PHMS Students and Families~ After a high of 23 active COVID cases last week, PHMS will drop to 8 active cases Tuesday which is great news! The drop in numbers has allowed the facemask mandate to expire today, October 18th. We encourage students and staff to continue washing/sanitizing hands, social distancing where possible, and wearing a facemask if unvaccinated. Thank you all for your continued support of our educational community. Cindy Couchman, Superintendent
Congratulations to our band at the Shawnee Mission North Marching Invitational today. They received Outstanding Drum Major, Best Overall Visual, Best Overall Music, and… Grand Champions! #Bexceptional
This is a reminder that there will be no school for students on Monday, October 18th. Teachers have a professional development day. We will see you back on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!
PHMS Community, I want to provide an update on COVID cases and Stay to Learn Testing at PHMS this week. Our current case count is at 16 as of Thursday afternoon. Because of your amazing cooperation with wearing masks, we have our close contacts down to a manageable number. For that reason, we are going to offer any of those students who had to quarantine an opportunity to join the daily testing if they choose and attend school. We will resume Stay to Learn starting Friday, October 8th. Facemasks will still be required next week. I am very thankful to our staff at PHMS as each one of those positive cases takes up time and energy. For those who have been curious about what takes so much time, below is the process. Positive case is called in or individual tests positive at school. Admin pulls the positive case’s class schedule. Each teacher is contacted for the seating chart for those designated hours. Admin checks for 6’ radius (or 3’ this week) to identify close contacts. Close contacts are listed out. This is usually around 20 students, but this week because of masks, it has been only about 4 students. Each close contact’s schedule is called up, and passes are written to pull those students to the office. Each close contact is then searched for on the master list to see what option the parent has chosen in the event of exposure. If the parent hasn’t filled out the option form, the parent number is looked up on Powerschool and phone calls must be made to get the form completed. Parents are then called for those who choose to quarantine. Those who choose to test are then entered into the Stay to Learn protocols. Student names, testing dates, and date of return to school are entered into a Google sheet for nurses to track. RCHD is notified of close contacts/positives and contact information is sent to RCHD for their records. Data is then uploaded into the KDHE portal for each test given. If the positive student is a bus rider, another process begins to determine the dates the bus was ridden, the other students who were riding, and the seating chart for that specific bus. Close contacts again are looked up, parents called, etc. If the positive student is out for a sport, the same process is repeated again for close contacts. If students do a PCR test, that test is then driven to Wichita each day by our district office staff right after lunch. Having so many positives in a couple days quickly became unmanageable. Because we could narrow the close contacts down to 3’ by wearing facemasks, we are able to once again resume Stay to Learn, and we hope to see positive cases starting to stabilize next week. Our goal is to keep students in school, and Stay to Learn helps us do exactly that. It is through working together that we are able to resume it so quickly. We are relentlessly looking at every option to keep kids in school. I do want to recognize the amount of work that is going into keeping students and staff safely in school. It is a huge undertaking, and without our families and students, we wouldn’t be able to keep the program. Again, Stay to Learn will be an option starting immediately for Close Contacts, and facemasks will be required (and enforced) next week at PHMS. THANK YOU for helping us keep kids and staff in school safely. Cindy Couchman, Superintendent
Join the Buhler Public Library for a Read-a-Thon! See the image for details. #Better Together
Come find us at the Eagle Communications Soar Hire Job Fair today at the Hutchinson Mall!
