In case you missed it, a message from Mrs. Simpson…
 
Thank you for setting sail with us this week. We know there has been some frustration over some remote learning aspects, but things continue to go smoother each day. Please remember to use the attendance form each day your student is working remotely. We will start contacting people who are forgetting next week.  
 
Last night, we presented our plans for returning to full class sizes at the Board of Directors meeting. As you know, from the beginning of this school year, it has been our goal to return to full in-person learning five days a week as quickly, and more importantly, as safely as possible. We formed a Task Force to determine the metrics that we would use to decide when returning to full classes would be appropriate. The “Return to Full” Task Force recommended that our return to full classes be based exclusively on our school’s COVID data. We would like to return to full classes based on how we, as a school, are doing in regards to COVID cases in the building. We decided that the best data to measure would be how many (if any) cohorts have had to quarantine over a certain period of time. If we were to have five cohorts quarantine in a two-week period, the health department would force us to close and go remote. Using that as a baseline, we’d like to use the following metrics for returning to full classes. For elementary school (K-5), if we have had three or fewer cohorts quarantine (with no evidence of transmission between cohorts within the school) by the end of the third week of school, we recommend that we return to full class sizes on Sept. 21. We would make this determination by Sept. 11. For middle school (6-8), if we have had three or fewer cohorts quarantine (with no evidence of transmission between cohorts within the school) by the end of the fifth week of school, we recommend that we return to full class sizes on Oct. 5. We would make this determination by Sept. 25. 
 
If we reach four cohorts having to quarantine, but do not meet the school closure threshold, we will remain in hybrid and reevaluate every two weeks. For example, we have four cohorts in elementary quarantine between Aug. 24 – Sept. 11. We would then extend hybrid for two weeks, and we have less than two cohorts quarantined in that time, we would go to full class sizes on Oct. 5  
 
This can all get very confusing, but we are following the flowchart and other guidance from the Colorado Department of Public Health. 
 
We will monitor county data and school data from other schools in our area to guide communications to our families and staff around “possible threats” to our school community. 
 
We are committed to reporting to the community if we have positive cases in the school. We are required to contact anyone who may have had exposure to a positive case, but we will also let the community know, in general terms, when there is a case(s) in the building. The community will be aware of any cohorts that are required to quarantine. (Click here to see our Cohort Exclusion flowchart.)
 
We have put many safety protocols in place at school, but I cannot stress enough how vital it is that families keep children who are not feeling well at home. YOU are our first line of defense. If everyone keeps their students at home when not feeling well, we have a much better chance of returning to and staying in full class instruction five days a week. 
 
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions and or concerns.