These past few weeks have been noticeably more difficult for our USD 456 students and staff than we have experienced all semester. At this time, the elementary building is regularly experiencing a 30% absence rate amongst students, our junior high/high school students are now experiencing a 30% absence rate due to a large scale quarantine, and certified staff typically cannot find a highly-qualified substitute teacher for their class when absent - and our absences for teachers is continually rising. Simply put, our administration and staff is to the point where it is an active question whether or not the education being provided within our buildings is as effective as it should be, given the stress that missing students and missing teachers is causing on everyday learning.
In consideration of this sobering new reality, combined with the increase of community and school-based positive COVID-19 cases, the current status of care at regional hospitals, as well as the potential of further spread over the Thanksgiving holiday, the decision has been made to transition the district to remote learning.
For JH/HS students on Monday, November 23rd, 2020, students will attend school as usual and staff will provide final preparations and guidance during the course of the day’s schedule. The next day, Tuesday, November 24th, 2020, JH/HS students will perform their “first day” of remote learning.
For elementary students on Monday, November 23rd, 2020, school is cancelled to allow staff the opportunity to gather any remaining student items, aids, and resources so that it can be effectively sent home and not lost during the transition. On Tuesday, November 24th, 2020, students will perform their “first day” of remote learning.
Specifics from both buildings regarding class schedule, item pickup, food service, attendance reporting, etc., will be communicated in the coming days as it has yet to be determined. However, all extra-curricular activities, including JH/HS sports, will be suspended during the duration of remote learning.
The schedule for remote learning will be as follows:
November 23rd: Remote Learning Begins
November 25th-27th: Thanksgiving Break
November 30th-December 11th: Remote Learning Continues
December 14th: In-Person Classes Resume
December 17th: Last Day of the 1st Semester
December 18th-January 4th: Winter Break
USD 456 recognizes this is not an easy transition for our families, but feels it is a decision that must occur in order to protect the health of our students and staff, maintain an effective level of education within our district, and cultivate health within our community. Please maintain contact with your child’s school building and report issues as they arise during the course of remote learning.
In regards to community health, we continue to encourage students, parents, and staff to stay vigilant about their health. Individuals should stay home when symptomatic, mask up when in public, wash hands regularly, and avoid gatherings other than immediate family. Thank you for your help on this as your actions will influence our community, slow the spread, and insure that the district can get back to in-person learning and conducting all extracurricular activities.
We will get through this together - Trojan Strong!