Second Semester Update

Second Semester Update
Posted on 12/09/2020
This is the image for the news article titled Second Semester Updatesecond semester updateOn Dec. 9, Superintendent Matthew Miller shared this email update with parents and staff regarding the district's altered plans for returning to school for second semester.

Dear Parents and Guardians,


After reviewing the responses to our recent survey regarding second semester, we are making adjustments to the January schedule for our in-person students.


Overall, the top responses for how to begin the second semester are to continue in-person learning, go remote through Feb. 15 and go remote for the first week of January. Breaking down these options by groups of survey participants, the responses are:


Participant

Return to In-Person Learning

Remote through Feb. 15

Remote Learning First Week of January

Parents/Guardians

48%

23%

15%

Staff

20%

30%

26%

Secondary Students

24%

38%

15%


The less popular choices included two hybrid options.


After careful consideration, while attempting to balance the viewpoints represented in the survey and doing what we believe to be best for our students, we will present the following recommendations to the Board of Education on Monday: 

  1. Begin the second semester with remote learning through Jan. 11 for our in-person learners and those who are returning to in-person from VLO; 

  2. Similar to August, stagger the return to the classroom by combining in-person and remote learning Jan. 12-15. All students will return to the classroom on Jan. 19; and

  3. VLO students will begin the second semester on Jan. 5 and follow a normal schedule.


Specifically: 


Jan. 4-8:

  • Mon. Jan. 4: Professional Development for staff - no school for students (no change)

  • Tues.-Fri. Jan. 5-8: Remote learning for in-person students; VLO students begin their second semester as normal and continue unless otherwise noted


Jan. 11-15:

  • Mon. Jan. 11: Remote learning for in-person students

  • Tues. Jan. 12: Students with last names beginning with A-L report to school; Students with last names beginning with M-Z participate in remote learning

  • Wed. Jan. 13: Students with last names beginning with M-Z report to school; Students with last names beginning with A-L participate in remote learning

  • Thurs. Jan. 14: Students with last names beginning with A-L report to school; Students with last names beginning with M-Z participate in remote learning

  • Fri. Jan. 15: Students with last names beginning with M-Z report to school; Students with last names beginning with A-L participate in remote learning


Jan. 18 Forward:

  • Mon. Jan. 18: Martin Luther King Day - no school (no change)

  • Tues. Jan. 19 forward: All in-person learning students report to school


We hope this plan balances the perspectives shown above. It also allows us additional time to review the trends in COVID-19 cases to determine if remote learning would need to be extended.


Including a staggered schedule combining in-person and remote learning from Jan. 12-15 is not only a response to the positive feedback we received from the start of the school year, but also takes us further from the holidays when increased social gatherings may result in a spike of positive COVID-19 cases. As we have seen, there have been significant increases in positive cases and quarantines following a holiday. Fewer students in our buildings should also lessen any necessary quarantines. 


The remote learning days will also help us continue improving our processes in the event that we must implement remote learning during the second semester - either as a class, a building, a grade band or the entire district. Guidelines for the remote learning days will be communicated by your student’s teacher and principal. 


Assistance is available for our families who do not have access to a device or the internet. Please coordinate your technology needs with your building principal by Dec. 16. 


The staggered schedule will give our students and staff the opportunity to re-engage after the winter break and build relationships with those who may be transitioning from VLO to in-person learning. Parents should contact their child’s teacher to request that siblings with different last names attend school on the same day. 


We want our schools to be safe for our students and our staff. That is always our number one priority. Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate these turbulent times. As challenging as they are, WE are in this together and WE remain committed to serving the educational needs of our students as best as we can. 


Sincerely,


Matthew J. Miller

Superintendent