Board will review the finalized program plan at the School Board on July 20. The meeting will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. from the District's website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

For more information on the Summer School Jump Start program please contact Kelly Olson, Principal and Summer School Director at: kolson@desoto.k12.wi.us or by calling 608-648-0500. We are looking so forward to seeing students again and having them in our school buildings!

De Soto HS Junior Prom

It is with a great amount of regret that we informed our Junior class that a decision had been made for De Soto High School not to host the Junior Prom scheduled for Saturday, August 8, 2020. Originally, when the student Prom Committee rescheduled the date into August, we were all hopeful that we would be operating under normal circumstances and with Covid-19 a distant memory. Yet that is not where we find ourselves at this time with COVID-19 risk levels remaining high in our county and region.

We recognize that Prom is a special night focusing on dancing with partners or together in close groups, socializing, and photo-taking with friends. Those typical Prom activities do not align well with observing social distancing, wearing face masks or coverings, and potentially limiting attendance. We value the feedback from 20+ juniors who responded to a recent survey indicating they were not in favor of holding Prom with those constraints.

After consulting with the Vernon County Health Department, and taking into consideration safety guidance from other agencies associated with schools in respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that to pursue hosting this event would not be prudent under the current and forecast community health conditions, and the health and safety guidance in place.

We share deeply in the disappointment felt by our juniors and their peers. Further discussion on rescheduling the 2020 spring Prom will occur once the school year is underway.


7/10/2020

De Soto High School Graduation TONIGHT at 7:00 PM

The Class of 2020 will participate in the De Soto High School Graduation Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 10, and will be held outdoors on the De Soto Middle/High School Gillespie Memorial football stadium. The ceremony will be broadcast live on a link from the District's website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us and live on the District's Educational Cable Channel 3.

Graduating seniors today took part in a rehearsal this morning that was followed by a picnic lunch complete with grilled steak sandwiches, potato salad, watermelon, and strawberry cheesecake. The senors also received cinnamon rolls which has been a tradition following the graduation rehearsal. Additionally, seniors were given masks with Class of 2020 gold lettering.

Graduates may have up to 5 parents/guardians and siblings in attendance to make up their family group. Social distancing and masks will be required of those who attend. Those who require handicapped accessibility are asked to contact the District Office at 648-0102 by 3:00 PM on July 10.

6/18/2020

De Soto HS Graduation Program

The De Soto High School Graduation program will be held on Friday, July 10 at 7:00 p.m. The ceremony is being planned for outdoors at the football stadium weather permitting. Otherwise the ceremony will be held in the New Gym. The ceremony will also be broadcast live on the District website.

The District has submitted the graduation program plan to multiple review agencies including the Vernon County Health Department. Recommendations received will be incorporated into the ceremony program as well as for those in attendance. While prevention guidelines will be instituted for this program the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 cannot be completely eliminated. Those in attendance are asked to assess their own individual health risk levels, follow the CDC, and local health department guidelines, as well as follow any health guidance received from their own personal physicians.

The COVID-19 restrictions in place for the ceremony.

  • Graduates may have up to 5 parents/guardians and siblings in attendance to make up their family group. These should all be members of the same household.

  • Seating will be marked, with 6 foot social distancing between family groups.

  • All in attendance are required to wear masks whether the ceremony is indoors or outdoors.

We appreciate everyone's understanding and adherence to the guidelines. These are in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Our objective is to provide the safest possible environment for this meaningful program. Please contact the High School Office if you have any questions or handicapped accessibility is needed at 608-648-0100 or Linzi Gronning (lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us).

HS Graduation Rehearsal

A graduation program rehearsal is scheduled for Friday, July 10 at 11:00 a.m. Graduates who plan to participate are asked to bring a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.

The program rehearsal will be followed by a picnic lunch at school. Social distancing requirements will be in place.


6/5/2020

Summer School Food Service

De Soto Area Summer School Food service will provide weekday meals from June 15-July 3 for district students and students who reside in the district under the age of 18. The meals will be delivered on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in the mornings.

  • Monday--Breakfast and lunch for that day.

  • Tuesday--Breakfasts and lunches for both Tuesday and Wednesday.

  • Wednesday--Breakfasts and lunches for both Thursday and Friday.

Families are welcome to sign up by calling 608-648-0111

Additionally, due to the generous support of the De Soto Booster Club, De Soto Lions, and area benefactors the school food cupboard (pantry) is restocked. Food boxes are available for district families by calling 608-648-0100.

As in prior summers, we encourage families to text ‘food’ to 877-877 to find free summer meals near them.


6/02/2020

De Soto Middle School 8th Grade Virtual Promotion

We are so proud of our 8th grade students who have collaborated together preparing a virtual promotion program that will be aired on June 4! The 8th grade promotion was reinstated in 2013 with students and class leaders taking on the responsibility to plan, organize, develop speeches, create a class video, and MC the program on the last day of school. Typically the work began while on the 8th grade class trip to and from Washington, D.C. when there was plenty of seat time to do some initial planning work.

This year has been obviously different as our meeting forum for the 8th Grade Class has been virtual; however, our students really stepped up, accepting this unique challenge, and taking on leadership roles. Students had opportunities to share their ideas and preferences via student surveys, as well as during Google Meetings held by class advisors Mr. Crandall and Mr. Daron Fuglsang. Students developed the promotion invitation, and there is also a program listing the students who headed the promotion committees.

The virtual promotion will be aired on Thursday, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. from a link on the District website www.desoto.k12.wi.us and on the District’s Educational Channel 3. Anyone is welcome to access the link or access the cable Channel 3 to watch the promotion program. The 8th grade virtual promotion will also be permanently available on the District website and can be found on the De Soto Middle & High School webpage under the Videos tab.

The postponed date for the in-person program to be held at De Soto Middle/High School is Monday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m. We sincerely hope the promotion ceremony will be able to occur on that date.

We hope everyone will find this virtual promotion to be meaningful and memorable. Our students have done a great job contributing to this virtual production! 8th Grade Promotion Invitation & 8th Grade Promotion Virtual Ceremony Program

Returning Text Books & Technology

Families are asked to return school library books, text books, and borrowed technology (Chromebooks, Laptops, Cell Phone/Hot Spots, etc.) at the end of the year.

  • Students who are enrolling in the Virtual Summer School (June 15-July 3) may keep their electronic devices.

  • Middle and high school students who received an 'incomplete' for a class(s) may continue to work on 4th quarter assignments and keep the devices through June 19.

