A few weeks ago, our State changed its color dial allowing more rapid movement in color levels based upon one week of data, as opposed to the prior two week data collection. Our community did transition to blue from orange and then quickly found itself back in yellow. The chart presented here show how quickly our community levels are now changing.. Our goal as a district is not to change schedules until we have a consistent pattern in our community data. We all want our kids in school full time five days per week, but we want to do so when our community data supports stability. Moving kids to five days and then taking that away is not a situation I believe any of us want to embrace. We’re moving deliberately and at a slighter slower pace than the community level changes so that your children have stability in their learning.
At this time, the district will closely monitor our community data, and after two weeks in a category, we will notify the community of a change at the start of the next week. This will likely lead to elementary and middle school moving to a five day a week schedule, and then moving high school to a more full-day schedule. We will constantly monitor our data to make sure we move carefully. If our community sees increased transmission after moving forward, we will also monitor for a full week before moving back to a more restrictive schedule. We know that COVID is unpredictable and want to work with our community as we all do our part to contain this virus.
At this time, we are hopeful that the new quarter which starts March 29 will find our secondary schools moving toward an increased schedule. We continue to closely monitor our data in hopes that we could increase our elementary schools sooner. We will prioritize increasing time for our students starting with our youngest students moving up to our high school. High school students do have the same risk of contracting and spreading the virus as adults so we are moving carefully. Again, we’ve seen a higher rate of positive cases in our high school students. Please help us by encouraging our teenagers to recognize the risk of spread through social gatherings. Their behavior impacts not only their learning, but also their cohort peers’ ability to maintain in-person learning..
Again, we thank you for your patience and partnership during this very unusual year. We know that we play an important role beyond simply educating our children but providing a safe place for our children during the day while parents engage in their vocations. It's a challenging time for all of us during this pandemic that we are all anxious to see go away. As a leader, it is tough to know that I’m not able to make decisions that everyone will appreciate given the massive disruptions COVID-19 is causing, but I hope you know that I am working to make decisions based on data and the best interest of all parties. I continue to be available for conversation or dialogue. Reach out to me by phone of email.
We are planning for a normal in-person school year next year and ask families to be prepared to respond to the calls to re-register and confirm your enrollment. We don’t anticipate continuing on-line models next year as our district is looking forward to being back full in-person next year. Families who desire an on-line experience are encouraged to look at Connections Academy, our district sponsored on-line school. While we recognize that some mitigation strategies may need to stay in place for the Fall, we do feel our year will be based upon an in-person option and full day, five day a week programming, I hope you have a great weekend and again, thanks for entrusting your children to our district.