Reopening News

Sussex Tech is committed to providing our school community with the latest, most up-to-date information on the coronavirus pandemic and our school reopening situation. Please click below for other information resources:

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October 9: COVID Notification

Dear Sussex Tech community,

We have learned that two staff members at the Sussex County Vocational Technical School District have tested positive for COVID-19. People who have been in close contact with these staff members have been notified individually. If you have not received a call or email, there is no need to take action. The staff members, who practiced proper social distancing and mask-wearing protocols, will not return to work until cleared.

As a precaution, our campus will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 12-13, for a deep clean, and reopen Wednesday, Oct. 14. Classes and meetings will still be held remotely during that time. Our staff will be working remotely. If you need to reach our high school office during that time, please call 302-856-0961 and leave a message; messages will be checked periodically throughout the day.

Sussex Tech adheres to strict cleaning, social distancing, and hygiene protocols.  This is our best defense against COVID-19 and its spread. 

For our parents, we encourage you to monitor your children for any symptoms of COVID-19. If a student or staff member is sick with any of the following symptoms, stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or headache or congestion or runny nose without a known cause such as allergies.

Our school nurses are available to support your family by reviewing symptoms to watch for, answering questions you may have, assisting with follow up communications, and providing further information on available testing sites. 

COVID-19 testing is free and available in our local community. The Division of Public Health encourages all Delawareans – whether you are experiencing symptoms or not – to consider getting a free test. Visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing/ for information on free COVID-19 testing in Delaware.

If you have questions, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us.  We will continue updating you as needed.

Sincerely,
Dr. Kevin Carson

Acting Superintendent
Sussex County Vocational Technical School District



October 1: Sign Up for Text Messages

If you want to sign up for text messages for school news, events, closings, and more, just text “Y” or “Yes” to 67587. You can opt out at any time by replying “Stop” to one of our messages. We use the SchoolMessenger system to communicate with our families via calls, emails, and now texts. Click here for more information in English and Spanish.


September 24, 2020

Fall sports will start practices on Monday, September 28. Students who want to participate should take the following steps:

  • Students should come dressed ready to practice. They will need to wear a mask at all times, including during practice, and provide their own water.
  • Physicals for last year’s student-athletes are still valid. Any freshmen, transfer students, or students who did not participate last year must have a completed DIAA physical. The form is available on the Nurses’ page at sussexvt.org.
  • All students must have a completed and signed Emergency Health Form on file.
  • Both the physical form and the Emergency Health Form are on the nurses’ page at sussexvt.org.
  • Any students who has asthma, a history of cardiac or respiratory disorder, or sickle-cell trait needs clearance from a physican to participate with a mask.
  • Physicals and clearance forms should be sent to our Athletic Trainer, Heather Heidel, at heather.heidel@sussexvt.k12.de.usEmergency Health Forms should be sent to our school nurses at nurses@sussexvt.k12.de.us.
  • On September 28, football, field hockey, soccer, cross-country and volleyball will practice from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Please report directly to the field. Cheerleading will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Practices will take place Monday through Friday as normal.
  • If you have not already contacted your respective coach, please reach out to them to let them know you plan on trying out.

For general questions, please contact Athletic Director Nick Pegelow at nick.pegelow@sussexvt.k12.de.us.




September 23, 2020

Attendance Policies

For this remote learning period, we have adopted the following student attendance policies:

  • Teachers will record student attendance each day.
  • For live video lesson days, students must log in to Schoology or Zoom and be present for the class.
  • For independent learning days, students must either log in to Schoology each day or submit completed assignments.

Parents may check attendance through Home Access CenterYou may read the full policy on our website on the Student Handbook page.

Emergency Health Forms

The Emergency Health Form must be completed before students can come on campus for any in-person instruction or activities. This form can be filled out online, but must be printed, signed by the parent or guardian, and returned. Parents or guardians can to mail the signed form back to Sussex Technical High School; scan it and email it to nurses@sussexvt.k12.de.us; or take a clear photo and email it to nurses@sussexvt.k12.de.us.

