AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL ELKHART I.S.D
STUDENTS AND PARENTS
“REGARDING INFECTIOUS DISEASES AND ILLNESSES”
Infectious disease – namely the Ebola Virus – is a matter of concern among all educators this week. At Elkhart I.S.D. we continuously monitor (along with our local and regional health officials) all potentially dangerous situations. We also have in Board Policy (FFAD-LEGAL) measures in place in the event any outbreak should occur. The District follows specific policies and protocols for students and staff who may potentially come in contact with any infectious diseases. At present, we have not been informed of and are not aware of any cases in our immediate area.
In response to specific infectious diseases, we may ask new students enrolling in our District or students traveling or who may have relatives traveling from regions know to have been affected by a contagious disease to respond to health related questions. Again, we will also continue to work closely with our local, state, and federal public health authorities to monitor new developments related to infectious diseases.
We are committed to keeping our students, staff, and community informed of potential situations, and will make every effort to share this information with all personnel. Historically, these communications have involved various strains of Influenza virus. In accordance with recommended precautions during cold and flu season, I encourage you to speak with children about the importance of practicing good hygiene. Below are a few general tips that you may find helpful:
--Avoid close contact with anyone who may be ill.
--Wash your hands with soap and hot water often.
--Do not share food or drinks with others.
--Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
--Use hand sanitizers and avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
--Clean and disinfect all surfaces often.
--Seek medical attention when warranted without delay.
--Remain at home if ill or experiencing any symptoms of illness.
--Remain at home for at least 24 hours after high fever has subsided.
Additionally, please speak with your child concerning the importance of communicating accurately about infectious disease. Our students should understand that making false statements regarding the existence of illness or disease on a campus could cause an unnecessary panic, result in a false alarm, unnecessary absences and adversely impact learning. False statements are dangerous and could result in criminal prosecution. They are also not a “joking matter.” At least one student has already been charged with making such a false statement about his campus on Twitter.
If you or any of your family members should come into contact with anyone believed to have been exposed to the Ebola virus or experience any symptoms related to the Ebola virus (or any other infectious disease), we urge you to contact your healthcare provider immediately. The District takes all matters related to illness seriously, and we ask that you do the same.
Again, if you have any questions or concerns or wish to share any information you believe might be helpful, I hope you will free to contact my office at any time.
Ray DeSpain, Ed. D.
Elkhart I.S.D. Superintendent
“ELKHART I.S.D CONTINUES FACIILITY UPGRADES”
Ray DeSpain, Ed. D., Elkhart ISD Superintendent
We continually strive to improve in all areas on a daily basis at Elkhart I.S.D., and such is the case with our facilities as well. Many of you have noticed the improvements taking place over the past several months on the main campus area. Our Board of Trustees made the commitment last Fall to construct a much needed parking lot and bus lane for our students, staff, and community.
We started out by removing two trailer houses and two portable modular buildings that had served as classrooms for our Elementary and Intermediate Art and Special Needs programs. Next, we demolished two old classroom wings and two storage buildings that had become unsafe and were basically condemned. The old bus drive closest to the street was removed, as were several unsafe and uneven sidewalks.
Once the area was completely vacant and leveled, we began the process of replacing several antiquated utility systems. Dangerous overhead electric and communications lines were replaced with new underground cables, lines, and systems, and new transformers were installed. New main water lines were installed. Over 800 linear feet of new ten inch PVC sewer line was installed to replace the six inch clay pipe line that had been in place since 1936, along with three new manholes. The on-going storm drainage problem has been rectified by the installation of a totally new system of pipe, catch basins, retaining walls, berms, and sod. New natural gas lines have replaced dangerous older lines.
The new bus drive consists of 43,810 square feet of seven inch thick concrete, and the new parking areas consist of 68,545 square feet of five and a half inch thick concrete. The bus drive now allows us to stage twelve route busses end to end, and the parking lots have made room for over 160 new multi-purpose (Employee, Elk Theater, Softball, and Football) parking slots. The new covered canopies that run the length of the bus drive provide a much safer and more comfortable drop-off and pick-up area for students. The entire project is very well lit, both with an overhead pole system in the parking areas and mounted lights every twenty feet within the covered canopies. The new electronic marquee keeps citizens abreast of EISD happenings. The Elk Theater and Intermediate Gym also received much needed “face-lifts” on the exterior walls. Handicapped ramps and parking spaces also are provided, as well as hand rails for steps, which keep Elkhart ISD in full compliance with A.D.A. standards.
The entire project was paid for with fund balance monies, and no new taxes had to be imposed. Elkhart ISD would like to publicly thank Goodwin-Lasiter Architects, Kingham Construction, London Concrete, White Electric, The City of Elkhart, O.L. Grimsley and the Elkhart I.S.D. Maintenance Department, and Crockett Construction for their efforts and cooperation. Also, thanks go out to Joe Estes and David Lust for their contributions to the project. Special thanks goes out to our patient and understanding neighbors along Highway 294 who dealt with many early morning wake-up calls from arriving concrete trucks and many other inconveniences during the course of construction.
ELKHART INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT
Office of the Superintendent
August 25, 2014
Students and Parents, Elkhart ISD:
In an attempt to portray our image of CLASS and CHARACTER to our community (as well as to our visitors and opponents), we will be adhering to stringent guideline for our Elkhart ISD students at all extracurricular events this year. We will ask this in both our APPEARANCE and in our ACTIONS.
Due to the fact that extracurricular events are school-sponsored events on school grounds, all Elkhart ISD student dress code and code of conduct regulations will be enforced by the administrators, coaches, and sponsors. Students will be asked to either sit in the bleachers, or stand in the area on the South end of the stadium. Pick-up games, running around, etc. will not be allowed inside the stadium or on school grounds (to include the softball field). Students failing to comply with code of conduct and/or dress code regulations will be asked to leave the stadium, face disciplinary actions, and forfeit game attendance privileges for the remainder of the season. Elkhart ISD students will not be allowed to go to the visitor’s side without a parent’s request and administrator approval. Any person leaving the stadium will have to re-pay to re-enter.
In accordance with University Interscholastic League regulations, we are required to provide the following in print for all students and parents:
“Only uniformed players, participants, security officers, and administrators will be allowed inside the fenced area. Any student, parent, or fan who taunts, insults, touches, abuses or harasses any player, coach, official or participant will be escorted from the premises. Depending on the severity of the offense, charges may be filed and the offender will be prohibited from upcoming events.”
Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to positive, sportsmanlike competition and a great year.
Ray DeSpain, Ed. D.
Elkhart ISD Superintendent