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Update from our Student Services Department

October 9, 2020

 

Dear Families,

 

As we continue to plan and prepare for serving students’ unique educational needs in person, please know that the health and safety of all students and staff remain as our top priority.

 

We began in-person services at the Transition Learning Center (TLC) on September 21, with outdoor pods, and on October 19, TLC is moving indoors for in-person instruction!  TLC has paved the way for planning for in-person assessments and instruction by our therapists and school psychologists as well.  Next up for in-person services are students in elementary specialty classes, middle school life skills classes, and preschool.

 

Elementary specialty and middle school life skills students will have in-person learning four days a week (M/T/Th/F) with AM and PM schedules, leveraging half-day instructional blocks, on Monday, October 19. Currently, we are unable to offer a full-day, full-time return for this group of students. The schedules are designed to best support students who are unable to wear a face mask. If a student is unable to remove a mask from his/her face, then we cannot require that student to wear a mask at all. We are following the Department of Health guidelines to mitigate health and safety risks by layering in interventions in the classroom, and therefore reduce the risk of transmission for our students and staff.  

 

Based on recommended safety precautions, we are also limiting the number of people who can be in a student’s classroom to a specific group of providers. This is a mitigation strategy known as grouping, or cohorting, of our students, educators, and therapists in these classrooms. Further, the District has identified caps on the number of people we can have in a room. By limiting the number of people in a room, and keeping interactions among the cohort, we aim to provide a healthy and low risk environment for in-person instruction.

 

The Preschool Program will start back with in-person learning on Thursday, October 22 on a Hybrid AM/PM schedule. [UPDATE as of 10/16: Preschool is now on hold for in-person learning, due to increased COVID rates.]  This model will involve AM and PM classes attending two days in-person and two days of at-home learning. The AM group will attend in person on Monday and Tuesday mornings, and learn remotely Thursday and Friday mornings. The PM group will learn remotely Monday and Tuesday afternoons and attend in person Thursday and Friday afternoons.  Preschool is a four-day program, with no classes Wednesday.  

 

At this time, we are unable to provide in-person instruction for students receiving resource room services.  

 

Families will be contacted by their specialty or life skills teacher to ask about your student’s transportation needs, and to share a draft schedule.

 

Thank you for your support of our educators and therapists. I am proud of the work they are doing.

 

We will continue to follow guidance from Public Health officials regarding COVID-19 conditions and safety, and look forward to working with more students in-person soon.  Please be in touch with any celebrations, questions, or feedback.

 

With gratitude,

Nicole Fitch

Executive Director of Student Services