I wanted to send you a few important updates as we continue to prepare for what the school year will look like in 2020. First of all, please know that our entire leadership team has been working for weeks to sort out how we are to best serve our community in this time of crisis. We are working diligently to balance the necessity for educating our children with the requirement that we keep them, and those who serve them, as safe as possible. A great deal more information will be following, but please make note of the following major points as you continue to plan for the upcoming school year as well.
1. School will begin with the first day of classes on August 11, rather than July 30 as originally scheduled. We are doing this for several reasons; to increase planning time for teachers and parents to get ready for distance-learning and online classes so that, no matter what the setting, we will work to provide the best learning opportunities possible. Even with this delay, changing public health situations may dictate a different opening date in the future and we will keep you informed if this becomes a necessity.
2. Health and safety measures will be strictly followed for in-person instruction. Daily health checks, including temperature checks and parent affirmation of student health will be required. Strict pick-up and drop off procedures will be in place for all sites. Masks will be mandatory for all staff and students while in the buildings, within six feet of others and within health guidelines (more details will follow.) Students will supply their own masks and will be a required part of the uniform dress code. Thorough cleaning protocols have been put in place and a 60-90 day stock of PPE and cleaning supplies will be kept on hand.
3. Meal service will be adjusted to limit opportunities for the spread of disease, but will continue for all students. In addition, meals will be available for all students, whether in person or online, all year long. Details for pickup will be available in the near future.
4. All students will begin school in either full-time online format or in-person at their respective school. Students should have already chosen which placement they would like through the SFS survey last week. Because we realize that this decision has been made in very uncertain times, we will allow parents to change their student’s placement after school starts and by August 21st. After this time, changes in placement will be limited to medical necessity or by principal approval for duration of the first semester.
5. All students in grades 2-12 will be receiving a Chrome-book and training to be able to use this device in order to be able to receive instruction both in person and virtually. Parents will be required to purchase insurance for each device through the school, or accept responsibility for theft or damage to the device. Details on devices and usage will follow.
6. Sites will be contacting parents about back to school procedures, uniform purchases, back to school bash events, etc.
Full details on the SFS Health and Safety procedures will be available within the next week as will details related to our distance-learning plans. We are working hard to ensure that whether we are able to start in person and stay in person all year, begin virtually and then enter the buildings at a later date, or any combination of circumstances, we are able to continue to care well for our students and those who serve them.