As we transition into the fourth quarter of the year, we find ourselves in a much different place than we were this time last year. Our teachers, administrators, staff and families have really stepped up to provide for the needs of our students during this unprecedented time. We are fortunate that since we reopened for Summer School last June using our originally scheduled dates, and for our regular school year this Fall, we have not had to close a single grade level, building or the district for even one day. We have worked to implement a system that has focused on keeping our students in session, and learning with some mitigation strategies in place. As we have said from the beginning, we may need to make adjustments from time to time based on current trends in our area and have appreciated the flexibility of all of our stakeholders. We find ourselves in a place where as of this morning, we have only three reported cases in our county and this trend has been heading downward in recent weeks. Our board approved some adjusted guidelines last night at our board meeting based on my recommendations that will be implemented starting April 1st. We are excited that our health department has made vaccines available to our staff starting this Friday and for the collaboration we have had from the beginning. We are planning for the following adjustments beginning April 1st and will be watching local trends as we consider either more relaxation of restrictions over time, or potentially replacement of some of them should conditions warrant:
Increasing bus pickup area now including those within a quarter mile as opposed to the half mile restriction according to the attached map: Updated Non Bus Area 4.1.21.pdf Those living outside of the grey area will now be able to begin riding a bus route to and from school. (If interested in being added within this new area, please contact the local school office to coordinate. Where the grey area line travels down the middle of the street, those living on the furthest side of the street will be allowed to ride.)
Moving mask usage to voluntary for students and staff, but strongly encouraged. (By removing the mask mandate, we now could have larger numbers of students quarantined due to any close exposure to a positive case should a new case emerge in the school, however.)
End of the year field trips, culminating events (i.e. concerts, prom, graduation, etc...), and community building usage requests will begin to be considered based on plans for implementation.
We will still have some layers still in effect (i.e. cohorting students for recess, lunch, and social distancing, etc...) as we continue to monitor local data. However, after the current school year, remote learning not approved through the MOCAP process or a 504 team decision will discontinue. This is important information for families planning for next school year.
Our students have certainly demonstrated grit and resiliency through this time, and it has been fun to watch our students achieve great things in their academics, athletics, and activities this year, in spite of challenges. Thank you for your continued support as we navigate through the final two months of the school year.
Matt Frederickson, PhD