Dear Team and Family,
We have been working hard to plan for next school year to ensure our students thrive despite this public health crisis.
We will continue to prioritize the safety, health and well-being of our entire school community- students, staff, alumni, and families. We will continue to work hard so that everyone has access to academic materials, technology, remote instruction, special education services, mental health services, food security, community resources, and a support network.
Unfortunately, this crisis will likely continue into the fall and impact how many people we can have in buildings and in classrooms at any given time. While we do not have all the details on what school reopening will look like yet, we do know that school will look and feel different in the 2020-21 school year. We understand that the lack of information can create frustration for all. We ask you for your patience as plans may continue to change with the evolution of COVID-19 and guidance from the state. We will do our best to inform you as far ahead as possible so you can plan in your homes as well.
As we continue to develop and refine reopening scenarios and plans, your voices are crucial to our decision-making process. Please complete the following survey, sharing your preferences for the reopening of our schools this fall, by June 30, 2020. Following the survey, we will review all feedback provided and share with you both the results of the survey and our plan for the re-opening of our schools in the fall. Please be aware that our plan may need to be changed based on decisions and guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as we approach the fall semester. We will communicate with you weekly to ensure you are up to date on the most recent state guidance and regional decisions.
While our plans are not finalized, we do want to share how we plan to reduce risks for staff, students, and families, as we move forward. In addition to following the CDC, state, county, city and the Department of Education guidelines and directives, we are working with a national student safety advisor to train our staff on the three primary ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in school: healthy hygiene practices, reducing exposure, grouping students in the same small group throughout the day, monitoring, and having a clear plan of what to do when a student or staff member gets sick. All of our staff will go through a comprehensive training and our staff will use a detailed checklist to make sure our students, families and staff have a reduced risk of exposure in our schools.
Below are the guiding principles that we will follow in all of our schools:
- Keeping Students in Small Groups.
- Reducing Time and Exposure. This may mean that students will eat their lunch in the classroom and no longer gather in the cafeteria. There may be no large events where the students spend long periods of time sitting or standing close to each other. We will routinely ask students to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
- Monitoring health of students and staff. As it has been in the past, if any staff or students show any symptoms of having a fever or being ill they will be asked to stay home. Our goal is to keep creating a supportive culture with open communication first and then take the necessary precautions like having temperature checks and monitoring health. We encourage you to keep us posted if your child does show symptoms, we are here to help.
It is likely that we will need to continue to shift in order to meet the demands of this crisis and to follow the guidance and directives provided to us by public health officials and state education officials. We encourage you to talk to your child about these potential differences over the summer. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we are committed to sharing as much information and context as possible, as soon as we have it. We plan to email you with updates every week throughout the summer to ensure that you have the information you need to be set up for success in 2020-21. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions in the meantime.
We’re so thankful the resilience and support our families and staff have shown through this pandemic as we get through this together.