COVID-19 Update for Families - Friday, January 8, 2021
I hope each of you enjoyed a relaxing Winter Break. 2020 proved to be a very challenging year while also allowing each of us to grow as individuals and as a community. We hope that 2021 brings each of you great happiness.
We were thankful for the opportunity to start 2021 with your students with our modified in-person instructional model. As we look back at the first semester, we feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience the amount of in-person learning that we did. While we did experience hiccups along the way, requiring remote and alternative forms of hybrid learning, our students and staff stepped up to the challenge to make the best of the circumstances. Yesterday, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department continued to place our county in the Yellow phase while noting that the county is very close to the Red phase. Please click here to view the LDCHD's Safe and Smart School Reopening Guidance website for more information on this week's update.
As a result of remaining in the Yellow phase, our modified in-person phase will continue. There is no question that learning in-person is much more beneficial for students. There are so many more opportunities for discussion, collaboration, and application from a teaching and learning standpoint when students and teachers occupy the same learning space. From a health perspective, when students are learning within our school buildings' walls, we can ensure proper mitigation practices are in place, such as wearing masks, frequently washing hands, and practicing social distancing.
As a community, our case numbers appear to spike when school is not in session, and students are not in our buildings. While breaks in the schedule are necessary, they have also provided groups with opportunities to gather and let mitigation practices laps. Thus the result is a spike in COVID-19 cases in our community and county. For learning to remain with some form of in-person learning, we cannot relax our mitigation practices when students are not in our buildings. We are at a critical point where we must have everyone's help and participation to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Families must communicate when their student experiences one or more covid symptoms including cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste and smell, fever, cold, congestion, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, headache, muscle or body aches, to schools nursing staff. Additionally, if your student has a known positive covid exposure, or gets tested while remote, please contact the district nurse for guidance. Failure to have everyone's collective effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, again, wearing masks, frequently washing hands, and social distancing will result in a return to remote learning and/or the suspension of activities and athletics if the county is placed in the Orange or Red phases.
I cannot express enough how important this is. We recognize that many families have worked very hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is still much to learn about this virus, which results in mild symptoms for some, and is fatal for others. As a school district, teachers, paras, nurses, custodians, office staff, administrators, and more are committed to your students and their safety. The importance of having everyone’s participation is not based on fear or a desire to impose a will, but rather to take the steps necessary to allow our students to learn in-person and participate in activities and athletics. We are nearing the midpoint of the school year. We must remain focused and determined.
Superintendent of Schools
Eudora USD 491