Return Dates/Times

De Soto Middle/High School--June 4, 5 & 22 from 7:30am-3:30pm

Stoddard Elementary--June 9

Prairie View Elementary--June 9, 10 & 11 from 10:00am-2:00pm


5/27/2020

Summer Food Service Program Survey

The De Soto Area School District is conducting a survey to determine participation interest in the summer food service weekday Go Bag Breakfast & Lunch program. Parents/guardians who are interested may select between home delivery or school building pick-up. The Go Bag meals will be offered June 15 through June 30. Click on the link to take the survey: Food Service Survey

Temporary Food Benefits for Students

Families with a child or children who usually get free or reduced price meals can get temporary food benefits. These benefits are called Pandemic EBT or P-EBT. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is providing these benefits automatically for most families. Families should receive a letter in the mail by May 20 informing them that they will receive the benefits. Families who did not receive the mail and/or email notification will need to apply for the benefits. The online application will take about 10 minutes to complete.

The District emailed families who were currently eligible on May 26. Families should check their emails and click on the application link found in the attachment or by clicking here on PEBT Application. If families have questions, they are welcome to contact Betsy Knutson, Food Service Director at 608-648-0111.

5/22/2020

De Soto High School Graduation Video Tribute

The De Soto High School Graduation video tribute is available to view on the District website at: www.desoto.k12.wi.us The tribute is also being replayed on the District's educational cable channel 3.

5/14/2020

WI State Supreme Court Decision Does NOT Reopen Schools

The Wisconsin Supreme Court yesterday struck down almost all of the “Safer at Home Order,” Executive Order 28. It is important to know that, in several footnotes, the Wisconsin Supreme Court explicitly stated that their decision does not apply to Section 4.a. of Emergency Order #28, which provides as follows:

4. Closures. All of the following facilities shall be closed:

a. Schools. Public and private K-12 schools shall remain closed for pupil instruction and extracurricular activities for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Schools may continue to facilitate distance learning or virtual learning. Schools may continue to be used for Essential Government Functions and food distribution. This section does not apply to facilities operated by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

That section of the Safer at Home Order, as well as the defined terms referenced by this section, remain applicable and enforceable.

Therefore, the Court’s decision does not reopen schools, which remain closed through June 30th, the end of the current school year. The DPI will continue to provide updates as they become available and we will continue to share them with families.


5/6/2020

National Nurses Day

Today we gratefully recognize our school district nurse Opal Hostert! The national theme is compassion, expertise and trust, all three which are qualities Opal displays working with our students, their families, and our staff.

Prior to and through COVID-19 school closure Opal has assisted with the development and implementation of the District's Pandemic Plan and provided support services to our students and families. Opal is available to respond to questions and concerns from families via email: ohostert@desoto.k12.wi.us or from school phone messages at: 608-648-0104. Click on the Resources page (top right hand corner) for additional information on the District's COVID-19 Services and the District's Pandemic Plan. Thank you Opal for all you do to care for the health and well-being of our students!

5/4/2020

Graduation & Promotions

De Soto High School Graduation--Friday, July 10 at 7:00 PM is the rescheduled date and time for the De Soto High School Graduation. We sincerely hope that orders limiting mass gatherings and requirements of social distancing are lifted to allow an in-person ceremony for the entire class. Prior to this a virtual tribute to our seniors is planned for the original graduation date. The virtual tribute will be aired on the District website (www.desoto.k12.wi.us) and on the District's Educational Channel 3 at 7:00 PM on Friday, May 22.

8th Grade Promotion--Monday, August 10 at 7:00PM. The 8th grade promotion will be held following the District-wide student registration. A virtual tribute will be aired on the District website (www.desoto.k21.wi.us) and on the District's Educational Channel 3 at 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 4.

5th Grade and 4K Promotions--These will be held on the first day of school when all students are back in their elementary school buildings. 5th graders will have an opportunity to say their farewells to their peers, teachers, and staff. The promotions will take place at each school building that first day. The promoted 5th graders will start at De Soto Middle School on the second day of school.

National Teacher Appreciation Week

This week the work of teachers is celebrated nationally during Teacher Appreciation Week. We greatly value the collaborative work our teachers do within our schools, and with our families and community members that ensures we are able to provide our students with a quality educational experience all year long.

Together we are all experiencing an unprecedented time in education. One where we have suddenly moved from educating students in a classroom setting to a virtual at-home setting. We believe our teachers, students, parents/guardians have all risen to this challenge admirably. This week we celebrate those who teach by profession, and we also recognize our parents/guardians who were their child's first teachers, and who are in today's COVID-19 world facilitating their child's education to a much greater extent than ever before.

We encourage our students to take a moment this week to express appreciation to their teachers and parents!

5/1/2020

FFA Plant Sales

The De Soto High School FFA is holding their annual plant sale. Geraniums, hanging baskets, packs of vegetables and bedding plants are available at both Stoddard Elementary School and behind De Soto Middle/High School by the greenhouse. Honor system sales are starting on Friday, May 1. The plants are grown by the Gardening/Greenhouse class students and their teacher and FFA advisor, Hillary Bark. Thank you for supporting De Soto High School's FFA program! FFA Plant Sale Flier


De Soto Middle School & High School Yearbooks

Middle School Yearbooks--Middle School yearbooks are scheduled to be delivered to school on May 11. Mr. Crandall plans to distribute those by May 15. Yearbooks may be picked up in the school office or may be sent home to students who are participating in school meal delivery. If you wish to pick your yearbook up please call 648-0100 to schedule a weekday time between 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Middle School students who have not pre-ordered a yearbook may still do so. The cost is $20. Please use this online link to order: http://jostensyearbooks.com/?REF=A09897053

High School Yearbooks--The De Soto High School yearbooks have arrived. Yearbooks may be picked up in the school office or may be sent home to students who are participating in school meal delivery. If you wish to pick yours up, please call 648-0100 to schedule a weekday time between 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

High school students who haven't ordered a yearbook may still do so by contacting Mrs. Kuennen at: lkuennen@desoto.k12.wi.us The cost is $45.

National Principal's Day

We celebrate our school principals for their dedication and commitment to the holistic education of every student throughout the year, and especially for their leadership during this time of school closure. Each of the De Soto Area School District's principals and administrators serve dual roles either in leadership and teaching responsibilities or hold position responsibilities in several administrative roles. Thank you Kelly Olson, Prairie View; Derek Fuglsang, Stoddard; and Tim Fergot/Linzi Gronning, De Soto MS/HS.

4/29/2020

School Lunch Hero Day--MAY 1

May 1st is National School Lunch Hero Day! Lunch Hero Day is a chance to recognize our dedicated and caring school nutrition staff for the work they do all year in preparing quality meals for our students. On this School Lunch Hero Day we especially wish to thank our 'Lunch Ladies' Betsy, Nancy, Lori & Stacy along with the Southwest Bus Service drivers for their efforts in providing the Go Bag breakfast and lunch meals each weekday to 380 students and youth in our district! Thank you!

4/28/2020

Senior Student & Parent Graduation Date Survey

A graduation date survey was emailed yesterday to senior students and parents. Feedback would be appreciated by the end of the day on May 1. The Governor's school closure order extends through June 30; therefore, dates for an in-person graduation ceremony being looked at are in July and early August. We sincerely hope that the Governor's orders related to 'mass gathering' limitations and 'social distancing' will be lifted in time for a rescheduled date.

