Important Family Update
Let us be the first to officially say, Happy Thanksgiving! We know this holiday may be very different and even challenging for many, but we hope you and your family still enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation during the next couple of days. As we head into this brief holiday break, we need to share some significant updates and reminders with you.
IMPACT OF LATEST COUNTY NUMBERS
Below are the latest COVID-19 numbers from Island County Public Health. Sadly, our community, like most, is seeing a significant increase in cases. Every four weeks, we’ve used the “Average Weekly Rate” (from the chart below) to evaluate the next steps according to our reopening plan approved in August. These numbers helped us get our PK-6 students back in school, but our plan also states that we must roll back to Distance Plus (Phase 1) if our “Average Weekly Rate” is above 60 per 100k on a review date.
Our next official review date is Tuesday, Dec. 8. Unfortunately, it seems almost certain that the Average Weekly Rate will be above 60 on that date. As a result, our school teams have started planning to move our PK-6 hybrid classes back to distance learning, and we urge families to plan accordingly. The first day of distance learning for PK-6 would be Monday, Dec. 14. According to our plan, we will continue our data reviews every four weeks to determine when we can safely return to in-person learning. The next official review after Dec. 8 will be Tuesday, Jan. 5.
We’re sad things are at this point, and we know this news is very upsetting for families of children in hybrid classes. We understand there will be many questions from families about how this will impact their children. Our team is working hard to get as many of those answers to you as quickly as we can. We ask for your patience and understanding during this challenging time for everyone.
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
With the holiday season fast approaching, we understand many families are making plans to “fill their buckets” and see loved ones across the state and the country. As a reminder, indoor gatherings, travel, and hosting out-of-town visitors have been some of the biggest driving factors of COVID-19 spikes in Washington and nation-wide. We need everyone’s help to get the rates down to have our students return to in-person learning as soon as possible after winter break.
To this end, Governor Inslee prohibited indoor gatherings with people outside the household unless they quarantine for the 14 days before the social gathering or quarantine for the 7 days before the gathering and receive a negative COVID-19 test. The Governor also issued a travel advisory for anyone returning to Washington to self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival.
As you return home, please consider the students, teachers, and staff who we are trying to protect during this pandemic. Your child can continue distance learning from home, and their absences will be excused if they need to quarantine. As a final reminder, please continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing to keep everyone safe.