Bulldogger Back To School Plan
As everyone gears up for the beginning of another school year, I wanted to share our Bulldogger Back To School Plan with you in hopes that you review it prior to the start of school. The plan is available by clicking the link at the end of this newsletter. Unfortunately, it appears we're going to be starting the year with the pandemic still at the forefront as COVID-19 cases and it's variants seem to be increasing in our area. As you review the plan and if you or your child was enrolled with us last year, you may not notice too many changes from what you experienced last year. However, there are some specific and noticeable changes that I want to draw your attention to.
1. There is no mask mandate. Recent state legislation, Senate BIll 658 (see link below), has prohibited schools from requiring masks to be worn while at school unless certain conditions have been met. Those conditions have been outlined within the Bulldogger Back To School Plan.
2. Whereas last year we approached student and staff quarantines with a broad scope, we will be handling close contact quarantines in a much different manner. Our initial plan will be to focus more specifically and intentionally on individuals that we know are close contacts to someone testing positive prior to issuing quarantines. For those that are potentially close contacts, staff and families will be notified as such and will be given the opportunity to determine if they want to quarantine ONLY if they have no symptoms. Individuals experiencing symptoms will still be required to quarantine. This will more than likely eliminate the need for large numbers of quarantines and/or classroom quarantines associated with singular cases.
3. We have adjusted our Bulldogger Online School (fully virtual learning program) to only be available to students in grades 6-12 and by application only. Prior to the pandemic, we had plans to introduce a fully virtual online learning program for our high school students but only for those that were a proper fit for that style of learning. Unfortunately as we responded to COVID-19, we believed it was necessary to provide this learning pathway for all Dewey students while we all dealt with the unknowns of having school during a pandemic. Although some students succeeded academically in this program, many did not. So we believe that offering the program in such broad fashion for a second consecutive academic year doesn't appear to be in the best interest of many of our students and would not benefit their academic growth.
Overall, you can trust that our approach to this school year will be to provide a more typical learning experience compared to last school year. Yet, everyday seems to be making that a more difficult task without compromising too much student and staff safety. Nonetheless, we will again be asking everyone to be patient, flexible and understanding as it will be necessary to pivot very quickly to new strategies as we respond to the circumstances we will face. Thank you for all of your support and please help keep you, your family and others safe during these difficult times.