Click here to access the Emergency Health Form.


September 14, 2020

Dear Sussex Tech families,

 After consultation with teachers and parents, we are modifying the daily schedule as follows to maximize student-teacher learning time:

  • On Wednesdays and Thursdays, which are normally independent learning days, teachers may hold extra optional live video sessions in addition to the Monday and Tuesday sessions.
  • If teachers choose to offer these additional lessons, they will be scheduled during the normal odd/even class period.
  • Teachers will share this information with families in advance.
  • Click here to see the schedule.

Virtual Spirit Week

Next week, we are happy to host Virtual Spirit Week so you can show your Tech pride from home! Just take a selfie and email it to  dan.shortridge@sussexvt.k12.de.us from your Sussex Tech email account, or use #TechSpiritWeek20 on social media.

  • Monday, Sept. 21: The Future’s So Bright / Career-Technical Day – Wear career, college or military gear with sunglasses
  • Tuesday, Sept. 22: Act of Kindness Day – Share a photo or video of you volunteering, helping a neighbor, honoring a veteran, or donating your time to a community cause
  • Wednesday, Sept. 23: Superhero Day – Dress like your favorite superhero (teachers count!)
  • Thursday, Sept. 24: Virtual Twin Day – Match with your bestie and create a side-by-side collage
  • Friday, Sept. 25: Raven Pride Day – Put on your black & silver!


September 7, 2020

Dear Sussex Tech freshmen and transfer students,

Following up on our message from Friday, we are happy to let you know that the login problem with Schoology has been fixed. For freshman orientation on Tuesday morning, please follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Schoology account, following the directions you received in the mail last week.
  2. Click “Groups” at the top of the page.
  3. Click on the “Freshman Orientation” group.
  4. You will be taken to a page where you will see the link for the freshman orientation video.

Counselor Contacts

If you have additional questions about your schedule or other academic topics, we encourage you to reach out to your counselor. They are available each day between 7:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. for student and parent communication. You can use the form on our website at sussexvt.org to make an appointment or contact counselors directly. Their contact information is below, organized by your student’s last name:

A-D: Mr. Gemez Tull, 302-854-2820, extension 2, or gemez.tull@sussexvt.k12.de.us E-K: Mr. Greg Hockman, 302-854-2820, extension 3, or greg.hockman@sussexvt.k12.de.us L-Roe: Mr. Mike Firch, 302-854-2820, extension 4, or mike.firch@sussexvt.k12.de.us Rof-Z: Ms. Tina Palizzi, 302-854-2820, extension 5, or tina.palizzi@sussexvt.k12.de.us

Textbook Pickup This Week

Please also remember that textbook pickup for freshmen and sophomores in certain classes will take place on Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. A list of teachers requiring textbooks for their classes can be found here (scroll down to the Textbooks item).

Remember to check our family Q&A online here, or email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us if you have questions not answered there.



September 4, 2020
Dear Sussex Tech families: We hope you are looking forward to the start of school next week. We have several updates for you today.
>> First: Some of our freshmen and transfer students have had problems logging in to the Schoology online learning platform. This is a larger issue than just Sussex Tech, and we are working with Schoology on solving it. If it is not fixed by Tuesday morning, please log on to our website, sussexvt.org, or our Facebook page to view our freshman/transfer student orientation video.
>> Second: If you are not receiving email or phone message updates from us, please call our Student Services office at 854-2820 to make sure we have your family’s current email address and phone number on file. We send detailed updates and information by email, and shorter messages by an automated phone system.
>> Third: We are now accepting applications for officer positions for the Student Government Association. The application is on our website, sussexvt.org, under the Students tab. They must be turned in by 3:15 p.m. on September 18.
>> Fourth: Seniors, if you have not already had your senior yearbook picture taken, please email Ms. Vadnais immediately at nicole.vadnais@sussexvt.k12.de.us for an appointment time. These appointments must be kept. We have no more time to reschedule appointments so that seniors can be included in the regular portrait section of the yearbook. Our last day to photograph seniors for the senior section is October 9. Any photos taken after October 9 will be included in a separate section of the yearbook. If you have any questions, email Ms. Vadnais at nicole.vadnais@sussexvt.k12.de.us.
Have a good weekend and stay safe!