While we realize this is not what our seniors and their families hoped for in respect to the May 22 Graduation ceremony, our senior advisors, administration and others are working on a virtual tribute that we hope will be both meaningful and memorable for our seniors, families, and the community. Newspaper photos & bios, a baby/senior photo video, student speakers, teacher/staff celebratory comments, etc. will be pre-recorded. This along with other ideas are in the works, and are being coordinated by senior class advisor, Mandi Boardman with senior feedback through a Google folder and meetings.

Our technology students will be working on the virtual tribute and it should be something very special. The tribute will air on both the District website (www.desoto.k12.wi.us) and on the District's Education Channel 3 on May 22 at 7:00PM


4/27/2020

De Soto Students LIVE with Michael Carbonaro!

Seven students representing each of the District schools had the opportunity to appear 'live' with Michael Carbonaro who had selected their questions from more than the 60 he received. Michael spent around 50 minutes interacting live and through chat messages with De Soto students talking about how he got into magic and acting, showing some great trick videos, and responding to their questions.

If you missed the program, it is exclusively available by clicking on the Michael Carbonaro LIVE link located on our District website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us You can scroll past the countdown clock to the start if you like. Thank you Michael for the magic moment you gave us today! Click here: Magic Moment Photo Memories Click here to view the recorded YouTube program with Michael: Recorded Live with Michael Carbonaro

4/26/2020

National Administrative Professionals & Secretaries Day

We often refer to our secretaries as the glue that keeps our schools together. Their ongoing support and care for our students, their families, and our staff is so very appreciated! We value their work throughout the year! We encourage students and families to send them an acknowledgement via email or by a phone message. Thank you Prairie View's Melissa, Stoddard's Miss Mary, De Soto MS/HS's Kim, and the District Office ladies, Jackie, Cora and Lisa!

4/25/2020

De Soto District School Update for Parents/Guardians

Information on special ceremonies and programs as well as information on continued at-home learning was emailed to parents/guardians via SchoolMessenger accounts today. Please click here for the emailed information: Parent/Guardian Update

4/24/2020

De Soto Students 'LIVE with Michael Carbonaro'

Michael Carbonaro, magician, entertainer, actor will be 'live' with De Soto Area School District students on Monday, April 27 at 5:00 PM. The link on the District's homepage will be activated prior to the 5:00 PM start time.

We appreciate greatly the assistance from Art Fahey, Director of the La Crosse Center, and Michael along with his team of entertainment managers and technology experts in making this event happen for our students! Kudos to our own De Soto High School technology students who have been involved in the the behind-the-scenes testing of technology with students whose questions were selected and will also be participating. Students representing each school will also be 'live' with Michael. This has been a pretty cool experience, even to this point, and we are all looking forward to a little extra magic in our lives right now!

4/21/2020

Badger Bounce Back--Emergency Order #31

Governor Evers released the Badger Bounce Back Order and plan outlining a Phasing Process to reopen the state's business economy and society. The plan outlines qualifying conditions that would be required in advance and during each phasing level. Phase 1 includes allowing K-12 schools to resume in-person operation; however, Phase One also maintains the mass gathering restriction of up to 10 people. Unless the mass gathering restriction is removed, school districts will have to comply with the group size restrictions and districts will be challenged as to how, when and to whom face-to-face instruction can occur. Phase Two allows for mass gatherings of up to 50 people and with social distancing requirements which also present instructional delivery challenges to transporting and educating students in school settings. No dates have been communicated or defined in the plan for when phasing will begin.

We wish to assure our students and families that we are wholly committed to providing current and ongoing education and support services to our students. We the teachers, staff, and administrators will undertake future challenges with the same dedication and perseverance to meeting the educational and holistic needs of our students as has been the expectation of the public and the proud tradition of the De Soto Area School District. In turn we express our sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of support and partnership from parents and the community as we moved through this unprecedented time of school closure, and as we plan forward to delivery education, programs, and support systems to our students.

Please click on these reference links for additional information: Emergency Order #31 and Badger Bounce Back Plan

4/20/2020

Safer-at-Home Order Restricts School Programs & Celebrations

The Governor's General Counsel in respect to the 'safer-at-home' order (#28) defined the end of the 2019-20 school year as June 30, 2020. "This means that school buildings and associated grounds are closed to students for instructional and extracurricular activities through that date." Due to this order and clarification, school celebrations may only take place virtually on planned dates as well as be postponed until a later date. Administration and program advisors recognize that future dates may also be moving targets as there is the potential for extended restrictions as we move into the summer months.

De Soto High School Graduation--The School Board heard from senior class advisors and principals in respect to High School Graduation. A virtual tribute to seniors is being planned for May 22. The tribute will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. on the District website. The School Board approved a tentative date of Friday, July 31 but also allowed for a date change if senior parent/feedback determined another date would be preferred. A survey will be issued to families on Thursday in regards to a rescheduled date.

De Soto 8th Grade Promotion--Principals Fergot and Gronning shared that traditionally the 8th grade students have been involved in planning their graduation program during the month of May. Teachers and principals will work virtually with students to develop a celebration that will occur virtually on June 4, and for the promotion to be scheduled on Monday, August 10. The principals indicated that the postponed date would be held in conjunction with the August 10 district-wide student registration. A 9th grade class orientation has occurred the past several years on the registration date, and with students and families in the area for registration, this would provide an opportunity for the promotion to occur prior to the start of the school year. The August 10th date was approved with the acknowledgement that it may also be a moving target due to potential extended restrictions on mass gatherings.

4K Graduation & 5th Grade Promotion--Principals Olson and Fuglsang noted that they would like to start the first day of school with all 2019-20 elementary students in their elementary school buildings. The 2019-20 5th graders and 4K students would have an opportunity to return to their previous classrooms, and take part in a ceremony in their respective buildings. The 2020-21 6th graders would start at De Soto Middle School on the second day of school. The School Board approved the celebration concept as presented, again with the acknowledgement that subsequent orders may require further program adjustments.

Prom--Prom is rescheduled for Saturday, August 8 at Retreat Sportsmen's Club. Juniors have provided feedback on two surveys indicating their preference was for Prom to occur over the summer so graduating seniors would still have an opportunity to attend if they chose. WE recognize having Prom in August is dependent on whether or not the Governor lifts orders on mass gathering limitations as well as social distancing requirements.

4/17/2020

Magician/Entertainer Michael Carbonaro Connecting with De Soto District Students

We have some exciting news and it's magical! Michael Carbonaro, actor and magician who has performed family-friendly magic on over 100 episodes of of The Carbonaro Effect on truTV.com, and who has been featured on many prime-time network TV shows, will connect with De Soto district students for a special program. There will be a live webcast from the District's webpage on April 27 with the time to be announced.

