Parents and Guardians, 11-13-20

COVID-19 cases within our community continue to rise and our state has record setting numbers almost daily. As we evaluate our current situation, we have determined it is necessary to go to E-Learning until November 30th. While we feel students follow the safety protocols put in place currently at school, we also know that positive cases brought to the school may put other families or our most vulnerable population at risk as the students return home. Out of an abundance of caution, we feel this temporary seven school day E-Learning trial will allow us to analyze if temporary E-Learning is beneficial in reducing our community spread. These next sixteen days will allow all our current quarantined students and those who tested positive to return to school on Nov. 30th along with our general population of students. With the sharp increase in community spread, we feel it is necessary to take these steps in an effort to explore options for the winter months ahead while we have a built in Thanksgiving break. 

We know in December and January our community will spend more time indoors. If we see that the E-Learning trial has had an impact in reducing our total number of cases, we may use this as preparation for the hard winter months. The only way this will be successful is if students stay within their small social bubble and with immediate family. If families will reduce their attendance at public or private gatherings during the upcoming holiday; and our community continues to wear a mask, wash hands, and social distance when possible, we can make an impact on reducing numbers within our community. We know the students in quarantine are healthy students who are currently self monitoring in the event they may develop symptoms.  Currently, 9 of our 1433 students are home with a positive COVID-19 case.   This is a small fraction of our student population at just over one half of one percent. These most recent cases have developed since last Thursday. Knowing it is a small percentage of students, all extracurricular practices will continue but be closed to spectators and events will be limited to two family members only. 

These are uneasy and uncertain times for everyone. As a school district, we know that the best learning takes place with a teacher in the classroom. We will be back in session on Monday, Nov. 30th to resume classroom instruction with all of our currently quarantined students in attendance and our full student body to finish our first semester of instruction. 

As we take this short break from in class sessions, the school will continue to work with the local health department to contact trace. We ask that if your child receives a positive COVID-19 test that you continue to call the school and report the positive case. This will allow us to assist the health department and monitor school cases for our return.

We understand the importance of childcare and homework completion during this time period. Your teachers will be available throughout the day to help with homework and if you are in need of short term internet service you may contact the school for a mobile hotspot while supplies last. We will also have our public wifi access points on throughout this break 24 hours a day. 

Thank you for all of your support throughout this difficult time.

Mr. Rod Hite, Superintendent

Switzerland County School Corporation

About the Author: