COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
"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.
"Go Bag Breakfasts/Lunches" Start Thursday, March 18
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.
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.
Complete survey requesting Go Bag meals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Tuesday, March, March 16-18. 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.
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.
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: email@example.com and the link will be emailed to you.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org and the survey link will be emailed to you.
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)
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
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.
Symptoms of Influenza include:
Fever (temperature of 100 or higher) or feeling feverish/having chills
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
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