Return to Hybrid Learning Update
Over the past weeks, district staff has been monitoring data and working closely with local boards of Health to make decisions in the best interest of students and staff. On January 8th, we made the decision to extend remote learning through January 20th with a scheduled return date of January 21st based on an anticipated surge. The current data released on January 14th demonstrates a steady rate of positivity above 13%, but not a drastic increase as anticipated. Based on this data, we are maintaining our scheduled return date of January 21st for hybrid learning.
On January 21st and 22nd, cohort B will return to in-person learning.
Please know, the precautions and practiced protocols in place in our schools have resulted in minimal transmission of COVID-19 in school buildings. Generally, students and staff members testing positive have contracted COVID-19 from a close contact outside of a school setting. Unfortunately, positive cases from outside the school setting do contribute to mandated quarantine periods which impact student and staff attendance. DRRSD continues to track and collect data of positive cases. This data is now available to all stakeholders via an electronic dashboard linked on our website, drregional.org. This dashboard will be updated weekly on Fridays.
To further help stop the spread of COVID-19, DRRSD is currently working on the implementation of a rapid testing program for students and staff. Through a grant from the Commonwealth, DRRSD has been provided rapid tests for COVID-19 that can be administered by school nurses to symptomatic students and staff members. Consent forms and further information will be sent to the district community prior to the start of this initiative. We anticipate that consent forms will be sent via email soon.
Finally, DRRSD will be implementing a new policy regarding camera use during remote learning for students in grades 5-12. In short, students will be required to turn on device cameras during remote learning when instructed to do so by teachers and staff members. This policy will be effective beginning February 1, 2021. More information from building principals will be sent to families regarding this policy.
Thank you to our families, staff, and students for the continued flexibility and support during this unprecedented time. We are doing our best to proactively identify roadblocks and to respond to issues presented by COVID-19. We know that consistency is critical for students; and though we face constant change, we will continue to work to provide updates and deliver the best possible education for our students despite the roadblocks we face.
Dr. Anthony C. Azar
Superintendent of Schools