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March 12, 2021: Expanding In-Person Learning + Important Survey

Dear Sussex Tech families,

I’m pleased to tell you we will be expanding our learning opportunities for students in several ways. The Board of Education approved a plan this week which will support our students both in-person and remotely as we move forward into the fourth marking period.

We will be sharing more details in the weeks to come, but these are the highlights:

  • Beginning Monday, March 29, students will be able to attend classes in-person four days a week, Monday through Thursday. Transportation will be offered to students who need it. Students will continue to have the option of learning remotely, but must commit to either attending in-person four days a week or fully remote. Please click here and complete this survey by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 18, to let us know your student’s plans. Due to COVID restrictions, there is a limit to the number of students on campus at one time, so please let us know of your plans as soon as possible.
  • Bus drivers will begin contacting students starting this afternoon and continuing into next week regarding transportation options.
  • Our schedule will be changing slightly beginning March 29, with in-person students arriving between 8:05 and 8:25 a.m.; classes beginning at 8:30 a.m.; and classes ending at 3:15 p.m.
  • We will also be offering the Raven Academy, a pilot after-school in-person learning opportunity for selected students who need the most assistance. Students will be able to stay after school and get one-on-one coaching or help from teachers with study skills, writing or research assistance, or general tutoring. Students learning remotely may also Zoom with our teachers to get help. Students who are eligible will be contacted by their counselors. This will begin Monday, March 29. The Raven Academy will run from 3:20 to 4:50, and bus transportation will be provided to community drop-off locations. More information will be coming soon.
  • Our optional “reverse field trip” visits by students to select classes for additional work or hands-on learning will continue on Fridays, starting April 16. Teachers will let their classes know of any opportunities. There will be no school on Friday, April 2.

We are also making some changes to our proficiency policies in order to support our students. More information on those will be forthcoming.

We hope you and your students will welcome these changes and take advantage of the opportunities. As always, if you have concerns or questions about your students’ progress, please reach out to their counselor or teacher. If you have general questions, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us.

Please remember to fill out this survey by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 18.

Take care, be safe, and go Ravens!

Principal John Demby, Ed.D.




Friday, Feb. 26, 2021: Remote Learning Next Week
Dear Sussex Tech families,
Upon the recommendation of the Delaware Division of Public Health, Sussex Tech will be continuing all-remote instruction through next Friday, March 5. This is out of an abundance of caution due to recent COVID-19 cases among people associated with our campus child care center. 
I thank you for your continued patience and understanding. These changes can be difficult, but are in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and staff and the entire campus community. Any people who need to quarantine or take other action are being notified by the Division of Public Health.
Students should log on to Schoology to connect with their classes remotely. 
Sussex Tech adheres to strict cleaning, social distancing, and hygiene protocols. This is our best defense against COVID-19 and its spread. Please visit our website, sussexvt.org, and click on Reopening News for additional information on monitoring, symptoms, school nurse support, or free testing.
If you have questions, please email feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us. We will continue updating you as needed.


Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021: Remote Learning Through Friday

Dear Sussex Tech families,

Out of an abundance of caution, after several recent positive COVID-19 test results among people associated with our campus child care center, we will be moving to all-remote instruction for the remainder of this week. Any people who need to quarantine or take other action are being notified by the Division of Public Health.

Students should log on to Schoology to connect with their classes remotely. 

Sussex Tech adheres to strict cleaning, social distancing, and hygiene protocols. This is our best defense against COVID-19 and its spread. Please visit our website, sussexvt.org, and click on Reopening News for additional information on monitoring, symptoms, school nurse support, or free testing.

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


January 26, 2021 (Updated Jan. 29, 2021)


Third Marking Period - Frequently Asked Questions

Learning

How will classes be taught in-person?

Teachers will be teaching from their classrooms to both in-person students and remote students at the same time. Some teachers may ask in-person students to log on to Schoology to access learning resources so they see the same material as remote students. We are asking all in-person students who have a personal computing device to bring it with them.

What does a week look like?

In-person students will be divided into two groups alphabetically:

  • Group 1 will learn in-person Monday and Tuesday and learn remotely Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Group 2 will learn remotely Monday and Tuesday and learn in-person Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Fridays will be flex days for optional live video conferences and “reverse field trips,” or in-person learning opportunities, at teachers’ discretion.

  • All assignments will be due by noon Friday, with the exception of college-level classes and Advanced Placement classes.
  • All instructional materials will be posted no later than Sunday.

What will the daily schedule look like?