Michael is looking for students to participate in advance by submitting questions they'd like to ask him or magic they'd like to see. He will be inviting some of those students to interact "live." Students can submit questions directly to their principals and will need to do so by 8:00AM on Monday, April 20. We most certainly appreciate Michael's interest in bringing a little extra magic into all of our lives at this time! For more information click: Michael Carbonaro

4/16/2020

Governor Evers--Schools will Remain Closed for Remainder of 2019-20 School Year

Today, Governor Evers extended the 'safer-at-home' order until May 26, 2020, and confirmed that public and private K-12 schools shall remain closed for pupil instruction and extra-curricular activities for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Click for link to Governor Evers Order: Safer-at-Home & School Closure Definite

The De Soto Area School District will continue to facilitate at-home learning through low tech/high tech forums we are currently using. We are dedicated to partnering with parents and students to insure our students maintain current learning levels as well as make academic progress.

As noted previously on this web page and in SchoolMessenger emails to parents, administration will present at the April 20 School Board meeting alternatives ceremonial celebrations and/or dates of postponement for High School Graduation, 8th Grade Promotion, Pre-School Graduation, as well as 5th Grade promotion.

Parent and student feedback is welcome and may be provided to building principals, and class advisors prior to the School Board meeting; or by emailing their comment to Jackie Kreuzer, Administrative Assistant at jkreuzer@desoto.k12.wi.us or by providing the comment in writing and delivered to the District Office at 615 Main Street, De Soto, WI 54624. Public Comments must be received by 3:30 p.m. on April 20. Please include your first and last name and address. Public Comments will be read at the meeting and should be approximately 3-minutes in length when read out loud.

4/15/2020

Parent/Guardian Information

We wish to continue offering our support in providing information, assistance and access to resources to our students and families during this time of physical distancing, social limitations, and non-traditional education resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, Governor Evers indicated in a press conference that he was considering extending the 'safer-at-home' order for another month which would in turn extend school closure. The Governor stated that he had not made a 'final decision' if schools would re-open.

Without clear guidance, school administration is reviewing currently scheduled ceremonial program dates for HS Graduation, 8th Grade Promotion and Pre-School Graduation. Alternative dates for family scheduling needs, as well as virtual program same-date celebrations are considerations that will be presented at the April 20 School Board Meeting. The meeting as noted previously on this page will be broadcast live at 7:00 p.m. on the District's website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

Information on this and other topics was sent to Parents/Guardians via SchoolMessenger email today and is linked here: Parent/Guardian Letter


4/12/2020

Tornado Awareness Week

Governor Tony Evers has declared April 13-17 Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. A Statewide Virtual Tornado Drill will occur in Wisconsin on Thursday, April 16 at 1:45 p.m. During Thursday's Virtual Tornado Drill, families will be encouraged to review their plans for responding to a tornado warning or severe storm in their area as well as identifying where they can seek shelter.

Schools annually educate students on the differences between a tornado watch and warning, and where to take shelter in school buildings and facilities. Schools also conduct tornado drills where students practice sheltering-in-place and other safety procedures.

Due to school closure, families are encouraged to review their home preparedness plan with their children. The ReadyWisconsin website has excellent resources for parents and children: https://readywisconsin.wi.gov

Please click on the 5 resources available to families from ReadyWisconsin: Tornado Safety Tips Kids weather Alert Tornado Safety Emergency Supply List Preparing for Pets

April 20 School Board Meeting

Due to Governor Evers Order #5: Prohibiting Mass Gatherings of 10 People or More, and Order #12: Safer-At-Home, the April 20 School Board meeting will be broadcast live on the De Soto Area School District website: www.desoto.k12.wi.us The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m. The link to the meeting will be on the website home page.

Public Comment is welcome. Members of the public who wish to provide a comment to the School Board may do so by emailing their comment to Jackie Kreuzer, Administrative Assistant at jkreuzer@desoto.k12.wi.us or by providing the comment in writing and delivered to the District Office at 615 Main Street, De Soto, WI 54624. Public Comments must be received by 3:30 p.m. on April 20. Please include your first and last name and address. Public Comments will be read at the meeting and should be approximately 3-minutes in length when read out loud.

DPI Minimum Hours of Instruction Waiver

The De Soto Area School District will issue a request to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to waive the minimum number of hours of instruction due to the ongoing public health emergency. This issue will be on the School Board's agenda for the April 20 meeting. Written comments regarding the waiver should be submitted to Jackie Kreuaer, Administrative Assistant at Jkreuzer@desoto.k12.wi.us or by providing the comment in writing and delivered to the District Office at 615 Main Street, De Soto, WI 54624. Comments must be received by 3:30 p.m. on April 20. Please include your first and last name and address. Comments will be read at the meeting and should be approximately 3-minutes in length when read out loud.


4/8/2020

Holiday Meals on Wheels

Due to the holiday weekend and vacation days noted on the school calendar, the district's food service staff prepared and packaged meals for 360+ students for Thursday, Friday, and Monday. Betsy Knutson, Food Service Director, and her team that included Nancy Voelker at DMS/DHS, Stacy Matson at Stoddard, and Lori Buckles at Prairie View, packaged 1,080 breakfasts, 1,080 lunches, 1,080 juices, 2,160 milks, 360 plastic Easter eggs with a candy treat (packaged by Jennifer Gullickson), along with a variety of snacks for school district students and area children. The milk, juice, and holiday treats were placed inside the mini-coolers that were donated by the De Soto Booster Club. Southwest bus drivers along with district staff members (Tamera Zink, Caron Malin, Melissa Skildum, Jennifer Gullickson, Kim Bohnenkamp, Kay Silvis, Stephanie Floberg, & Linzi Gronning) delivered the majority of Go Bag breakfasts and lunches to homes while food service staff also distributed meals at school buildings. The best part about delivering was being able to wave at the students we saw and holler out a heartfelt "We miss you!" Click for photos:

MS/HS Academics

Middle and high school students who did not pass or have an 'incomplete' for one or more classes have until Friday, April 17 to improve their grades. Students/parents are encouraged to contact their teacher regarding missing or make-up work, or quiz/test re-takes. Teacher emails are available by clicking on Staff Directory on the District website homepage: www.desoto.k12.wi.us

4/6/2020

Easter Holiday Vacation & Go Bag Meal Distribution

The school calendar marks Friday, April 10 and Monday, April 13 as holiday vacation days. De Soto school district students, staff, and teachers are encouraged to enjoy this extended weekend break. We wish everyone time to rest, relax, and most of all to stay safe and healthy!

De Soto District food service will provide student meals for Friday (April 10) and Monday (April 13) along with this Thursday's meals on April 9. Families who have at-home delivery should provide a larger cooler or box for this Thursday's distribution of multiple breakfasts and lunches.

De Soto School District families may still sign up their child(ren) for meal services. Additionally, children who reside in the district and are under the age of 18 are also eligible for meal services. Call 608-648-0111 to sign up.

