Hello, and I hope you’re having a great week so far! I’m coming to you a little early this week with the final weekly update for the year. Please continue reading my email, and you can watch my video update by clicking here.
School-based learning model after winter break
I know the question on many families’ minds right now is what will happen after winter break - will our school-based students be returning to school in the hybrid learning model? And the answer is yes - our plan remains to have students back in hybrid starting on Tuesday, January 5.
Over winter break, we will continue to review the local and county case rates and our staffing situation. If anything changes about our return to hybrid in January, we will notify all families and staff as soon as possible.
Just as a reminder, we’ll be implementing our enhanced hybrid schedule right after winter break. This schedule will give all of our school-based students three days a week of structured and teacher-guided learning. The primary difference is that most Wednesdays will be enhanced distance learning days for both hybrid groups. Hybrid group 1 students will continue to have in-person learning on Mondays and Tuesdays, and hybrid group 2 students will continue to have in-person learning on Thursdays and Fridays. Students will continue with independent remote learning on the other days of the week when they aren’t in school in person.
If we have a four day school week like we do after winter break, the schedule might look a little different. This is so we can balance the in-person learning days for both hybrid groups. Please see the updated hybrid learning schedule and mark your calendars for your student’s in-person learning days the week after winter break.
Please continue to notify COVID Nurse Coordinator Gina Rancitelli, RN, BSN, LSN - at [email protected] or 614-487-5035 - over these next few weeks if your student has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19. This will allow us to better support your students in their learning when school resumes and help us also plan for a safe return to school. Additionally - and this is very important - we’ll also be able to track the resulting 90 day period of presumed immunity when a student wouldn’t have to quarantine due to an exposure. All of this will help us provide a better continuity of education for our students.
Litchford cemetery site update
I also want to provide an update on some construction work at the high school. Next week and into winter break, our construction crews will be doing some drainage work on the high school site. Since this work is near the site of the Litchford family cemetery - where remains were found earlier this year - we will have our archaeological team onsite, and we will proceed very cautiously. We also continue to work with members of the Litchford family every step of the way.
Nutritional Services - meal pickup updates
Winter break meal packs are available for preorder and pickup on Tuesday, December 22. These meal packs are free and are designed to provide students with meals through Monday, January 4. For preorder and pickup information, visit our website.
Additional updates and reminders
Well-being webinar for families: Please join us for a webinar with Dr. Emily W. King, a nationally recognized child, adolescent and family psychologist, on Wednesday, January 6 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dr. King will be speaking about supporting the social and emotional wellness of children and families during COVID-19. To learn more about Emily King, please visit her website. We’ll email out a Zoom link on the day of the webinar.
Quarantine care packages for UAHS students: As a part of a capstone project, a UAHS senior has created quarantine care packages for any high school student who is either in quarantine or struggling with feelings of isolation during remote learning. Due to the contents in the care package, they are offered only to high school students. To receive a care package, please complete this form. If you would like to request a care package for more than one UAHS student in your household, please submit one form for each student.
COVID-19 data dashboard: We’ll update our district dashboard as usual this Friday afternoon and again once during winter break.
Finally, since this is my last update of 2020, I want to take a moment to reflect back on this incredibly challenging year. I want to thank each of you for everything you’ve done - I know there have been many sacrifices. I’m excited - the vaccines are here! And although we have some difficult weeks ahead, better days are on the horizon.
I hope you all have a wonderful winter break and a happy and healthy new year. Take care and, as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools