11/13/2020 Greetings, I hope this Community Update finds you and your families well. As we continue to deal with the many challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic, I thought it important to update everyone on how Covid-19 is impacting the school community.
Thankfully, during the first three months of the school year, we saw minimal impact on the school community which was reflective of the general impact on Knox County as we remained on the Yellow/Orange alert levels. The minimal number of positive cases were primarily associated within family clusters and special events.
Unfortunately, during the past two weeks, we have begun to experience a greater number of positive cases and increased quarantine scenarios. The recent increases seem to be associated with community spread versus isolated incidents. On Thursday, Knox County was elevated to the ‘Level 3-Red’ alert level on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System indicating a very high level of exposure and spread.
We met with Knox Public Health this morning to review our current situation. While we are all concerned with the recent increases in Covid positive cases in Knox County, we believe that
our schools continue to be a safe place for our students and staff. Our students and staff have done an outstanding job of following safety guidelines and are to be commended..
With the holidays approaching, we need to keep our guards up and remain steadfast in our efforts to combat the rising Covid positive cases in our community. We desperately want to
keep our schools open and need the support of our community to follow the same basic safety guidelines that our students and staff practice daily.
- Conduct daily health screening checks of yourself and family members. If you’re sick please stay home.
- Please… wear a mask while out in public. Wearing a mask will protect you and others around you.
- Maintain social distancing of 6’ where feasible.
- Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizers frequently.
While our goal is to remain in school under the Traditional (Green) learning model, there are a
variety of conditions that could warrant a change which include:
- Knox County Alert levels
- Student absences due to COVID positive student cases and/or Quarantine
- Staff absences due to COVID positive cases and/or Quarantine
- State Mandate by Governor or Ohio Department of Health
Of the aforementioned conditions, our ability to maintain the staffing necessary to keep buildings and classrooms operating is of great concern. With staff positive cases and quarantine rising, we are finding it challenging to safely keep schools open. If this trend continues we may be forced to change to remote learning (Red) for periods of time.
* If a change in learning conditions is warranted, we would do our best to provide parents with as much lead time as possible, based upon the circumstances.
COVID Dashboard -We would encourage you to take a look at the district’s ‘Covid Dashboard’ located on the district website. We continue to update the site with additional information and notifications. We are now sending email letters to all parents/guardians of buildings where a student or staff member has tested positive. Due to HIPAA regulations, we have provided the details of active student and staff member data on the district dashboard by building only. Quarantine numbers are incredibly challenging to acquire and accurately convey. Therefore, we will not place that information on the dashboard.
Free Breakfast & Lunch – GOOD NEWS The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending flexibilities to allow free meals to continue to be available to all children throughout the entire 2020-2021 school year. We encourage all parents/students to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity which will support our food service program and save families money.