Learning Intentions After Thanksgiving Break
Dear CCA Families and Staff,
As we move through the end of the calendar year we want to give families and staff some insight into the decision-making of the administrators, staff, and school board regarding in-person versus remote/virtual learning platform.
The administrative team meets daily looking at Johnson/Iowa county and district-specific COVID data and its effect on our staff and students. Our top priority, as always, remains the safety and physical & mental well-being of our staff, students, and their families.
The collaborative group of board members and administrators considers concerns and viewpoints of our families and their situations during our discussions and, ultimately, decisions. We understand an answer that meets the needs for one family may disrupt the daily life of another.
Currently we anticipate returning to onsite instruction on November 30th. The following are plans under consideration, if we feel it is not safe to return from Thanksgiving break to the learning structure implemented at the beginning of the school year.
Earlier this fall the CCA Board established using a combination of County Positivity Rates and Student absentee rate to determine moving to virtual instruction on a broad scale. Last week we moved to virtual instruction through November 24th due to a high number of staff out due to COVID related quarantine.
Currently we anticipate that nearly all staff and students who were quarantined will be able to return on November 30th. We, the administrative team, have reservations due to high positivity rates in our communities. But, we also realize that a large number of our families depend on us to provide onsite instruction and have expressed that multiple times. Families who aren’t comfortable with onsite instruction always have the ability to transition to virtual instruction or keep their children home for a time.
While the transition to virtual has gone very well, we realize that onsite instruction serves the majority of our students better than virtual instruction. And we also realize that virtual instruction places additional burdens on families.
Plan A: Return to onsite instruction for students PK-12. We would continue with the mitigation strategies that have been in place since students and staff returned to school in August. While we have challenges with quarantine situations, we have not seen spread at school on any definable level. We are concerned that we could again have a situation arise that requires us to transition back to virtual instruction before winter break.
Plan B: Apply for a waiver to stay virtual for the first week returning from break, returning to onsite instruction December 7th. This would allow a bit of time to see how the Holiday is going to impact community and school positivity and quarantines impacting the schools. We have concerns over keeping students virtual for this extended time.
We are working on a plan to serve some of our students with the highest needs by bringing them onsite and/or serving some students at their home site via a van for a short period of time weekly.
Plan C: Apply for a waiver to stay virtual until January 4, 2021. This would allow for continuity of instruction for students and families. It reduces the risk of staff and students becoming positive or being impacted by quarantine.
As listed in Plan B, we are working on a plan to serve some of our students with the highest needs by bringing them onsite and/or serving some students at their home site via a van for a short period of time weekly.
Plan D: Return with elementary students onsite November 30th and keep middle and high school students virtual until January 4th.. Virtual instruction is more of a challenge for our elementary families than our secondary families.
We struggle with justifying not bringing back middle and high school students if we are able to staff that as well. We could see the potential to need to move individual buildings to virtual under certain circumstances due to staffing or student absence issues.
Due to the fluidity with the spread of the virus, in addition to the onset of the cold and flu season, it may be necessary to implement any of these plans with little to no notice.
In the current situation, we highly suggest your family has a plan in place for remote/virtual learning at some point in December. Again, this time period could be as little as two days or possibly the span between Thanksgiving break and Winter Break.
Tim Kuehl, Superintendent