De Soto Booster Club Mini-Cooler Donation

The De Soto Booster Club is providing mini-coolers for those students who are part of the District Food Service's Go Bag breakfast and lunch meal service. The coolers help retain the temperatures of the food and beverages inside, and they are a gift to students. The mini-coolers will be distributed with the meals on Thursday, April 9. All Go Bags will continue to be distributed in plastic bags that can be inserted into the coolers if left out. Otherwise students are welcome to KEEP and re-use the coolers for their own needs. Thank you Boosters! Click for photo: Mini-Cooler & Activity Insert

Students Should Check School G-mail Daily

De Soto Middle and High School students are asked to check their G-mail daily to receive directions and 'invites' from their teachers to Google Meet events. These can be directly related to their courses as well as to extra-curricular programs, sports and activities (E.g. FFA, Prom, Homecoming, etc.). Don't miss out on an important assignment or program announcement!

4/1/2020

Area Districts Featured in Broadcaster Article

De Soto School District along with other neighboring districts were featured in a recent Vernon County Broadcaster Censor article on efforts to provide students with academic learning, support systems, and food service. Click here to read the article: Educating & Supporting Students

De Soto COVID-19 Resource Flier

A flier with De Soto School District and local resources has been created to provide support for our students and families. Flier topics cover: Academics, Special Education, Homelessness, Counseling, Mental Health & Grief Support, Food Service, Food Pantry Information, school contacts including our District nurse and counselors, and technology support. Click on this link to see the flier: De Soto School District Resource Flier

De Soto Students Offer Tech Support

We proudly introduce a technology support network for students, staff and families which will be monitored by De Soto High School student technicians. Students will be responding to requests for assistance under the supervision of De Soto's Director of Technology, DuWayne Gronning. This is a great opportunity for these students to serve their peers and district families, as well as to apply what they have learned in their technology courses in real-time to real-world needs!

  • To contact Tech Support email: techsupport@desotopirates.org or call: (608) 648-0153 and leave a message that includes the issue you are experiencing, your name, best time to contact you, and your contact information.

3/31/2020

Proud to be a Pirate!

Students--You are doing a great job, and so are your parents! So please remember to thank them for guiding your learning! Teachers are commenting all the time on how well students are adjusting to working primarily online and with virtual classes. We are so PROUD of you, and you have been our focus!!

  • Join the "live" classroom opportunities with your teachers as they "invite" you through your G-mail. It's a great way to interact with your peers as well as get questions answered on your lessons and instruction.

  • Exercise--Your Physical Education teachers are providing ideas and videos for getting in fun exercise activities which will reduce stress, and keep all your muscles moving. This is so important for you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Build those endorphins UP.

  • Read a Book--Take a break from "screen" time and read a page turner!

  • Work each day on the assignments for the day. Give yourself break time between classes, at breakfast and lunch time, and build in a recess where you play....no matter what your age! Play a board game, game of cards, or go for a walk with a family member. Play with your pets...they'll think it's an everlasting weekend having you home with them all day!

  • Reach out by email, phone, or through your Google Classroom or NEO/EDU courses to your teachers. They truly worry if they don't hear from you.

  • Kindness counts--Please remember how important friendship can be in everyone's lives. Your friendship is needed and valued by someone. Practice kindness and thoughtfulness on social media. This is more important than ever as social media is the way we connect with each other during the time of social distancing. Be sure to do so responsibly, respectfully, and safely for others, as well as for yourself.

  • Dedicate yourself to learning something each day. You can do it. Teachers are doing it as this is new for them to. Together we can do it!

  • Stay safe and healthy--We care about you!

    • Practice social distancing--It's tough, but it is essential.

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

    • Wash your hands frequently if you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Sing the Happy Birthday song twice while washing your hands with soap (20 seconds)

    • When you can't wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Call or email us if there is anything we can do to help you in any way. We are here for you.


3/27/2020

Food Service Delivery--1 Hour Later Starting Monday, March 30

Bus drivers will be delivering Go Bag breakfasts and lunches to their morning route locations one hour later in the morning than has been occurring. The later morning delivers will start Monday, March 30. This will provide food service staff with the extra time needed to prepare 600+ meals, as well as allow drivers to conduct these deliveries with daylight.

Go Bag meals may still be picked up at each school building from 7:30-8:30 a.m. each weekday.

3/26/2020

Food Service Deliveries or Pick-Up

Families, who have NOT previously signed up for Go Bag breakfast and lunch meals, MUST Sign-up for the FREE or Food Service does NOT know to provide meals. Meals are available for ALL De Soto School District students inclusive of students who are 18 years old or older. Families with children who are not our District students, but who reside in the District boundaries and who are under the age of 18 may sign-up at as well for the FREE meal service.

To sign-up click on this link Go Bag Meal Survey or contact the Food Service Office at (608) 648-0111.

We ask that all families who have signed up for Go Bag meals to be delivered at their morning bus pick-up location to please PLACE a BOX or COOLER at their child's pick-up point for drivers to place the Go Bag meals. Go Bag meals may also be picked up at each school building from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m. weekdays.

Updates: School, Programs, Academics & Food Service

This has been an unprecedented few weeks in education, and we recognize and appreciate how amazingly well our students, parents, guardians and staff have responded and adjusted to the transition from in-school to at-home learning. Below is a link to a letter outlining the following items:

  • School Closure Length

  • High School Graduation, 8th Grade and Kindergarten Promotion

  • Academics are Not on Vacation

  • Food Service - Go Bag Breakfasts and Lunches

We are very grateful we are to our parents, guardians, and the community for working together with our teachers, staff and principals. Your patience, understanding, and willingness to adapt has been invaluable as we undertake this educational transition together. March 26 Letter to Parents/Guardians

School Closure

De Soto Areas School District schools will remain closed for instructional purposes and extra-curricular sports and activities through April 24, 2020 or until an order from the Governor's Office allows us to resume using school buildings for student instruction. School facilities including playgrounds, by the Safe at Home order, are NOT allowed for student or community use.

Learning is in session. Our teachers, staff, and administration are continually working to deliver quality instruction to our students. Teachers are making every effort to reach out to students and provide educational lessons and support. Teachers are daily exploring the best possible ways to facilitate classes in this new teaching modality, and are themselves learning to use high tech methods to provide virtual lessons. Direct instruction has also been provided allowing face-to-face time through Google Meet, Zoom, Google Hangout, and other forums. Parents are asked to support your child's attending classes when this is able to be offered by teachers.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we strive for continuity in meeting your child's educational needs. We recognize the challenge this transition has placed on parents and families. Thank you for the GREAT job you are doing in this expanded partnership and collaboration in educating our district's children. One of our parents emailed me the quote, "Hope is Bigger than Fear." We are hopeful every day for the safety, health, and well-being of of our students, families, staff, and our community. We are dedicated to working together towards that end.

3/25/2020

End of Quarter

Students are doing an excellent job working on assignments, communicating with teachers, and participating in Google Classrooms and on other educational delivery formats. We are so proud of our students, and appreciative of parents for their efforts in guiding their children's learning.

