A Word from Dr. Gurley
We are so glad to have students back in the classroom this week after the weather disruptions of the beginning of the year. The snow, road conditions and power outages made it unsafe for us to transport students and open schools. In fact, power was not restored to Clark until last Thursday. At the same time, I know our division’s decision to remain closed was hard on many of our families. I appreciate your patience and the grace you have extended to me.
Communicating About Closures
As we face the possibility of more winter weather this weekend, please keep tuned in for updates. If we need to change our schedule, we will contact you via SchoolMessenger. You can also check our website, social media channels, and local media. (If you’re not getting SchoolMessenger phone or email updates, contact your school.)
Updates on In-Person School/Classroom COVID Indicators
We are also keeping an eye on how the current COVID surge is impacting our schools’ safety and operations using our three indicators:
- Both staffing and student absences are similar to what we were seeing before winter break.
- COVID cases are higher than prior to break, especially since many winter break cases are being reported now. Most new cases have not resulted in school exposures, but we continue to work with the health district to monitor specific situations.
COVID Protocol: Definition of “Fully Vaccinated”
We are also changing one part of our COVID protocol: Now, to be considered fully vaccinated (and avoid the 14-day quarantine after exposure), students and staff must also receive a booster shot if/when they are eligible. Boosters are widely available and recommended for ages 12+. For our purposes, you are considered fully vaccinated either if you are boosted, or if it has been less than than 6 months since a Pfizer/Moderna 2nd dose or 2 months since a J&J single dose. A “test to stay” protocol as a safe alternative to quarantine is in the works for students through a partnership with the state.
Schools are closed this Monday, January 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Amidst these challenging times, let this day offer a chance for reflection and the renewal of our commitments to one another and our community.
Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.