Dear LSR7 Parents and Guardians:
We are writing to share with you that after reviewing additional district data indicating that new cases and quarantines are continuing to trend upward at the elementary level, the Board of Education revisited its determination about the Pre-K-3 learning model at its regularly scheduled meeting this evening.
Tonight, the Board of Education voted 6-1 to shift PreK-3 students into a virtual learning mode from Monday, Nov. 23 until Monday, Jan. 11. The Board and district administrators will convene on or around Jan 4 to review data from November and December to determine if students may return to in-person learning on Jan. 11. If data does not support the return, elementary virtual education will be extended until a target return date of Jan. 25.
The Board’s decision this evening does not impact the plans approved for our grades 4-12 learners on Tuesday night. Grades 4-12 will transition to a virtual learning model on Monday, Nov. 23 and remain in that model through Jan. 21, 2021 with a target return date of Jan. 25. As we shared with you earlier this week, the learning model for grades 4-12 will be reevaluated on or around Jan. 14, 2021.
R-7 Online Academy’s specific schedules for our online students are not impacted by either board decision this week and current learning plans remain unchanged.
As we shared earlier this week, the district’s recommendation to move all students to a virtual environment follows a sharp increase in our district’s COVID-19 data in a short period of time. This data reflects a significant rise in cases in our local community, which is experiencing what public health officials are calling “uncontrolled” levels of transmission.
Data collected since Tuesday’s Board meeting as well as staffing shortages have continued to prompt concerns that our ability to mitigate risk for our students and staff through health and safety protocols and contact tracing is not sustainable in this current environment. On top of that, local officials are telling us that the risk of exposure in our community during the two weeks after Thanksgiving and winter break will also significantly increase for our community because of holiday gatherings.
At this time, we feel that a virtual learning model will provide the most consistent learning experience for our students while ensuring that our students and all of our staff remain safe.
Here is the plan moving forward given the Board’s decisions this week.
- We will operate in our current learning models through Friday, Nov. 20. Teachers and staff will prepare students and families for virtual learning starting tomorrow. This will include sending supplies and personal items home items with students.
- The district’s full-time virtual model will commence on Monday, Nov. 23. Learning will be accessed as usual via Schoology and Google Meets.
- The district will reevaluate our learning models no sooner than Jan 4. for Pre-K through 3 and no sooner than January 14 for grades 4-12. This will ensure that we can look at the state of transmission in our community in the two weeks after the holiday season.
- Information about accessing Nutrition Services meals and a consolidated Before and After School Services program will be provided soon.
As we near the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to remind our school community that we all must play a role in decreasing the spread of COVID-19. This means staying home when sick, getting tested for COVID-19 when symptomatic and avoiding activities outside of your home as often as possible.
Thank you for your support. We do not take this decision lightly and truly appreciate your continued patience and understanding during these most challenging times.
Executive Director of Public Relations