Monday, March 23 was the last day of third quarter, and while there were 5 days that school did not occur, we perceive there is sufficient work evidence to provide students with a 3rd quarter final grade. Third quarter grading will be turned in by teachers on Friday, March 27. Students who have outstanding work or need further assistance should contact their teachers for assistance or an extension. Any grades that are not passing will be issued as an incomplete on the report card. This will provide students an additional two weeks to connect with teachers, and receive further instruction or tutoring. Students should plan to have any remaining, make-up or replacement 3rd quarter work completed by Friday, April 10th.


Updated 3/24/2020

Safer at Home Order

The Safer at Home Order was released today following yesterday's press conference from Governor Evers. The duration of the order which becomes effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 will remain in effect until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. School closures are impacted by this order, and De Soto Areas School District schools will remain closed for instructional purposes and extra-curricular sports and activities through April 24, 2020 or until an order from the Governor's Office allows us to resume school. Wisconsin residents are ordered to stay at home, social distancing is maintained, along with limits to mass gatherings of under 10. The order does allow for exceptions for essential services.

"Go Bag" lunches/breakfasts are considered essential services, and will be prepared by De Soto food service staff, and delivered by our Southwest Transportation service bus drivers. In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we ask FAMILIES to provide a COOLER or BOX at the pick-up point in which the Go Bag meals can be placed. We will not hand off meals to students or adults. Go Bag pick-up will still be available at each school building between 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Families, who have not previously signed up, MUST Sign-up for the FREE "Go Bag" meal services or food service does NOT know to provide meals. Meals are available for ALL De Soto School District students inclusive of students who are 18 years old or older. Families with children who are not our District students, but who reside in the District boundaries and who are under the age of 18 may sign-up at as well for the FREE meal service. To sign-up click on this link Go Bag Meal Survey or contact the Food Service Office at (608) 648-0111.

These are unprecedented times in education, and without a doubt, we are all experiencing a period of uncertainty in our lives. The De Soto Area School District teachers, staff, and School Board members are committed to supporting our students and families. We are continually working on the delivery of quality instruction through a variety of forums, and students can be assured that teachers will provide them with ongoing assistance and support.

We are grateful to our parents, guardians, and the community for working together with us, and we appreciate your patience, and understanding as we navigate this shift in education. We understand that this transition has been challenging for everyone, and that we all are facing changes in our work and daily routines as social distancing now includes Safer at Home practices.

Flexible at-home or remote learning has been extended at this point until April 24, or until a superseding order is issued. We appreciate how parents have supported their children academically, and we are committed to serving our students and their families during the challenges that lie ahead.

3/23/2020

Safer at Home Order Does NOT Impact Food Service

Governor Evers "tweeted" that he will be issuing a Safer at Home Order tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24, which will prohibit all non-essential business in Wisconsin. Anticipating this we previously consulted local authorities, and received confirmation that our District's provision of food service is considered essential services. The District has provided over 1,600 meals to students and children since it was implemented on March 19.

Families may count on continuing to receive the "Go Bag" meals delivered on the morning bus route stops. Parent/student weekday pick-up of "Go Bag" meals remains available as well at District school locations from 7:30-8:30 a.m. The menu includes sub-sandwiches tomorrow.

Parents/guardians are welcome to sign up for their child(ren) to participate in this meal service at any time during the school closure order. Meal service is provided to all District students (of all ages) as well as children who reside within our district boundaries and are under the age of 18. To register, contact the Food Service Office at (608) 648-0111 or complete the online registration form: Go Bag Meal Survey

Academics are NOT on Vacation

Flexible learning days, at-home learning, and remote learning are all terms that have been commonly interchanged as students, parents, and teachers together implement a novel and unprecedented educational plan ensuring student academic progress and growth. The key word is "learning" and while school, as students know it, is not in session within school buildings the expectations are that learning is in session on the home front, and is not on vacation.

We greatly value the importance our parents and the community places on education, and appreciate the efforts of parents in reinforcing with their child(ren) the need to keep up with school work. Together in this endeavor, we wish to offer several ideas we hope you will find helpful during this period:

  • Locate a space in your home where your child would be comfortable doing school work. If possible, provide a chair and small table, and arrange the space so school work can be posted on walls, and shelving can be provided for projects.

  • Develop a schedule for your child's learning day that includes brain breaks and screen breaks, physical exercise, music and art, snacks, meals, play-time, hands-on activities, and even naps to rejuvenate. Children are used to a school-day schedule and having one at home will be helpful to maintain the continuity of learning.

  • Reinforce learning expectations you have as a parent, and in support of the teacher's assignments.

  • Remind students to check their school G-mail daily for assignments from teachers, as well as any virtual platforms where students have typically received assignments and teacher feedback.

  • Read with or have your child read lesson and project directions. Read to your child, listen to your child read, and read together.

  • Email your child's teachers if you have questions pertaining to lessons, and utilize teacher's web pages for assignment information, and other educational ideas.

  • Google service-learning projects which can be done from home.

  • Create a log for assignment work time and completion dates.

  • Remind your child of the responsibility for the appropriate use of school Chromebooks, laptops, and school music instruments as well as to treat these items responsibly to avoid damages.

  • Schedule time for your child to play games, and promote physical activity. Reduce game time that can be played on the phone or computer as that adds additional screen time.

  • Monitor your child's social media posts.

  • Enjoy this learning time together, and talk about what they are learning.

We recognize that social distancing has been ordered to reduce the risk of the transmission of the Coronavirus. This is especially difficult as children of all ages enjoy and look forward to the daily contact with their friends, teachers, coaches and advisors. This certainly presents challenge, but also opportunities for creative ways to connect through virtual meetings and hangouts. Monitoring how your child does this will ensure they find positive and appropriate ways to engage and interact with each other.

We welcome questions, suggestions, comments and welcome the opportunity to support our students and their families!

3/22/2020

District Receives Local Support through Donations

Go Bag Meal Deliveries--A BIG thank you to our local Viroqua Wal-Mart for donating two boxes of new Wal-Mart plastic grocery bags. "Go Meals" will be placed into these bags for easier distribution. Our De Soto Booster Club has also pledged several thousand dollars to purchase mini-soft side coolers to help keep the food, milk and juice cool during distribution. The "Go Bag" meals will continue to be placed in the Wal-Mart plastic grocery bags, and those bags will then be placed into the mini-coolers to keep food and beverages cool during transportation and pick-up times. Families should plan on exchanging the mini-coolers each day or the empty mini-coolers can be left at the bus drop-off or school pick-up points. The mini-coolers will be disinfected before re-use.

