I hope you’ve had a great week! I want to start my message today by expressing gratitude for your flexibility and support. There have been many challenges and changes this year, and I appreciate all you are doing to support our schools and your students during this time.
Important COVID-19 updates
You can watch my full video update here. I’m including a shorter version in this email. You can click here to see our latest COVID-19 data.
As you know, the situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing, and right now we are starting to head in a better direction. While case rates in our community and in Franklin County are still high, we’re beginning to see a decline in those numbers. The experts on our Medical Advisory Team believe there is reason to be hopeful that there will be a significant decline in cases this spring.
As we’ve been saying all year, the Board of Education is committed to having students back in school, five days a week, as soon as it’s safe to do so. With a lower case-rate and incidence of COVID-19 in our community, as well as improvement in other illness factors, the Medical Advisory Team has suggested that a return to all-in is a possibility this spring.
At their February 9 meeting, the Board of Education will be discussing the goal of transitioning our school-based pathway students to all-in learning following spring break. They’ll hear from our Medical Advisory Team about the latest COVID-19 information and data available.
I want to emphasize that this is a goal, and we are beginning to talk about this now so families can begin planning for this as a possibility. Our medical advisors do feel it is realistic to work toward making this happen safely after spring break, but they do not feel like we can do it yet due to a variety of illness factors, including our elevated case rate.
Over the next several weeks, we will all need to do our part to help make all-in learning a reality and be cautious in all areas of our lives - at school, during extracurricular activities and athletics, during social activities, and even when spending time with extended family. If we want to be in a better place than we are in now, and if we want to get our students back in school full time safely, we have to continue to work together.
Save the dates - Well-being webinar series continues
We are excited to have partnered with the Upper Arlington Education Foundation to welcome bestselling author and educator Rosalind Wiseman, to discuss her brand new publication, The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents. These webinars will support our families and staff members in honing skills to support the social, emotional, and educational well-being of our students.
Calamity day reminder
With the chance of inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday and Monday, I just wanted to remind everyone of the procedures for calamity days in our enhanced hybrid schedule. If we would need a calamity day on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, that would be a no-school day for all students (both school-based and in the Online Academy). If we would experience poor weather conditions on a Wednesday, that would remain an enhanced distance learning day for students in the school-based pathway, and a regular day for students in the Online Academy.
Week of February 1 schedule changes: All K-12 school-based and Online Academy students will wrap up their school day early on Tuesday, February 2 and Thursday, February 4 based on the schedules here. Grab-and-go lunches will be available for preorder for in-person students, and weekly meal packs will also be available to students learning remotely via a form on our website.
COVID-19 data dashboard: This week’s update is available here.
Have a great weekend, and as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools