After consulting with teachers and administrators, we have made the decision to continue our current 12:20/12:35 dismissal for the remainder of 1st semester. Although we initially planned on moving to a 2:05/2:15 dismissal beginning October 5th, we believe that keeping the current 12:20/12:35 dismissal is the best choice at this time. Here is the rationale:
- If we move to a 2:05/2:15 schedule, we will be adding lunch and RtI at the junior high and high school and adding lunch, PE, and music at the elementary schools. These present additional times when students are exposed to additional students, increasing not only the chance of getting COVID-19 but also increasing the chance that they will be exposed to someone that has COVID-19 and thus have to quarantine for 14-days. What we learned from what happened at the high school is that one case of COVID-19 can result in a significant number of students being quarantined. Lunch, PE, music, and RtI pose additional challenges when it comes to contact tracing since they are periods where students traditionally move around more. Keeping a 12:20/12:35 dismissal helps reduce student exposure and reduce the likelihood that they will have to be quarantined.
- Teachers are currently using the time after students are dismissed to support remote learners, both full-time remote learners and those temporarily on remote learning due to being quarantined. If dismissal gets pushed back to 2:05/2:15, this significantly reduces the time that our teachers can support remote learners. In talking to our teachers, they do not see how they can effectively do this with the later dismissal. Currently, approximately 20% of our student are full-time remote learners.
Our goal is to provide a safe environment for our students and to keep in-person learning as an option for as long as possible for those that want it. Keeping a 12:20/12:35 supports this goal for our in-person learners, while also providing the needed time for our teachers to support our remote learners.
We will make a decision regarding the schedule for 2nd semester towards the end of 1st semester. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions.
As always, thank you for your understanding and flexibility during these times.