Since we expanded a few weeks ago to bring more students back to full-time instruction, district staff have been following both the county COVID-19 infection rates, our local rates here in the school district attendance area, as well as the restrictions currently in place for our county based on the “extreme risk” designation. That information, combined with the knowledge that to date we have NOT had transmission of the virus in our schools, that things are going well, and that the risk of shutting down in-person instruction becomes more likely should we bring all students back and transmission occur, we have made some decisions.
For the final 6 weeks the District will remain in our current model, and NOT expand in-person instruction. While this news may be disappointing for some, we believe it gives us the best chance to reach the 2nd week of June and NOT have a situation where we will need to return to CDL, even with rising county rates. Having to return to CDL would be extremely problematic, as in two weeks we will begin a chromebook check-in process, starting with our youngest students (K-2) and ending the last week of school with High School and all OPTIONS program students (More information coming out on this in the coming days).
The primary thing that could mandate us to return to a CDL format, would be if significant transmission of the virus was occurring within the school. I am hopeful, if not mildly confident, we have the ability to avoid that, regardless of whether or not the county rates continue to rise. While we have had several students contact the virus in recent weeks through a wide variety of ways (most often through a positive parent, or a weekend gathering with friends), all of the protocols and safety measures taking place in schools have resulted in ZERO transmissions in our schools. For us to make it through the end of the school year and be able to maintain what we are still doing, will require everyone doing their part. Please continue to keep your students home when they have any symptoms, avoid large gatherings, and practice recommended protocols at all times. The single biggest factor, besides all of our safety protocols, to ensure there is no spread in our schools, would be to have NO students testing positive!
A couple quick notes on the 21-22 school year. While there is still lots of work to do before September, I fully expect the FRSD to have a normal school day and calendar in 21-22 (what that looks like will largely depend on ODE guidance, and the COVID-19 infection rate). All of our staff will be doing whatever it takes over the summer to ensure to the best of our ability that occurs! I was in a meeting today with ODE where it was stated that they will have the first iteration of Fall guidance out on July 19th. Superintendents shared loudly and clearly that we need this guidance earlier. Regardless of when it comes, I am committed to exploring any option that gets students to experience a normal academic calendar in 21-22. Finally, our FRSD OPTIONS program will continue in 21-22 as an additional choice for our parents that would like that. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the district office, or your building principal.