August 28, 2020: Welcome Letter and Family Q&A!

Please click here for our 2020-21 reopening Q&A, which answers questions about schedules, grading, services, technology, and much more. If there is a question not answered there, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us. You can also read the welcome letter from Principal Dr. John Demby.


August 24, 2020: Textbook Return Reminder

Dear Sussex Tech families: Please remember that we are holding textbook returns this week.

  • Seniors on Wednesday, August 26
  • Juniors on Thursday, August 27
  • Sophomores on Friday, August 28

Please bring your textbooks to school between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on those dates. Please park your vehicles in the main bus parking lot near the gym, and have your students take their books to tables on the sidewalk. Staff members will be able to assist. Calculators are not included in this.

All textbooks and materials will be sanitized at the end of each day before going back into classrooms. Students should wear masks. Students can also have the opportunity to enter the school, escorted by staff, and clean out their lockers at this time.

If you cannot stop by on your assigned day, please call the high school office to leave a detailed message with a call-back number at 302-856-0961.



August 21, 2020: Reopening Update



Good morning, Raven Nation. It’s Friday, August 21. I hope you’re well; I hope that your week has gone well. It’s hard to believe that our summer is progressing as fast as it is.

I wanted to give you an update regarding the reopening of our school district and what our plans are going forward. We had a school board meeting last night, and our Board voted to approve that we will be opening under what we’re calling a modified remote plan.

We’ll be operating remotely, but teaches will have the flexibility to hold in-person programs on a voluntary basis, with parent permission, and we think this is an opportunity to slowly reacquaint students with school and to allow them to participate in the variety of programs that we have in the school district.

Safety and security is paramount. I can tell you that your school building is clean, that it is sanitized, and that it is ready to receive students. 

Our teachers are actively engaged in professional development to improve upon the remote learning programs that we started in the spring and will be continuing through at least the first marking period this school year.

But the opportunity to come to school, transportation provided, will be based upon the teacher’s ability to receive students; to do demonstrations; to provide Internet access to students who may not be able to have access to it; to receive services – all will be done in a very controlled and measured way.

We want students to be able to have access to our facilities and to our great teaching staff in order to start their program and continue forth.

We continue to keep a close eye on all of the numbers in terms of positivity tates and number of students who are impacted, and will continue to watch over that. As I said earlier, we’re planning on this method of delivery to be through the first marking period of this school year. Our committees and our folks will continue to meet throughout the first marking period, analyzing our work and what we’ve been able to do and the effectiveness of our delivery, also looking at the numbers, and then making the decision about second marking period.

We’re in a highly flexible situation and the ability to adapt and to change and to be flexible is critically important.

We want individuals who come to school – parents, students or staff – to feel that they’re coming to the safest possible environment that they can in order to take advantage of the educational services that we offer.

Our adult education program will continue to function, again, practicing safety protocols. Driver’s education will continue, again, everything with safety protocols.

Our world is different, and our ability to adapt to that changing world is going to go a long way towards our ability to move forward under the new climate in which we’re going to be operating.

We’ll continue to keep you posted about information as it comes, and as it changes. As I indicated, there will be information coming from the Sussex Technical High School regarding schedules and travel arrangements when you’re supposed to be in school through that first week. School will start on September 8 and we’ll be doing orientation during the week of the 8th. We have school on Monday the 14th, and we have primary day – no school – on September 15.

We’ll keep you posted, we’ll keep you apprised. We ask that you continue to stay safe; we ask that you continue to practice safe guidelines. You’ll be receiving more and more communications from the school as far as materials and supplies and access to the school. Please be patient; we’ll do the best we can to communicate regarding the details of our reopening, and you’ll be getting more information the first part of the week. Take care, stay safe, and have a great weekend. 

