As our first week of remote instruction concludes, I am heartened by the collective effort of our faculty, staff, and families on behalf of our students. Together we began this school year through remote instruction which is a significant departure from our normal back to school experience due to the impact of COVID-19.
I am grateful for the efforts of our students, families, faculty, and staff to engage in this new way of teaching and learning. Our faculty and staff remain committed to providing our students with a high quality, teacher led experience during this remote instruction period.
Our initial goals were to make connections between students and faculty, become comfortable with the technology tools, and to problem solve where necessary. We also sought to re-create the structure of the regular school day experience. Some of our key design principles for remote instruction were consistency, routines, and teacher led instruction.
This first phase of our Reopening Education Plan allowed our faculty and staff to create a robust virtual learning environment and build a strong foundation that will continue to support any type of learning mode as we move forward.
Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor the emerging COVID-19 data and information. If trends continue to show declining incidence rates and percent positivity, it will support moving to our next phase of reopening: Hybrid Instruction and the Cyber Learning Academy, by November 2, 2020. These recommendations are outlined in the Guidelines from the Departments of Health and Education in the Determining Instructional Models During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As our activities, athletics, and other small scale in-person experiences have shown, when we carefully adhere to the health and safety plan guidelines, we can experience success. As part of our plan of action, we will increase in-person after school activities for students next week. These activities will be monitored closely, and if successful, we will increase to other small scale, in-person activities during the school day. Our goal is to create a meaningful, measurable track record of success.
We all share in the responsibility to practice and model behaviors that have been shown to limit the spread of COVID-19. Over this Labor Day weekend, I ask that we all be extra careful to (1) wear a face covering or mask, (2) wash hands often, (3) avoid close contact by maintaining 6ft. physical distance, and (4) monitor personal health, staying home if not feeling well. Each of these steps will assist our community in mitigating the spread of the virus and in turn allow our schools to continue on a careful pathway to in-person learning.
With best wishes,
Timothy J. Steinhauer, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools