I am writing to share with you our next steps in the reopening process. Our preschool and Kindergarten came back into the building this week and it has gone well. We are developing our routines and learning what works and what we need to adjust. It is great to see them even if we can’t see their smiles.
Over the past few weeks, I have been trying to gather information from parents and outside sources to develop our next plan. Originally, we had developed a hybrid model of two days in and three days remote. This model was our plan, but we began to look at space in the school and how many students wanted to stay remote during this period of time. Based on the information I was able to gather; the plan is to have students come back into the building Monday-Thursday with Friday remaining a day of remote learning just like we have been doing. I still want to do a phased in approach, so 1st -5th grade will begin to come back into the building on October 19th. If everything goes well, we will start having the middle school come back into the building on November 2nd. We will still have remote learners that will join a classroom via Zoom and still participate in the classroom activities and discussions.
This plan requires some homerooms to move in order to accommodate for space and social distancing. 4th-8th grade homerooms will be affected by these changes. Those changes will be communicated to you later so students know where to go as they come back into the building.
I will also be sending out a class list to each grade with how I have your child marked for in-person/remote learning. Because this may not have been clear when I was doing the parent survey, it is possible for families to change their minds. Please look how you have marked each of your children. If you would like to make a change, I need to know by noon on Tuesday, October 13th. I do not need to hear anything back from you if you want to remain the same. I will allow a child to change their learning environment once during this time period. This will be conditional on the size of the group and I will talk to each family about this on a case by case basis. If conditions warrant the need, the whole school could transition back to our current remote learning.
I also want to talk to you about the responsibility we have to each other as a community. As we move into this next phase, it is going to be extremely important that families do everything they can to minimize the risk of exposure so that it is not brought into the school building. I can’t exclude your child from participating in sports or other club activities they may do outside of the school day, but I would strongly recommend that students and families limit their exposure. If your child is planning on continuing to participate in a winter sport, maybe you should choose remote learning for them at this time. I would also recommend a flu shot for every family member because we are now moving into flu season. And most importantly, keeping kids home if they are sick will be the most effective way to keep our community healthy. If families truly want to be back in the school so students can receive an in-person education, we have to think about how we are going to take care of our community.
As I have mentioned before, more information will be sent to you soon.