Click here for the daily schedule. This is the general outline:

  • In-person students will arrive between 8:30 and 8:40 a.m.
  • Classes for both in-person and remote students will begin at 9 a.m. and go until just after 3 p.m.
  • Buses will leave at 3:15 p.m.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided for free for in-person students.
How will lunches work?

Students will be assigned to a lunch period - A, B, or C - depending on their 5th or 6th period class. Click here for the lunch period assignments, and click here for the daily schedule.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for free for in-person students.

Will the homework load be adjusted?

Given that class times are increasing over the current schedule, we are examining ways to reduce the homework load. More details will be available from teachers.


Item Drop-Offs (added 1/29/21)

Can items like lunches, birthday cakes, or textbooks be dropped off to students during the day?

No. For the safety of all our students, our staff will not accept items to be delivered to students, including but not limited to textbooks, class materials, meals, birthday cakes, etc. The only exception are student medications. We appreciate everyone following these procedures.

Please click here for a letter from Dr. Demby on drop-offs.

Hybrid vs. Remote

If parents want, can students move from hybrid to remote or remote to hybrid during the marking period?

Generally, students will use one learning method consistently throughout the marking period. However, if there are extenuating circumstances, special exceptions may be granted by the Principal on a case-by-case basis.


COVID Precautions

What COVID screening will take place?

All students will receive a temperature screening and complete a symptom questionnaire each morning.

Will students have to wear masks?

Yes. All students and staff will be required to wear face coverings at all times, except meals.

How will the buildings be cleaned and sanitized?

  • Our staff will continue to conduct regular and thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the campus each day as a matter of course, using all current COVID-19 guidance.
  • Our custodial staff performs an additional cleaning of the buildings after they are empty for the day.
  • During the school day, our staff will be sanitizing high-contact surfaces in classrooms, including desks.
  • Cafeteria surfaces also will be sanitized between groups.

How will you implement social distancing?

  • Classroom and cafeteria seating will be spaced out appropriately.
  • When in the hallways, students will keep appropriate distances from others.
  • We have installed signage throughout the building to ensure a 6-foot separation.
  • We have updated the schedule to add more time between classes.

Transportation

If my student is attending in-person and riding the bus, when will we learn about bus times?

Bus contractors will be contacting families the week of January 25-29 with pickup times and details. If you have not heard from the bus driver by Friday morning, January 29, please call the high school office at 302-856-0961.

How can student drivers get a parking pass?

Parking passes will not be required for the third marking period. Student drivers can park in the appropriate lot and enter through the door near the gymnasium entrance.

Where should students be dropped off at in the morning?

Drop-offs will take place at the main entrance to the school along U.S. 9, next to the school library.





January 15, 2020

Message from Superintendent Carson on the Third Marking Period

[CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO MESSAGE]

Good afternoon, Sussex Tech community. This is Kevin Carson. I’m the proud superintendent of the Sussex County Vocational Technical School District. It’s Friday afternoon, Jan. 15, a beautiful day here on Delmarva, and I hope you’ve had a good week and are enjoying this great weather.

We’ve had a busy week here at Sussex Tech, as we continue to work on delivery of our programs and the decisions that we’ve been making all year regarding marking periods and how we’re going to deliver instruction here at Sussex Technical High School.

This past Wednesday, based upon my recommendation, our Board of Education affirmed that we were going to change the way that we were delivering our instruction beginning with the beginning of the third marking period on Feb. 1.

There have been several questions about what does that mean what will it look like, and how will it impact my classroom or my child, if in fact they are participating in our programs.

So this afternoon I’m going to answer some of the questions that we’ve received at this point. There will be continuing communications with you regarding specifics of operation and buses and child nutrition, special education, and that type of information.

Currently, you’re aware that we have a questionnaire out with our parents asking them to make a decision about whether they are choosing for their child to remain in remote or to return to school in a hybrid format. I need to explain in more detail about what does that mean regarding our plan and how are we going forward.

The initial surveys and questionnaires we have received indicate to us that approximately 30 percent of our students may stay in a remote format for the foreseeable future depending upon health conditions, vaccinations, and a number of different variables that are going into the decision-making process, which is certainly respected.

The decision about attendance rests with the parent; we wanted to present an option or an opportunity for in-person instruction also. The requests that have come from parents for students to be able to return have been received, and indicated about 70 percent would like to return.

So, how are we going to do that?

