Dr. Fehrman's Friday Follow-Up

December 31, 2021

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Happy New Year to All!

As we watch the impact of omicron continue to expand exponentially, there are many families and staff concerned about how the current COVID surge will impact schools in the first few weeks of the new year. As shared in our previous communication, there is strong evidence that regardless of the level of transmission in our community, schools remain a safe place for our students and staff. We understand that there is a great deal to still learn about this new variant, and CSD has enhanced our mitigation efforts, and we are committed to keeping schools open as long as we can safely do so.

Parents should know that there is still a possibility for intermittent closures of classes and perhaps even schools due to a high number of staff who may need to isolate or quarantine. Schools are usually able to manage teacher absences, and our amazing CSD staff have always stepped up to cover classes as needed. CSD did hire additional full-time substitutes in November and December and added additional sub positions for the first two weeks of January. However, there is a tipping point when we simply cannot operate schools safely if a significant number of staff are absent. CSD is prepared for this scenario and we have contingency plans ready in the event we need to close a class or school due to staffing issues. In the event that a class(es) or a school must close, CSD will communicate this to our families as soon as possible. Wilson Center staff are supporting our principals as they work with school staff to ensure that we can pivot to virtual learning in just a few hours, including distributing Chromebooks and hotspots for students in isolation, quarantine, and or in the event of a class/school closure.

In the event that we encounter staffing issues in our operations division, such as transportation or school nutrition, we also have contingency plans to mitigate staffing shortages. This includes doubling bus routes and limiting menu options along with others. If adjustments in operations are needed, CSD will communicate information as soon as possible to inform parents if buses are running late or if we have significant changes in our menu options.

Mitigation Updates and Reminders

  1. Get vaccinated! Vaccination is the best mitigation to prevent the spread of COVID. Parents, also please upload vaccination cards in the parent portal for your children.

  2. Please review our updated Mitigation Rubric for the most up-to-date information. We are at Level 4.

  3. Limit the number of individuals you are in contact with who are outside your household.

  4. Ensure your child has multiple correct fitting masks each day. CSD did purchase additional masks to distribute to staff and students as needed.

  5. CSD will be following the new CDC Guidelines on Isolation and Quarantine.

  6. CSD will be implementing Test to Stay for grades K-12 (TTS)

  7. Please monitor your children’s symptoms and keep your child home when they are experiencing even mild symptoms and get them tested. Please wait until you have the results before sending your child to school.

  8. CSD will also offer expanded hours of free COVID testing on January 3. Testing will be available to students and staff from 8 am to 12 pm at the Wilson Center (Board room entrance) located at 125 Electric Avenue. Register here for faster service. Registration will also be available on site. Tests will be administered on a first come, first served basis. You do not need to schedule a time for testing. You should anticipate having to wait as we expect a large number of individuals getting tested.

  9. Lunch - CSD is committed to eating out lunch outdoors++ as much as possible. However, there are times when students will have to eat indoors due to weather conditions. Lunch will be served indoors during the following conditions:

    1. Temperature falls below 45 degrees

    2. Rain, snow, or other precipitation

++Parents, if you can volunteer your time and help supervise outdoor lunch, please contact your child’s school principal to get details on how to help.