District Updates from Dr. Christina Hinds
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Instructional Model Reconfirmed
On Monday night, two instructional plans were presented to the Board of Education as part of the Extended COVID-19 Learning (ECOL) reconfirmation process. The Board voted unanimously on the instructional model which continues our hybrid schedule with graduated steps based upon data provided to us by the Allegan County Health Department (ACHD). I will explain the graduated steps in this article. For a visual representation, please see the infographic below. After the infographic, you will find the determination grid with supporting article describing how ACHD determines our risk category.
For the remainder of the trimester, we will continue the hybrid model as originally developed with interventions as planned. In the next few weeks, teachers and staff be working at the building/department level to determine enhancements based on the results of the parent survey and instructional staff expertise. These improvements will be implemented as the "Enhanced Hybrid Model" at the start of second trimester on Monday, November 16. Additional information on the enhancements will be communicated prior to the start of the second trimester.
We will remain following the Enhanced Hybrid Model until the Allegan County Health Department moves Wayland Union Schools into Risk Category C for three consecutive weeks. The Risk Categories will be posted to our website on a weekly basis. At the beginning of the fourth week (at Risk Category C), we will transition into the "Super Hybrid Model," which is a full return four days per week: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Wednesdays will remain a virtual day.
We will remain following the Super Hybrid Model until the Allegan County Health Department moves Wayland Union Schools into Risk Category B for three consecutive weeks. At the beginning of the fourth week (at Risk Category B), we will transition into a "Full Return," which will be all students attending five days per week.
On Friday and in the coming weeks, instructional staff will begin working with their building teams to create improvements to our current hybrid model. Updates on the Enhanced Hybrid Model will be communicated via Superintendent Updates, as well as building and teacher news, prior to the start of the second semester.
Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on our instructional model. Your participation and partnership in education will have lasting effects on the lives of our children. They are watching us. Collaborative, respectful communication sets an example for children now and in years to come.
Dr. Christina Hinds
Wayland Union School District Risk Category, as of 10/27: "D"
How are Risk Categories Determined?
The Allegan County Health Department provides weekly guidance to local school districts based on their individual risk levels. Risk categories are not simply about cases per day per million. Several sources of data are reviewed when determining a school district's risk category. When developing the school district guidance, the Allegan County Health Department considers the following:
- Cases per day per million
- Percent positivity
- Percent in the County with known source of exposure
- The number of deaths in Allegan County
- Proportion of ED Visits with COVID-like symptoms
- Cases in that school building and surrounding school buildings
- Ages of cases
- Is there any ongoing spread in the building?
As cases in Allegan County continue to increase, the ACHD is closely monitoring the source of exposure of cases and determining whether this poses a risk for schools staying open. The ACHD prioritizes in-person learning as long as social distancing, proper mask use, other mitigation strategies are being utilized, and no ongoing virus spread in buildings are maintained.
While new cases within Allegan County are at risk level E (daily cases per million above 150), the Allegan County Health Department places Wayland Union School District at a Risk Category "D." This category is based on the consideration of all factors mentioned above.
For additional countywide data, please see the Allegan County COVID-19 Dashboard at:https://alleganco.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/c05e1ec6222944748968f351273b3d41 or the MI Start Map at https://www.mistartmap.info
Due to the graduated model approved by the Board, our COVID-19 Preparedness Plan will also be revised and posted to our website soon.
Wayland Union Schools and Virtual Academy of Allegan County
The Virtual Academy of Allegan County (VAAC) and Wayland Union Schools are offering families the opportunity to transfer to virtual schooling at the end of the first trimester. Likewise, students who are currently enrolled in virtual schooling will have the opportunity to transition to hybrid in-person instruction. The first trimester for Wayland Union Schools ends on Friday, November 13th.
Families who are currently enrolled in VAAC must complete this form by Friday, November 6th to indicate that they would like to return to a Wayland Union Schools' school building for in-person instruction.
If you have questions about VAAC programming not answered on their webpage, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together We Fight COVID-19
It can be easy to let our guard down and become comfortable with those in our inner(work) circle; however, we must remain vigilant while at school, at work, and at home. Nevertheless, every action (or non-action) we take impacts how quickly we will beat COVID and how quickly we will be able to return to a full-time in-person schedule.
As a reminder, masks are required for all students and staff during the school day, unless the individual has a medical exemption or a disability prohibiting them from doing so. All school events (athletic events, student activities, transportation) require face masks by spectators as well.
Our action now determines how quickly we can move through this. Thank you for protecting yourself and those around you!