To Our David Douglas Families,
As we prepare to close schools Thursday and Friday, we wanted to provide you with this update.
First, we want you to know that with the exception of one elementary school our intent is to reopen schools on Tuesday, Jan. 18, following the long holiday weekend. Next Tuesday should be a normal school day for most, and we hope to remain open all next week and into the future. A reminder that Monday, Jan. 17 is a holiday to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Please note that Earl Boyles Elementary School has already made the difficult decision to move to distance learning beginning next week. The Earl Boyles principal will be contacting their school families today.
This Thursday and Friday you can pick up meals for your students from 12-1 p.m. both days at each of our schools, as well as at 26 other locations (bus stops) across our District. Locations of each of these pick-up sites is listed on our Nutrition Services web page.
Decisions about going into remote learning
While we intend to reopen all other schools next Tuesday, there is the potential that additional schools will have to close and go into remote, online learning at some point in the coming days and weeks. A decision about closing a school will be based on staffing levels and our ability to safely operate. These case-by-case decisions could be made at any time between now and next Tuesday.
Our threshold for keeping a school open is if we can keep our staff absence levels below about 20-25%. If we see staff absences exceed that level at a particular school, that school will likely need to revert to distance learning.
For example, Earl Boyles Elementary is moving to online learning because they currently have 23% of staff and 42% of students in quarantine or otherwise absent. This includes all specialists, who typically are relied on to cover for other teachers who may be out. Lack of adult supervision makes the school unsafe to operate, hence the decision to close and temporarily move into distance learning.
Our preparations on this Thursday and Friday will allow our schools and staff to seamlessly transition into distance learning if it becomes necessary.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the current surge of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Health officials believe this surge will be dramatic, but relatively brief and that we likely will return to relative normality later this month or early February.
In the meantime, please continue to follow all COVID safety protocols, and if you are not fully vaccinated and boosted, please do so to protect yourself against serious illness.