Dear Boone County Families,
Thanks go out to our students, families, and employees as our schools have been successful in transitioning to in-person instruction in the hybrid model these past two weeks. We are confident that we can keep our students and employees safe in this instructional model. We will continue to monitor the number of positive cases in our students and employees, in addition to those in our community.
As we shared in our general framework for the second half of the school year, we expect to continue in the hybrid model for a period of time and then transition to a 4-day per week model for the remainder of the school year. The hybrid model was chosen in order to provide the recommended 6-feet of social distancing between students and staff. While I agree that more face-to-face instruction is the best scenario, implementing it makes physical distancing virtually impossible in our schools. We have estimated the approximate transition date to be in early March as we will closely follow the conditions in our community and allow for the vaccination of employees and community members to become fully effective.
Our approach with this instructional model is one of balance. In November, the push for 4-days of instruction was unfortunately met with such high numbers of positive cases and quarantines that providing in-person instruction was just not possible. Additionally, the transitions between virtual, hybrid, and 4-day instruction were so disruptive and challenging that we want to minimize them as much as possible for everyone. Our goal is to transition to 4-days of instruction to the best of our ability and not have to transition back to virtual instruction if conditions worsen.
For our schools to continue moving forward, we need every family member and every employee to take precautions and follow the general safety guidelines at work and at home. Please stay home if you are not feeling well, contact your family physician or take a COVID-19 test if you are showing any symptoms of the virus, closely follow the guidelines for isolation if you test positive, and closely follow the guidelines and instructions for quarantine if you are in “close contact” with a person that does test positive.
We are expecting some inclement weather in the next few days and later this week. If the road conditions become hazardous for bus transportation and individual drivers, we may transition to “remote learning” for all students instead of cancelling school and potentially adding days of instruction to the end of the school year.
Our schools and staff have been working hard to provide for students and families in these difficult circumstances. While times are challenging and I understand your frustrations, we are seeing progress and many successes. If you need any assistance or want to know more about your child’s performance and progress, then please contact your child’s teacher or school administrator.
Take care of yourself, your family, and your community.
Matthew L. Turner