October 26, 2020 - Responsible Return Update

October 26, 2020 - Responsible Return Update
Posted on 10/26/2020
Good evening, families,

I wanted to reach out tonight to share an update with you on our Responsible Return model. As you know, we are currently in Stage Two of our Return, with all of our schools welcoming back groups of students in waves, as we reevaluate health and safety conditions every two weeks. 

We are very fortunate here in Worcester County, as our efforts to reinforce our safety protocols have proven to be widely successful thus far, leading our county’s COVID rates to remain low. I want to thank our faculty, staff, and of course, you – our families – for ensuring that our schools remain safe places for our students to learn by screening each morning for symptoms, wearing face coverings, physical distancing, and of course, hand washing. 

Today, we welcomed back our third wave of students to our classrooms, and as our team forecasted, this wave serves as an important tipping point in our Responsible Return. As our Stage Two roll-in continues, we anticipate that our next waves of students - to potentially return in November, could see all students wishing to return to in-person learning back in our school buildings.

I know many of you have wondered if at this tipping point, we would transition to the A Week / B Week model outlined in Stage Three of our return plan, but due to the incredible planning efforts and ingenuity of our school leaders and teachers, we do not intend to move to the alternating week model. At this point, that model would serve as more of a backwards step in our recovery efforts and could possibly cause chaos and confusion for our families, which is in no one’s best interest. I want to reassure you that our schools are meticulously planning how to use every inch of our school facilities to house all those students wanting to return while still observing the physical distancing guidelines from the CDC. 

An important part of this planning process is finalizing the number of those students whose families have opted to remain in distance learning for the remainder of this school year. Our schools will be reaching out to those families very soon to have them complete an official opt-out form solidifying their decision. 

Additionally, as outlined in our transportation plan, as more and more students come back to our classrooms, we will be shifting to our one student per seat model in order to accommodate this increase in students. We realize this poses a higher risk as we are not able to observe the recommended 6-foot physical distancing, but we will remain as diligent as possible to keep our buses safe for our students.  

Again, I want to thank you all for your partnership and continued support. Our collective efforts are truly what has enabled our school system to keep progressing through our Responsible Return so successfully. So, let’s continue to make these positive strides together. As always, I hope God continues to bless you and yours. 

Good night.