April 11, 2021

Dear Patriot Parents, 

Almost exactly one year ago, on April 6, 2020, I sent a letter to our families regarding the mandatory suspension of in-person instruction for the year.  Now, as announced on April 9, 2021, the state is recommending that districts close high schools and pause athletics for two weeks due to an increase in COVID-19 cases across the entire state. In the past year, we learned how to maintain in-person instruction while reducing the risk of spreading illness and the need for lengthy quarantines.  Our team has worked diligently to implement multiple strategies that continue to keep staff and students healthy at school. We also realized that schools provide much-needed resources and experiences for students to maintain critical relationships that build resilience and contribute to emotional and psychological health.  As a result, we will maintain in-person learning for all students in grades K-12 on Monday, April 12. We will also maintain athletic practices and contests as scheduled. 

The current increase in cases in our communities and across the state is a reason for a new level of concern. Fortunately, our attendance rates have been very good through the winter months and this spring. As we move forward with in-person learning this week, we will be using data to guide any decision regarding the closure of either a classroom group, entire grade level, building, or even possibly the entire district.   Closures will target the smallest possible group of students (beginning with a single cohort group) so that we can allow as many students as possible to continue with in-person learning. If we cannot rule out the possibility of transmission within a cohort group or grade level, we will transition the impacted group to remote learning.

We will continue to ask that you monitor your child’s health at night and in the morning and keep your child home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. The one situation in which we cannot distance students is on our school buses. We are asking any parents who are able to provide transportation please consider doing so for the next couple of weeks until cases in our area decline. Reducing the number of riders will allow us to provide more space between students who rely exclusively on our buses for transportation. Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation, please contact me at riersong@think-usa.org if you have any questions.

Educationally yours, 

George Rierson