So far this week we have had two more staff test positive and at least 5 students. Additionally, some parents have kept their children home because of the surge in cases in Lee County and we understand this concern. Our teachers have been doing really good work with the kids that are coming to school and great things are happening in our classrooms. Not having enough staff and having to try to cover classes and at the same time trying to manage instruction for quarantined students is not working well and we want to regroup.
We are going to close school for all instruction, virtual and in-person, the next two days. This Thursday and Friday there is no school for students district wide. Next week, we will have virtual learning or NTI packets for every student. Our students in the Bobcat Virtual Learning Academy will continue with their learning next week and all other students will work on NTI work their teachers are providing through their Google Classrooms or Google Meets or packets.
Additionally, in season sports and activities of band, volleyball, golf, and cross country will be allowed to continue practicing and playing, but we will not have fans at our indoor volleyball games. We will utilize our Pixelot camera system to share the games with our fans. This is just for this one week while we try to slow the spread of the virus.
I have heard from parents on both sides before we made this decision. Some parents have thanked us for continuing in person learning and some have voiced their concern that we need to shut down. No decision we make is going to please all families. The only thing I can say is that we want to do in person learning and we WILL be in person this year on a consistent basis. However, the case count in Lee County is still very high and the cases are impacting our staff to the point where we can’t function to the best of our ability.
There will be 12 days before we come back to in person learning on September 7th, the Tuesday after the Labor Day holiday. We hope that the separation will help us slow the spread of the virus and determine who might be positive from the recent quarantines. We also plan to have Wild Health come and screen all students whose families give permission when we return. Routine screening will help us find the positive cases sooner and keep us in school.
We did our best to issue Chromebooks and packets to students today but will be working in the building the next two days to get those to parents in need.
Thank you all for working with us as we continue to keep education as well as safety a priority in the midst of this pandemic.