We hope this update finds you and your families well. Today, October 15th, signifies the end of the first nine-week grading period. The second nine-week grading period ushers in shorter days, cooler nights, parent teacher conferences, winter extracurricular activities, and the start of the holiday seasons. In this update we have included some important information about a variety of topics: Covid Masking Update; Parent Teacher Conferences; ALICE Safety Drills; and Senior Parents night.
Covid Masking Update: The district has continued to closely monitor the three primary indicators and additional considerations outlined in the October 1st update. COVID positive cases and hospitalizations have continued to decline locally and statewide. New Student/Staff positive cases have drastically declined during the past three week time frame. The past three week average for new Covid-19 cases is 11 per week.
We understand and respect the strong opinions relative to this topic. None of us want to be wearing a mask or continue dealing with the negative impacts of COVID. Please respect our charge to keep students safe and educate students realizing that we can’t perform those vital functions if they are home sick or quarantined.
The Third Indicator ‘Quarantine Alternatives’ is something that we have been advocating for since the beginning of the school year. In cooperation with Knox Public Health, Knox County School districts will have the ability to opt-in and accept the ‘Modified Quarantine’ alternative proposed by KPH.
Knox Public Health Modified Quarantine Guidelines:This link has been provided for your review. The ‘Modified Quarantine’ recognizes the importance of keeping students in school provided they remain symptom free and adhere to the required masking guidelines. We believe this common sense approach will allow healthy students to remain in school meeting yet another indicator.
We have always remained hopeful that we would work our way back to a ‘Mask Optional’ environment. The indicators and consideration shared in previous updates have been either met and/or are more favorable today than they were when we instituted the mask requirement on September 2nd.
We realize there will be no singular masking decision that everyone will agree with. We will continue to encourage and welcome students and staff to wear a mask while in school. For those involved in extracurricular activities it is important that you fully understand the new quarantine guidelines.
Mount Vernon City Schools will be transitioning to a ‘Mask Optional’ environment beginning Wednesday, October 20th. We will need the next couple of days to meet the requirements set forth in the Knox Public Health document to develop building guidelines, forms and protocols.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent/Teacher conferences are scheduled during the 2nd week in November on Wednesday, November 10th, and Thursday, November 11th. We are encouraging parents to consider attending P/T conferences via ‘Zoom’ or a phone call as much as possible. If circumstances don’t allow us to participate in a ‘Zoom’ or phone conference, we will provide opportunities for In-person conferences. All In-person conferences must be scheduled and all participants are encouraged to wear a mask. Building specific information will be forthcoming.
ALICE Safety Drills – School safety will continue to be a priority for the district. ‘I’m not scared, I’m prepared’ is the safety book we use with our younger students when addressing this sensitive but important topic. Being prepared is the key and practice makes it possible. Please review the Alice Letter which details specific training information.
Senior Parents Night – We will be celebrating the accomplishments of our senior Band members, Cheerleaders, Cross Country, and Football players tonight. Recognition will begin at 6:15 pm with the game to follow at 7:00 pm against Mansfield Senior…Go Jackets!