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Return to Learn Update from Dr. Tucker
--Friday, March 5, 2021--
As we shared earlier this week, the Clay County Public Health Center released its updated Full Opening to Schools document Wednesday, March 3, 2021. As long as COVID-19 data continues tracking in a favorable direction for our community in the coming weeks, it will allow us to expand in-person learning for our secondary students.
At the LPS Board of Education study session meeting held Tuesday morning, March 2, the Board received a Return to Learn update presented by the administration that included several scenarios that could be implemented in anticipation of the official release of the CCPHC Full Opening to Schools document.
After analyzing the various scenarios, and understanding that each scenario presents challenges and opportunities, it is our plan to allow for students to return to in-person learning four days per week at our secondary sites beginning Monday, April 5, 2021. Important details to take note of regarding this plan:
- Secondary students would attend in-person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesdays would remain a virtual learning day for all secondary students.
- Students choosing to not return to a four days per week in-person schedule would transition to an asynchronous schedule (virtual learning from home) for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. Virtual Wednesdays would allow for engagement opportunities with all students.
- Secondary schools will be intentional with virtual Wednesday lessons and Zoom sessions so they are similar in quality to in-person learning.
- Special Programs students will continue with five days per week in-person learning, with early release on Wednesdays.
Additionally, our team is in the process of identifying secondary students who would be determined to need additional support based off certain criteria (Individualized Education Plans, 504s, students failing most or all classes, students exhibiting high social, emotional, or traumatic distress, etc.). When this process is complete, it would then be our goal to allow these students to transition to in-person learning four days per week beginning Monday, March 22, 2021. Our team will be directly connecting with the families of those identified next week.
Today's announcement will likely generate additional questions as we make this transition in the coming weeks. A Frequently Asked Questions page has been published and available on our LPS website, which can be accessed by clicking here. In addition, stakeholders are always encouraged to leave us any feedback on our Let's Talk portal. Be looking for follow-up messages, including survey/feedback opportunities, that will be shared with secondary families next week prior to our spring break, in advance of the April 5 return date.
Please know that we remain committed to working with local public health agencies and will closely monitor data and trends related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As has been the case thus far during the 2020-2021 school year, if we would see an alarming increase in positive cases within our school community, there may be a need to close a classroom, school, or possibly even transition back to our hybrid model at the secondary level.
Yesterday, we shared an encouraging vaccine update with our staff. Operation Safe has offered March 18, 19, and 20 as COVID-19 vaccination dates for our staff choosing to get vaccinated with a first dose. We anticipate that the second dose would then be administered in early-mid April. These events will take place at the mass vaccination site at the Cerner campus. We appreciate the efforts of all of those within our community for making this opportunity possible.
Much work will be taking place by our entire LPS team in the coming weeks in preparation for this shift on April 5. It is our hope that this work and transition will provide us with momentum as we look ahead to the 2021-2022 school year and being able to return to five days per week in-person learning for all students. As always, we thank you for your patience and grace as we come down the stretch of this unprecedented school year.
Have a great weekend, and be well!
Dr. M. Jeremy Tucker
Superintendent - Liberty Public Schools
Superintendent - Liberty Public Schools