This morning, January 4, a group of about 30 gathered near the District Office to express their support of re-opening our schools.
We understand and appreciate the passions we’ve seen and heard from our parents, students, and staff throughout this pandemic. Comments have run the gambit from those who are frustrated we are not serving their students in person at school (as we heard at today’s rally) --- to those whose families have been directly impacted by the pandemic and do not feel comfortable returning their students in person until COVID vaccinations are widespread. We know this has not been easy for anyone, and we will continue to work to support all our families and students.
In preparation for a safe return, our staff has been working hard to equip our schools with new safety precautions defined by public health, and train our staff on new response protocols required to be able to serve students in person. Our district currently serves over 125 students in person, who receive specialized instruction. The care and collaboration of our staff, students and families have made that transition successful.
Given these positive experiences, our extensive preparations, and the revised guidelines for schools the Governor released in late December, our district presented a revised re-start plan to the School Board at a Special Meeting December 29, during Winter Break. The School Board supports the plan that includes targeted dates for cautiously bringing back more groups of students, on hybrid schedules to limit the number of students on campus, potentially starting later this month. Our plan follows state guidance that encourages bringing back our youngest learners first, per their developmental needs. If it is determined current conditions support a return, we would bring back Kindergarten students who have chosen our AM/PM Hybrid model, no earlier than Tuesday, January 19. Our goal is to continue to phase in all learners over time.
If you missed last week's meeting, you can listen to the podcast online (select Special School Board Meeting 12-29-2020) while viewing the Dec. 29 presentation, for context on our current planning and discussions.
This week, we plan to continue to monitor the outbreak with special attention to post-holiday COVID impact, while working closely with our labor groups -- to ensure a safe and appropriate work and learning environment for all. On Friday, January 8, we’ll provide another update to families regarding our plans and timing for moving forward.