January 8, 2021
This Monday, January 11th the district will transition K-12 students back to a 2-days-a-week Hybrid/Blended Learning Setting. Students with last names beginning A-L will attend in-person on Tuesdays/Thursdays and students with last names beginning M-Z will attend in-person on Wednesdays/Fridays. Mondays will continue to be Remote Learning Days. CAVC, Pre-K and specific, identified IEP, EL and at-risk students will attend school each day, Tuesday through Friday. We are excited to return to in-person instruction.
The district will continue to monitor the health of our staff and students during the 2nd semester. Please keep in mind, a surge in positive cases could result in a change to our current learning plan. We continue to advise families to have alternate plans in case a shift to Remote learning would be necessary.
Additionally, January and February will surely bring inclement weather. In December, the Board of Education approved E-learning Days in lieu of canceling school during inclement weather, if appropriate. Information for E-Learning Days will be provided to families in the near future by your child’s respective building. E-Learning Days will mirror what has occurred during Remote Learning and the District will use email, telephone and social media to notify parents as quickly as possible.
We have been notified by the Madison County Health Department that our Health Staff are eligible to be vaccinated in the days ahead along with Healthcare Personnel, Long-Term Care residents and staff commonly referred to as Phase 1a. Furthermore, the health department anticipates the remaining education sector consisting of certified staff and support staff, (commonly referred to as Phase 1b) will be eligible to be vaccinated once Phase 1a has been substantially completed. Despite being several weeks out and a month-long process, this is a positive!
With the new semester underway, district health staff will initiate the district’s Rapid Point-of-Care Antigen Testing Program to students and staff who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms at school throughout the second semester. This will be instrumental in our efforts to determine if children or adults exhibiting symptoms have a COVID-related or seasonal illness. However, in order for this additional safety measure to be beneficial, we need families to complete the online permission slip or send a paper copy back to your child’s respective school as soon as possible. We need your help!
In the weeks ahead, the health of our staff and students, the timeline for vaccinating educators and the district’s safety measures will determine our learning setting. We are optimistic Antigen Testing and vaccinations will allow the district to expand the number of days students attend in-person second semester.
Since March of 2020 our Kahok Families have and continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted each of our lives in various manners. Recent events at the nation’s Capitol will add additional stress to our lives and certainly raise questions from our students. As educators, we cannot take a political stance with our students, however, it is important that we listen to our students’ questions and have conversations about current events. During these conversations we encourage our teachers and staff to show compassion and empathy while reinforcing appropriate behavior and communication for students and adults. We want students to feel safe and take advantage of age appropriate “teachable moments” in the days and weeks ahead.
If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or building principal. We cannot say thank you enough to our communities, families and staff for your patience and support to educate our students…together!
Please be safe, wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance. Don’t forget to wear your purple and show your Kahok Pride.
Mark B. Skertich Ed.D.