-- Dr. Kevin Carson, Acting Superintendent

 

 


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August 13, 2020: Reopening Update




Hello, Raven Nation! I hope you are well and enjoying your summer. This is Kevin Carson, your acting superintendent, with some additional information for you regarding the start of our school year.

On Tuesday evening of this week, our Board of Education approved a revision to our school calendar which has been posted on our website, at sussexvt.org. The changes include moving the first day for freshmen to September 8th as an orientation day, and the first day for all students is September 9th.

We are continuing to work on specific reopening plans which include a hybrid or a complete remote model. Thank you to all who completed the family survey.

Our Board of Education will be meeting next week to hear additional information regarding both plans and to decide on our reopening. We will communicate this decision through all possible media.

These are interesting times with information changing daily. I want to assure you the safety of our students and staff is the major component in our decision-making. We also want to deliver the best possible instruction to our students as they prepare for their careers.

I want to thank each and everyone of you for continuing to trust Sussex Tech in these changing times. Parents, teachers, staff and students are all part of the team. Working together, I am confident we can overcome our challenges and provide the best technical education possible. Have a great day, take care, and continue to be safe.



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August 11, 2020: New Calendar

The Board of Education approved a revised 2020-21 calendar at its August 11 meeting. Click here for more details.

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August 5, 2020: Reopening Survey

As Dr. Carson noted in his recent message, we would like your input in developing our reopening plan. Please click here to take an important survey. It will close Monday, August 10, at 10 a.m. If you have multiple students attending Sussex Technical High School, please complete the survey once for each student.

If you have additional thoughts after completing the survey, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us.

Take the survey here


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August 3, 2020: Message from the Superintendent



Hello, Sussex Tech community. My name is Kevin Carson, and I’m your acting superintendent here at the Sussex County Vocational-Technical School District.

I’d like to introduce myself and give you a little background information about my work over the years. I actually started my career here in Sussex Tech many, many years ago, and I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to work as superintendent in a number of school districts here in Sussex County.

These are certainly interesting times and create challenges for all of us. But I’m confident we’re going to be able to persevere and do the best possible job we can for our students.

First and foremost, from all of us here at Sussex Tech, we hope that you and your families are well and that you are safe, and that the impact of COVID is something that you’ve been able to manage to the best of your ability.

Our first priority and hope is that we are able to welcome our students and staff back to school in a safe and productive manner. We have been working on implementation of the safety and instructional guidelines recommended to us by the Delaware Department of Education. If the decision is made to open with in-person instruction, all required safety precautions will be in place.

I wanted to begin the process of communicating with you about where we are, what we have been working on and what decisions are yet to be made. Additional messages will be coming to you as our work continues.

Regarding our buildings and safety precautions, our absolutely great maintenance and custodial team has been thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting our buildings, classrooms and offices, all with approved cleaning products.

Hand sanitizer and masks have been received and actually have been reordered for our district. I’m sure you have invested in or have received your own masks, I think that’s great; please keep them handy.

We have two staff committees (approximately 30 people) representing all employee groups working on our operations and instructional delivery programs. When we have completed our draft options we will survey you for your thoughts, possibly this week. Following the review and surveys, the plan will be presented to the Board of Education for consideration and final details will be shared with you when approved.

In addition, I will be recommending to the Board of Education for the school calendar to be modified to start classes after Labor Day. If this recommendation is approved by the Board, the first day for students will not be August 31, it will be after Labor Day. We will have more details for you regarding the calendar next week.

We are developing two possible instructional delivery methods. The first is remote learning, where students would receive instruction digitally or through materials provided by the school. The second is a hybrid model, where students would physically be in school part of the week and learning remotely other times.

I would like to say thank you to all parents, students and staff for your patience and understanding about this unprecedented time. I appreciate the work of all of our staff and to our Board of Education, who also wants the best and safest option for everyone in the Tech community. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will be sharing with you as soon as decisions are made.

If you have any questions, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us.

I hope you have a great and safe day, and we hope to see you soon. Thank you.


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