Good evening Rocket Families,
I hope this message finds you well and ready for a chilly weekend. It appears that we are in for a cold one!
As we finish our first week of hybrid learning in grades PK-8, many success stories have been shared. As with any change, there have also been some questions and a few concerns. On a positive note, an overwhelming theme from each of our buildings was how excited the students were to be back in school.
Additionally, our staff has worked very hard to provide both in person learning while having students synchronously learn from home. One challenge has been the amount of “facetime” for students learning synchronously from home. Our staff has never done this before and are working diligently to provide more face-to-face instruction. Please be patient as they work to increase this “live” instruction.
🙋 I have been asked by several people when we expect our Hybrid Learning Model to end. Unfortunately, due to the space restrictions of keeping students at least three feet away from each other in class, we do not have the room in our classrooms (except at the high school) to achieve this distancing.
I remain hopeful that the state will change the guidelines once the vaccine is rolled out and we will be able to get students back full time, five days a week. Until then we will have to continue the Hybrid Learning Model.
✅ To be clear, we all want our students to be in the district full time.
🙋 I have also been asked why we are not using the Annex building for daily instruction. Simply put, to reduce the number of students in each class in order to meet the distancing requirements, we would need to hire additional teachers to achieve the social distancing rules currently in place.
Our budget has been set for the year and the hiring of additional teachers, and the staff to support them is not financially feasible. Also, the Annex classrooms are not updated at this time to meet the needs of our students.
🙋 Several people have also asked if plexiglass shields would work to get our students back full time. While we were planning for our reopening last spring and summer, our health department director explained the shields offer no protection and to not waste our money on them.
The health professionals who have been supporting local districts also stated that even with the desk shields currently on the market, students still must wear face coverings and follow the three feet social distance rule. It is our responsibility to follow these guidelines in order to keep our students and staff safe during this incredibly difficult pandemic. It is a responsibility we all must take very seriously here in Streetsboro.
Finally, I wanted to review the new guidelines again regarding close contacts and quarantining. Please know that if your student is identified as a close contact, someone from the district will contact you and help you understand exactly what you need to do. If you have any questions after reading this, please contact your building principal or feel free to contact me. The new guidance is available here. In summary:
- 1️⃣ Students identified as close contacts in the classroom setting may be able to continue attending school even though they have to quarantine during after school hours. They may not participate in extracurricular activities or athletics until the quarantine period has concluded.
- 2️⃣ Students identified as close contacts from exposure during lunch, band, choir, or extra-curricular activities must quarantine at home.
- 3️⃣ Students identified as close contacts through participation in athletics must quarantine at home.
I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing weekend. Stay warm, wear your mask, don’t gather in large groups, and GO ROCKETS!
R. Michael Daulbaugh
Streetsboro City Schools