What we’re going to be doing is taking those students who choose to participate in in-school programs and divide them in half: Group 1, group 2. One group will attend school on Monday and Tuesday, the second group will attend on Wednesday and Thursday.

How will the groups be divided? They’ll be divided by alphabetically, they’ll be divided by grade level, so that we have a parity between the two groups.

As you are aware, we offer our instruction on a schedule we call an A day and a B day. Therefore, we’ll have 4 periods of instruction on one day four periods of instruction the second day. Each of these periods will be approximately 80 minutes in length, so that our great teachers here at Sussex Tech have the opportunity to work with your student and certainly have conversation and time among themselves in order to be able to prepare for this.

So if you look at it from a scheduling standpoint, if your class size is 22 students, and approximately 30 percent of those students choose to stay in a remote format, and then the remaining number divided by two, we could be looking at class sizes of 6, 7, 8, 9 in terms of instruction within the classroom.

Why is that important? It’s important for a number of reasons. We’ve said from the beginning that we want our school to be safe, not only for our staff and for our students. With a small number of students within the classroom, it certainly allows us to spread students out in the classroom in order to have that safe distance among themselves, an also to provide a safety area for our staff members also.

So the schedule itself will be fewer number of students on campus, 80-minute periods. Transportation would be provided. The school day for students would begin at approximately 8:35 a.m., and students would begin with a homeroom period in their first period class. Breakfast would be grab and go in that first period class. The lunch arrangement would be during the middle part of the day, and again with a smaller number of students in class we believe we can manage the lunchroom situation and have that 6-foot distancing that’s necessary in order to be able to serve lunch.

How do we make this work in terms of the relationship between students that are at home and those that are in person? The answer is technology. We want our teachers to only have to instruct once instead of a double duty situation. So with the work of our tech department, we’re configuring our classrooms to be able to take a complete picture of the classroom, have a degree of portability for our teachers, and they’ll be able to instruct by moving around the classroom for those students who are present and at the same time be able to have real-time communication with the students who are still at home but have been doing the remote work.

We’ve had a question about how does the schedule work in terms of the relationship of remote. Because you choose in person it doesn’t mean that you no longer have to do remote. You have to do remote, just not as much of it. You’ll have two days on campus and you’ll have two days in which you’ll participate real time with your teachers here at Sussex Tech.

Fridays are what we’re calling a flex day. For those of you who’ve taken advantage of the reverse field trip in terms of teacher-initiated special work within the school, that offering will be maintained. So students can come to campus on Fridays for an additional day depending upon the arrangements that need to be made. IEPs, professional development for staff, virtual conversation with students is also available on that Friday setting for our teachers and students and certainly with parents.

Safety is paramount: The use of technology, keeping class size small. We are also looking at the number and kind of assessments. Currently our student work is due at noon on Friday. That system will be maintained, because we think we’ve gotten into a pattern of student work being due on Friday. It’s also one of the reasons we chose Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, because that’s the type of instruction that our students have been receiving in the second marking period. 

Speaking of the third marking period, the decision to do what we’re doing is applicable to the third marking period. There’ll be another decision later in the spring regarding fourth marking period.

What’s our hope? Our hope is that the vaccination program picks up speed and that our community and our teachers and everyone associated with school has the opportunity to take the vaccination. They’re not required to, but our belief is that if a vaccination is offered and folks take advantage of it, then we’re going to see the decline that we’re looking for in the number of folks that have COVID or COVID positivity.

It’s a tough situation. And it’s tough for everyone. Students, parents, school districts – everyone wanting to do the right thing in terms of doing the best we can for our students.

Everyone has had a hardship, and we share in that hardship. We’re also of the belief that we have a great facility here at Sussex Tech, and if the opportunity allows itself for students to be able to come in and get hands-on experience and time with our great teachers, with the technical areas and their programs, then we’re going to be able to afford them something more than we’ve currently been able to do under the remote format.

There’ll be individual questions about – If I have a younger brother or sister, can they come on the day that I’m coming? That’s our goal, that’s our intention. We’re trying to make this easier for parents. If there is the opportunity for students if Monday or Tuesday, or Wednesday or Thursday, is a better fit situation, then under one-on-one conversations with Dr. Demby and the high school administration team, we’ll try to make those accommodations also.

We’re certainly aware of passing time between classes and what has to happen. We have to clean areas and do things. We’re going to be expanding the passing time between classes. And yes, we’re going to have the administrators and staff and superintendents and other folks here to help as we can in order to maintain the safe environment.