Prairie Hills Middle School Community, Since last Friday, we have had 9 new COVID cases at Prairie Hills Middle School taking our active case count at the building to 14. We are currently testing over 90 students in our Stay to Learn Plan which is the capacity our staff can manage. In light of this information, I am moving to stage 2 of our Navigating Next Protocols. These protocols will be effective immediately (starting Tuesday, October 5th, 2021 and ending Sunday, October 17th, 2021): 1. All staff and students (and visitors) will be required to wear a mask inside PHMS for 2 weeks – starting Tuesday, October 4 and ending Sunday, October 17. 2. All new close contacts that may be identified in the next two weeks will not be eligible for the Stay to Learn testing and must serve the 8-day or 10-day quarantine. This is due to being at full capacity with daily testing at PHMS. 3. All students and staff will be asked to wash/sanitize hands at the beginning of each hour. Hand sanitizer is available in every classroom and at the entrances of our building. 4. Those students already in the Stay to Learn testing protocol will continue to test every morning. We are just not able to add any more students into this protocol for the next two weeks. TO CLARIFY: These stage 2 protocols apply ONLY to Prairie Hills Middle School. At the end of the two weeks, we will re-evaluate numbers and update you accordingly. Our goal is to keep students in school and be safe in doing so. Our Stay to Learn plan will continue but we are hitting the pause button on it for 2 weeks at PHMS while we navigate through a sudden increase in COVID cases. We thank you for your help as we work to reduce cases at Prairie Hills over the next 14 days. Cindy Couchman, Superintendent
One of the most wonderful things about our Buhler school community is the support and partnership we have with our families. As educators, we need your help to speak with your students regarding the latest TikTok trend. Last month, our schools had some damage done to bathrooms from the September challenge. Our priority is to keep students and staff safe in all situations and have pride in our school and community. Several of the challenges are criminal and could be prosecuted. Please talk to your student about these and the consequences of participating. We are thankful for our awesome students and families. I have confidence that through proactive communication and support, our staff and students can continue to excel in a safe learning environment. Information on challenges: https://www.distractify.com/p/tiktok-school-challenges-list-2021 Cindy Couchman, Superintendent Buhler Schools
We have an exceptional food service team working hard to provide delicious, nutritious meals and great service. They are also dealing with many of the same challenges as our favorite restaurants due to supply chain issues. See below for a message from them. Our district, like many across the country, is having trouble getting certain foods delivered right now. We are doing our best to keep the menu each day as planned, but some days there may be last minute changes. Thank you so much for your understanding!
We are thrilled to announce our partnership with @DonorsChoose! Our teachers will be able to access over 4 million donors to support their classroom projects even more seamlessly. We partnered with @DonorsChoose to help our teachers fund more of their projects. Check out the new landing page for more information! www.donorschoose.org/usd313
Parent/Teacher conferences are this week. Our teachers look forward to meeting with you! #BetterTogether There will be no school on Friday and the district office will be closed.
Two of our teachers; Rachel Harder, 4th grade at Union Valley and Greg Froese, ELA at BHS, are spending the day learning with fellow state teacher of the year nominees today. These two teachers have represented our district so well and we are thankful for such great teacher leaders! #Bexceptional
We are partnering with the Reno County Health Department to offer flu shot clinics in our buildings. See the image for details and download the form that is needed here: https://bit.ly/3ubmD8w #BetterTogether
Parents: Please check your email regarding permissions/preferences for COVID testing and quarantining information should your student be identified as a close contact in the future. Please fill out the form ASAP. #BetterTogether Cindy Couchman, Superintendent, Buhler Schools
Tune into KWCH this morning for their “Where’s Shane” game day show being broadcast from right here in Buhler and featuring our own coaches and students. https://www.kwch.com/2021/09/10/wheres-shane-buhler-football/
On Thursday Mrs. Couchman, USD 313 Superintendent, announced a new Covid 19 testing protocol that will allow close contacts to remain in school, activities, and at work. You may find the Facebook Live video detailing this plan here: https://fb.watch/7M-72dL6V3/ or click through here for more information: https://www.usd313.org/article/526934
Join Mrs. Couchman on Facebook Live tomorrow, September 2nd, at 12:00 noon to learn about our Stay to Learn and Play testing options.
It is SO exciting to have the 43rd avenue bridge back open! This will be so helpful for our bus routes. Thank you to ALL who worked so hard to get this built! #Bexceptional #BetterTogether
Shout out to the Reno County Public Works Department for putting in extra hours to get the bridge ready to open tomorrow (and way ahead of schedule). It is 8:15 pm and they were putting the finishing touches on it! At 9:00 tomorrow morning, we will send a bus to officially open it! And as a bonus on my bike ride, I got to talk to a previous student and Buhler grad who was working on it this late. Thanks, Matt Wilcox, for being game to take a pic! #bexceptional
HELP NEEDED! We need bus drivers to transport our students to school and activities, food service, custodians, and technology help Apply in person or online: https://www.applitrack.com/buhlerschools/onlineapp/ Call the district office for more information - 620-543-2258