District 7 Families,
The purpose of this message is to share an important change in what has been previously communicated.
At Monday night’s Board of Education meeting, the Board gave direction to continue to work with the Madison County Health Department to develop metrics more specific to District 7 to determine when to suspend in-person learning rather than relying on the previously communicated county-wide metrics. The health department has informed the District that there is no evidence of any school-based transmission at this time. In addition, it was shared at the Board meeting last night that many local pediatricians continue to advocate for in-person instruction to occur to the greatest extent possible.
As a result, District 7 schools will remain open for in-person learning even if Madison County continues to be designated in the orange “Warning” status this Friday. This week’s schedule will be unchanged with all students K-12 following the hybrid schedule. Friday, August 28th will remain a remote day. For the high school and middle school, this will be a typical Friday in the hybrid schedule with instruction as originally planned. For elementary families, we will use a portion of this day as a test of our newly installed Wi Fi connectivity and will have teachers connecting with students and families virtually. This test run will help us work out technical difficulties if/when we are required to transition all students to 100% remote instruction.
Beginning on Monday, August 31st, all students in grades 6-12 will continue following the current hybrid schedule and K-5 students will return to attending in-person five days a week. Students who are already on a 100% remote schedule will see no changes.
While we are able to continue to provide in-person learning for now, it is important for families to be prepared for the possibility of a shift to remote learning at any time. As of today, there are a small number of both students and staff members quarantined due to being in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, being symptomatic, or receiving a COVID-19 positive result. Rest assured that parents will always be notified if their student was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Even though our number of quarantined staff and students remains small, if this were to change, the District would be forced to suspend in-person learning and shift to a remote setting for a period of time.
In the meantime, the way our communities can demonstrate that they value in-person instruction is by being vigilant about wearing masks and practicing social distancing. These simple steps should be practiced not just at school, but outside our school buildings as well. Please remember that exposures outside of school will ultimately impact the District’s ability to provide in-person learning. As the final metrics are determined in conjunction with the Madison County Health Department, these will be shared with the community.
Thank you for your continued patience as we navigate this pandemic.