So I’m sure you have many additional questions, and three will be additional communications with you. I’m hoping to do another next week. Dr. Demby is going to be speaking to you about specific operational questions for the building itself and answer a few more things.

What do we know? What do we believe? We believe we can do this. We believe that there are ways in which we can offer students the ability to be here and to have more of that school experience. I’m sure there will be bumps in the road, but we’re going to do our best. We ask you for your continued patience and flexibility as we work together, work our way through this process of providing opportunities in the safest possible manner for our families and for our staff. We’re looking forward to students being back here at Sussex Tech so we can continue this process.

Thank you for your time. We’ll continue to be in touch. If you have questions or comments, there’s the feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us email address. If you want to continue to send questions, we appreciate the dialogue, and we look forward to making this new system work on Feb. 1.

Thank you – take care, be safe, and go Ravens.




CAMPUS VISIT DAYS UPDATE: January 6, 2021

Dear Sussex Tech families,

This month, we are continuing our series of optional campus visit days for students in grades 9, 10 and 11. These visits will give students a chance to visit teachers and technical areas, get information from counselors and nurses, and have their yearbook photos taken. We hope that this will be especially beneficial for our freshmen, and an additional opportunity to explore our technical areas.

Students will be assigned a specific day based on their last name. The details below and on our website explain how that process will work.

Sincerely,
Dr. John Demby
Principal


Student Visit Days

Beginning Monday, January 11, we are holding a series of optional campus visitation days. To comply with COVID regulations, students are assigned to the days below based on their last name and class year (please see the list below). Students attending their campus visit day will be marked present.

  • Bus transportation will be provided for students who do not drive.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge.
  • Students should bring their backpacks and laptops to school, as they will be working remotely in classrooms.
  • All staff or students must wear a mask at all time and must maintain 6 feet of distance from each other.
  • All students will undergo a COVID screening and temperature check.
  • Students who choose not to attend or who are unable to attend may submit an appropriate selfie or other photo to be included in the yearbook.
  • Students should bring all materials owed from the 2019-20 school year, such as calculators and textbooks.

Daily Schedule

8:05 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.: Bus Arrival and COVID Screenings; Breakfast in Cafeteria
Noon – 12:30 p.m.: Lunch in Cafeteria
Departure times vary (see dates below)

Visit Dates (by last name)
Freshmen (9th grade) – Must attend both days

  • N-Z: Monday, January 11, and Tuesday, January 12
  • Departure time 2 p.m. on Jan. 11 and 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 12

Sophomores (10th grade) – Departure time 12:50 p.m.

  • A-F: Wednesday, January 13
  • G-P: Thursday, January 14
  • Q-Z: Friday, January 15

Juniors (11th grade) – Departure time 12:50 p.m.

  • A-G: Wednesday, January 20
  • H-M: Thursday, January 21
  • N-Z: Friday, January 22

SCHEDULE CHANGE: December 8, 2020

Dear Sussex Tech community,
Due to Governor Carney’s recent advisory about controlling the spread of COVID-19, the Sussex Tech Board of Education this week approved my recommendation to change our schedule over the next thirty days as follows:
First, we are pausing all of our reverse field trips and campus visitation days from December 14 to January 8. We hope to resume both in mid-January; the high school will keep you informed of the schedule. The campus visitation days scheduled for this week, December 9-10, will still take place as planned.
Second, the only students who will be permitted on campus during that time will be those pre-approved due to internet connectivity needs or special needs accommodations.
Third, the campus visit days scheduled for December 16-17 and January 6-8 will now become live video instruction days for all students per teachers’ instructions.
Our teachers and staff will remain connected and available to serve you as usual. We thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to work through these pandemic times; together we will continue to work to keep our students and staff safe and healthy.
If you have questions about COVID-19, keeping your family safe, or where and when to get tested, a wealth of information is available on the State’s pandemic response website by clicking here: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov. If you have questions regarding the STHS schedule, please contact us at 302-856-0961 or feedback@sussexvt.k12.de.us.
Sincerely,
Dr. Kevin E Carson
Superintendent

November 24: Campus Visitation Days


Dear Sussex Tech families,

Beginning next week – starting on Wednesday, December 2 - we will be holding a series of scheduled, optional campus visits for students in grades 9, 10 and 11. These visits will give students a chance to visit teachers and technical areas, get information from counselors and nurses, and have their yearbook photos taken. We hope that this will be especially beneficial for our freshmen, and an additional opportunity to explore our technical areas.

