January 14, 2021
Dear SASD Families,
I hope that all of our families had a safe and enjoyable holiday season. The winter break always seems to go by so quickly. January is also moving quickly as we have had to change previous plans for students to return to school on January 28th. Of course, as has been our mantra this school year, plans can and will change with much dependent on the environment or factors that we cannot control. Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to dominate our thinking these days as positive case counts in our state and region have stayed much the same or grown.
With administrative recommendation, the Board of School Directors voted at the Regular Meeting on Monday, January 11th to move our instructional model back to where we were prior to Thanksgiving. I believe this is a positive step forward from where we currently are, but not quite where we would all like to be – all students in our schools K-12. The elementary K-5 hybrid schedule will resume on Monday, January 25th. Updated PDE guidance supports hybrid instruction at the elementary level even within the substantial community spread level. Notwithstanding the susceptibility of adult populations, a recent meta-analysis indicates that younger children have lower susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection than adults. The Middle School and High School will remain with virtual instruction for now, as we will continue to monitor the virus and our instructional model. Secondary students with greater learning needs will return to four days of in-person instruction starting with the new semester on January 28th. This applies to some secondary students who were receiving in-person instruction prior to Thanksgiving.
I am hopeful that levels of community spread will begin to decrease. I am also anticipating that school staff will soon have access to receive the COVID-19 vaccination…both will be welcomed. We will continue to re-evaluate environmental conditions and our instructional model, giving serious consideration to having students fully return to school K-12 soon.
Thank you for all that you have done to support your children and our schools during these difficult times. Our teachers and staff will continue to do extraordinary things to support our students. We are excited to have some of our children back in school soon, but we won’t be fully satisfied until we can see them all.
Dr. Chris Suppo