Dear Students, Staff, and Families,
I hope everyone is doing well during this challenging time. This communication serves to provide you with an update on the start of the school year. As you know, the official start of the school year began on Monday, September 14th. The first students to physically attend school were our preschool students and staff. The preschool is housed at Ashton school and things have gone very smoothly. On Tuesday, students in all of our special programs reported to their schools throughout the district. According to Dr. Rachel Santa, our Director of Special Services, students are responding amazingly well. All students and staff are following the CDC guidelines and everyone including students and staff are wearing their masks. All other students in kindergarten through grade twelve are distance learning. All eight of our principals are reporting that student attendance is very good and teachers are reporting that students are responding well. However, I am sure that everyone is anxious to get back into their schools for face to face teaching and learning.
Our goal is to transition all students back to school by October 13th or sooner with the Hybrid Model. As you know, we are making repairs to the ventilation systems in each of our schools. I am happy to report that we are making progress. We have hired several teams of technicians to go through every classroom in all of our buildings to assess the equipment responsible for the exchange of air. They are making repairs to univents that can be done relatively easily. Parts are being ordered for univents that need more extensive repair.
I know that there are lots of questions on a variety of issues related to the opening of school. We have created a link to several folders that will provide information on a number of topics including Health and Wellness, Athletics, Back to School Cyber Awareness, School Buildings, and the 2020-2021 School Calendar. By clicking on each folder, you will receive information on each of these topics. We will be updating these folders on a weekly basis to keep you updated on our progress.
Please know that our administrators and staff are working harder than ever under the circumstances. We want nothing more than to be back with our colleagues, students and friends. Everyone associated with the School Department is working tirelessly to make that happen. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work our way through this extremely challenging situation.
Robert A. Mitchell
Superintendent of Schools