Food Pantry--We are also extremely appreciative of the monetary, food and beverage donations received from the Genoa Bank, Genoa Lions, De Soto Lions, Stoddard Lions/Lionesses, John Cina 7 foundation, De Soto Booster Club, and other individual donors. Over the last several months these donations of food, beverages, and money for the food pantry located at De Soto Middle/High School are now being used to meet many current needs right now. We are making up food boxes that are distributed to Pk-12th grade families on bus routes, and boxes are also available for pick-up at De Soto Middle/High School. PK-12th grade families who would benefit from a Food Box should contact the De Soto Middle/High School Office at (608-648-0100). Please leave your name, name of your child if the last name is different, address and phone number. Food boxes will be delivered by bus or can be picked up at each school building if your child is participating in the Go Bag meal program. If that arrangement doesn't work, please call us at the previously noted phone number so we can assist you!

Donations are welcome for kid-friendly foods and beverages as well as pet food. We also stock dry and canned dog and cat food thanks to a generous donor who wanted to ensure the children had enough food and were not sharing what they needed so their pets could eat.

3/20/2020

"Go Bag" Meals & School Work

The De Soto Area School District provided over 500 meals last Thursday, and more than 600 meals last Friday to students through morning bus deliveries, and via school building curbside pick-up. We so appreciated seeing the happy faces of many children who as they received their school meals greeted the bus drivers and staff so positively. We were so glad for the appreciative comments received, and are grateful that the food service program is able to help maintain a little bit of school-day continuity for our students. Some students were also recipients of school work, Chromebooks, and textbooks, and that made them smile as well. How wonderful is that!

The Food Service staff would like students to know that they can expect a greater variety of food and fresh fruit in their "Go Bag" meals this week as this program gets further underway. Students who are signed up for the food service may also receive school work and materials from time-to-time, and more frequently if they do not have internet access at their home.

Parents may wish to consider providing a box or cooler at the pick-up point if no-one is able to collect the food and school work at the time of delivery. Parents may sign-up at any time for this FREE meal service. To sign-up click on this link Go Bag Meal Survey or contact the Food Service Office at (608) 648-0111.

Updated 3/18/2020

"Go Bag Breakfasts/Lunches" Start Thursday, March 19

The De Soto School District will begin a weekday "Go Bag" breakfast & lunch program starting the morning of Thursday, March 18. School buses will be delivering the meals which may also come with homework assignments, and educational materials. Bus drivers will be joined by staff who will assist with handing out meals and school work at regular morning bus route pick-up times for participating students.

"Go Bags" will also be available at Stoddard Elementary, De Soto Middle/High School, and Prairie View Elementary for parent or student pick-up between 7:30-8:30 a.m. weekday mornings.

Thank you to our parents who helped us identify those who wished to participate and where the deliver or pick-up point would occur. Betsy Knutson, Food Service Director and the Food Service Staff will be providing 240 meals based on the participation sign-up.

Sign-up for the FREE "Go Bag" meal services may occur at any time throughout the mandated school closure period. Meals are available for ALL De Soto School District students inclusive of students who are 18 years old or older. Families with children who are not our District students, but who reside in the District boundaries and who are under the age of 18 may sign-up at any time for the FREE meal service. To sign-up click on this link Go Bag Meal Survey or contact the Food Service Office at (608) 648-0111.

8th Grade Washington, D.C. Trip Postponed

The De Soto Middle School 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. is postponed until the 2020-21 school year. The District is committed to providing safe and healthy learning environments for our students. We do not believe or perceive a trip of this nature would be aligned to this commitment at this time. We have been continually monitoring the changing dynamics of the COVID-19 Coronavirus infection spread rate along with travel restrictions and prevention recommendations from the CDC and Wisconsin Department of Health Service, as well as orders from Governor Evers initiating school closures for an indefinite time period, and placing limits on mass gatherings.

Middle school teachers and administrators are truly sorry for the disappointment that this will cause our students, and sincerely hope that learning that this is a planned postponement will be somewhat uplifting. Administration and teachers will work alongside parents in considering plans for next year, and will continue assess all known health and safety issues in preparation for rescheduling a future trip.

Students Please Check Your School Google Email

Students are asked to check their school Google Email accounts. Students are receiving Google Classroom invitations from teachers and counselors who are electing to use this format for providing lessons, assignments, and assessment. Students can do work and upload work to the Google Classroom. Parents remind your child(ren) to check their Google email.

3/17/2020

De Soto Area School Building Access Dates & Times

Parents and students who wish to pick up any remaining personal items, books and materials, hard copy assignments, and medications may do so for all three school buildings (De Soto Middle/High School, Prairie View Elementary, and Stoddard Elementary on the following dates and times. Additionally, parents and students who indicated a need for Chromebooks may pick those up at the same time. A check-out form must be completed prior to taking a chromebook home. Click on this link to print off the form: Chromebook Check-Out Form

Please note the Governor's order on March 17 prohibits more than 10 people in any one area. Access levels will be monitored by school secretaries as they admit people into the building areas. We appreciate your patience.

All School Buildings--Access for Parents & Students

  • Wednesday, March 18: 7:30am--3:30pm

  • Thursday, March 19: 10:30am--5:30pm

Parents/students who are unable to come at these times may contact their school's office to arrange another date/time. De Soto Middle/High School (608) 648-0100; Prairie View Elementary (608) 648-2227; Stoddard Elementary (608) 457-2101

We appreciate your understanding today as admittance was allowed for student medications to be picked up in the school offices; however, access was restricted to other areas of our school buildings for most of the day due to cleaning protocols in the common areas of our schools.

Food Service Student Meals Follow-Up Survey

De Soto Area School District will provide a FREE of charge "Go Bag Breakfast & Lunch" program on weekdays to all De Soto students and to all non-students under the age of 18 who reside in our district boundaries throughout the duration of the school closure order. Parents have the option to pick-up the "Go Bag" meals at school buildings or have the meals delivered at morning bus route pick-up locations and times. Parents who would like their children to participate in the meal service are asked to complete this survey: Go Bag Meal Survey

Parents who select to have delivery must have someone present at the regular morning bus pick-up locations and time to receive the meals. School work may also be delivered for students or exchanged upon completion as well.

This is a new outreach service for our families and we ask for your understanding as we work through some inevitable glitches as we implement this program. Please know our goal is to provide our students with a breakfast and lunch item, and to also piggy-back with schoolwork and homework exchanges.

  1. Complete survey requesting Go Bag meals.

  2. Indicate on the survey if you wish to pick-up the meals at a school location or have them delivered to morning bus rout pick-up locations and times.

  3. Have someone waiting at the bus pick-up location at the normal morning time to receive the meals and any school work exchanges.

The "Go Bag Breakfast and Go Bag Lunch" program will start on Thursday, March 19, 2020.

De Soto School Closure Indefinite

Governor Evers directed Secretary Palm of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to order effective at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all public and private schools and institutions of higher education in the State of Wisconsin shall close for instructional and extracurricular activities at 5:00 p.m. Such institutions shall remain closed for the duration of the public health emergency or until a subsequent order lifts this specific restriction.

