As I communicated to you over the weekend, my goal was to announce by mid-week whether or not we would continue with virtual learning in order for you to make the necessary preparations.
Unfortunately, due to the number of staff and students that will need to continue to quarantine, extending virtual learning is currently the only viable option. As you are aware COVID-19 cases are continuing to spike in our community and our schools. We have had twenty seven staff members test positive over the past week. We also continue to get reports of students quarantining due to positive COVID-19 testing. Therefore, we will need to continue to teach and learn virtually for the week of January 10th. My expectation is that we will be able to go back to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18th.
I do not make these decisions lightly, and I understand that virtual learning creates a hardship for many of our families. I will continue to be transparent with my decision making, communicate any changes as soon as possible, balance the need for in-person learning and always prioritize the health and safety of our students and staff. Like many of you I started the school year with the hope that we would have an entire year of uninterrupted learning, but the pandemic had other plans. We are all exhausted and tired of hearing about COVID-19. The pandemic has impacted the world of education and our lives in ways we could never have imagined. I still have hope and remain optimistic that this recent surge is just a bump in the road and we will get back to in-person learning and finish the school year strong.
Finally, if your child is currently quarantined due to being COVID-19 positive, please continue to report that information to your school. It is important that we have the most accurate information as we continue to navigate pandemic learning. As always, thank you for your support and flexibility. Please continue to monitor our district’s website for updates and information.
Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis
Superintendent of Schools