Students will be assigned a specific day based on their last name. The details below and on our website explain how that process will work. These scheduled visit days will start with freshmen next week will continue into January for upperclass students.

Sincerely,

Dr. John Demby
Principal

Student Visit Days

Beginning Wednesday, December 2, we are holding a series of optional campus visitation days. To comply with COVID regulations, students are assigned to the days below based on their last name and class year (please see the list below). Students attending their campus visit day will be marked present.

  • Bus transportation will be provided for students who do not drive.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge.
  • Students should bring their backpacks and laptops to school, as they will be working remotely in classrooms.
  • All staff or students must wear a mask at all time and must maintain 6 feet of distance from each other.
  • All students will undergo a COVID screening and temperature check.
  • After dismissal, student-athletes must report to the gym until practice starts. They must wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Students who choose not to attend or who are unable to attend may submit an appropriate selfie or other photo to be included in the yearbook.

 

Daily Schedule

8:05 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.: Bus Arrival and COVID Screenings; Breakfast in Cafeteria
Noon – 12:30 p.m.: Lunch in Cafeteria
2 p.m. / 2:30 p.m. Departure (2 p.m. on Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m. on Thursdays)

 

Visit Dates (by last name)

Freshmen (9th grade) – Must attend both days

  • A-G: December 2-3
  • H-M: December 9-10
  • N-Z: December 16-17

Sophomores (10th grade)

  • A-F: January 6
  • G-P: January 7
  • Q-Z: January 8

Juniors (11th grade)

  • A-G: January 13
  • H-M: January 14
  • N-Z: January 15

November 11: Changes for Marking Period 2

Dear Sussex Tech families,

As we move into the second marking period that begins on Monday, Nov. 16, we are making some changes to our modified remote learning model.

  • We are doubling the number of our live video classes and extending their length to give students more direct teacher contact.
  • We are also extending the time for students to turn in their weekly work, which will now be Friday at noon.
  • We are keeping the option for teachers to hold “reverse field trips” and bring students to campus for optional in-person instruction.

The information below explains our new schedule and how it will affect your students. We hope that your children will benefit from this improved educational experience during this challenging time.

Sincerely,
Dr. John Demby, Principal
Sussex Technical High School

Marking Period 2 Schedule

  • We will continue to follow the even/odd schedule: Mondays and Wednesdays are even days and Tuesdays and Thursdays are odd days.
    • 8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.: Period 1 or 2
    • 9:30 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.: Period 3 or 4
    • 10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.: Period 5 or 6
    • 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.: Period 7 or 8
    • 12:25 p.m. – 12:55 p.m.: Lunch (for students on campus)
    • 1 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.: Independent Learning
    • 2 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.: Teachers may hold optional live video sessions.
    • 2:50 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.: Teacher office hours
  • On Mondays and Tuesdays, teachers will present new lessons. 
  • On Wednesdays and Thursdays, teachers will elaborate upon and extend those lessons with enrichment or remediation activities for the whole class, small groups, or individual students.
  • On Fridays, teachers may hold optional live video sessions.
  • All assignments are due Friday at noon. Exceptions are in effect for special education students and those in dual enrollment college courses.
  • There will be no midterms or final exams unless required in dual enrollment college courses.
  • Teachers may choose to schedule a “reverse field trip” to campus on Monday through Thursday. Those will be scheduled on a class-by-class basis.
  • Teachers will generally have assignments for the coming week posted by Sunday evening.

Student Expectations

  • During all live video sessions, students must be visible on video during the entire class.
  • Students are expected to sign in and out of the live video sessions by typing their name in the “chat” function to provide a formal record of their attendance.


October 28: COVID Notification

Dear Sussex Tech community,

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

Out of an abundance of caution, Sussex Tech will be closing campus on Thursday and Friday, Oct. 29-30, for a deep cleaning. Essential 12-month staff should report on Friday. Sussex Tech is operating in a modified remote format, with the majority of students learning remotely.

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 27: COVID Notification

Dear Sussex Tech community,

We have learned that a staff member and a student at Sussex Technical High School have tested positive for COVID-19. These are separate cases. People who have been in close contact with these individuals have been notified. If you have not received a call or email, there is no need to take action. These individuals, who practiced proper social distancing and mask-wearing protocols while on campus, will not return to work or school until cleared.  

Sussex Tech adheres to strict cleaning, social distancing, and hygiene protocols.  This is our best defense against COVID-19 and its spread, along with delivering instruction in a modified remote format with the majority of our students learning remotely. 

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 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.



____________________

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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