Gov. Evers Indefinite School Closure Order

School Food Pantry

Two recent generous donations have allowed us to well stock the food pantry at De Soto Middle/High School. Families from any of our schools who would like us to box up food for your family or who would like to come in and select food items are welcome to do so. Please call De Soto Middle/High School office for assistance at (608) 648-0100.

3/16/2020

De Soto Schools Closing Tue, March 17

The De Soto Area School District will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in an effort to minimize contact and to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will remain closed through Friday, April 3, 2020.

As this significant health challenge continues to evolve daily and by the hour we are working with local and statewide agencies to stay current with information as it becomes available. It is our plan to update all stakeholders as timely as possible using our School Messenger System and the District website. Parents, students, and staff can find updated information at www.desoto.k12.wi.us by clicking on the Coronavirus link.

School buildings will be open Tuesday, March 17 from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. for parents to pick up medications, or parents may call their child's school to arrange another time this week.

A follow-up food service survey will be conducted on Tuesday for parents to confirm their child's participation in the FREE meal service program for "Go Bag Breakfasts" and "Go Bag Lunches." This service is free to all District students, and is offered free to any child under the age of 18 who resides in the District's boundaries.

We will continue to take any and all measures to keep our students, staff, and community safe. Thank you for your ongoing support of our students and the District.


Updated: 3/15/2020

School Closure

Under the direction of Governor Evers, Secretary Palm of the Wisconsin Department of Health Serviced ordered a statewide closure of all K-12 public and private schools beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

The De Soto School District will be closed starting Wednesday, March 18. This will provide an opportunity for students to bring closure to current lessons, take home educational materials and personal items, and families will be able to pick up medications that students normally take at school during the weekdays. Teachers will also be working on providing lesson and materials in hard copy as well as through electronic learning options.

The District recognizes that some parents may wish to keep their child(ren) home from school this week. The District respects and supports parents who choose to make this decision. Please contact your child's school to obtain academic work.

Medication Pick-Up

Schools are not permitted to release prescription and non-prescription medications to students to take home. Parents/Guardians must pick up any medications their child(ren) will need during the school closure period, as well as bring them in to schools when the school closure period ends. Please plan to pick these medications up during normal school operating hours Monday through Wednesday, March 16-18. Other arrangements can be made by contacting your child's school office.

Updated: 3/15/2020

Food Service

The U.S.D.A. has announced that school districts that offer meal service during ordered school closures will be able to provide those services FREE of charge to ALL students regardless of full, free or reduced lunch status. Additionally, food service will be offered FREE to all children residing in the district boundaries who are under the age of 18. The district is also working with the two private schools that reside within our boundaries in order to identify children under the age of 18 whose parents wish to participate.

We recognize our students depend on schools for weekday breakfasts and lunches. Betsy Knutson, Food Service Director and the Food Service staff are working on logistics to provide a "Go Bag Breakfast" and a "Go Bag Lunch" for distribution at offsite locations. We will provide updates through School Messenger and this website on distribution dates, times and locations.

Parents/Guardians were asked to inform the district on the survey if they would like their child(ren) to participate in the "Go Bag Breakfast" and "Go Bag Lunch" offering. The survey link was provided in the letter emailed by School Messenger to parents/guardians on March 13. If you did not receive the survey information contact Linzi Gronning: lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us and the link will be emailed to you.


3/13/2020

Parent/Guardian Survey

The District is committed to doing everything we can to ensure our students and families have the resources and support needed during the school closure period. Parents/Guardians were invited in a School Messenger email to complete a survey by Tuesday, March 17 to assist us with identifying need areas in areas of food service, technology, and support services through the school nurse, counselors and/or school psychologist. Parents/Guardians who did not receive the survey link please contact Linzi Gronning: lgronning@desoto.k12.wi.us and the survey link will be emailed to you.

3/13/2020

Parent/Guardian School Closure Information

Please click on this link to view the emailed letter to parents sent via School Messenger on March 13, 2020. Parent/Guardian School Closure (School Messenger Email)


Updated: 3/15/2020

Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

A continued theme from public health officials recommends these practices be followed during the flu season and in response to concerns over COVID-19.

We encourage you to talk to your child about ways to stay healthy and help reduce the transmission of illness. Health officials recommend getting vaccinated for influenza, and taking everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Washing hands frequently and for 20 seconds with soap and water.

  • Covering mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

  • Staying home when sick.

  • Return to school when symptom free without the use of medication for 72 hours.

  • Contact a health care provider with questions.

The Vernon County Health Department provided the following information:

  • Anyone identified with COVID-19 needs to be under a 14 day quarantine and at least 72 hours symptom free.

  • For anyone suspect of COVID-19 or who has traveled to an outbreak area needs to be 14 days quarantine.

Please click on the two links for more information. Flu/COVID-19 Information & Resources COVID-19 Fact Sheet


3/6/2020

School Health Response Committee

The De Soto Area School District is committed to supporting the health and well-being of our students, families, and staff. On February 26, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) provided updated guidance to school districts to form a committee and plan a response to a potential pandemic.

The District's current practices mirror the components found in the WI DPI’s “pandemic plan measures” and includes annual:

  • health services (fall flu vaccination clinics at schools)

  • staff training on a variety of health topics

  • monitoring staff and student absences related to illnesses

  • providing health information educating families and students on preventative strategies

  • disinfection procedures for facilities and transportation vehicles, and

  • utilizing community health, state and national resources on health topics.

The review of practices associated with pandemic plan measures will address the potential severity of a pandemic outbreak and the impact to our school district and community. The review will further our current practices in the areas of, but not necessarily limited to:

  • staff training in respect to a pandemic outbreak

  • information and referrals to community resources for students, families and staff

  • additional return-to-school protocols and communications following a pandemic

  • ongoing health monitoring during a pandemic in conjunction with the Health Department

  • ongoing infection control education related to a pandemic

  • financial implications, and

  • legislative requirements for instruction in respect to cancellation of school due to a pandemic outbreak.

The District is vigilant about health issues, and are following the guidance to further develop our normal health related practices expanding our District’s planning measures to addresses a pandemic outbreak. This process will be overseen by our District School Nurse, Opal Hostert, R.N. The District’s medical advisor, a local physician, will be included in a review process along with the School Board Policy Committee and the School Board,

Additionally, the District has also hosted public presentations on two other relevant health topics of vaping and suicide awareness and prevention. We value our role in working with our families and our community to address the health and well-being of our students, their families, our staff and the community.

Information on the initial work of the committee was shared in a letter to parents. COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Planning

Click here for the De Soto Area School District Pandemic Plan

2/28/2020

Influenza

Symptoms of Influenza include:

  • Fever (temperature of 100 or higher) or feeling feverish/having chills

  • Cough

  • Sore throat

  • Runny or stuffy nose

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Vomiting/diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

If your child has any of these symptoms, please keep them home from school. They need to be symptom free without the use of medication for 24 hours before returning to school. Click here for letter from district nurse: Parent/Guardian Influenza Information