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Survey Clarification from Dr. Malloy
Posted 9/22/20

Further to the survey that was sent out this evening, and in light of emails that we are receiving, I need to clarify a few points about a return to in-person learning.


Some have asked why we cannot return to in-person learning using the schedules and teachers students presently have.  The concern has been shared that our community was informed in the summer that the schedules that were created for remote learning could be used for in-person learning without disruption.  These remote schedules could be used for in-person learning without disruption assuming that the majority of students and families wanted the same option.  We will be able to determine the extent of any disruption once we hear back from all of our families and sort out how to organize both a remote and an in-person hybrid option.


Some are asking why there is not a 5 day, full-time in-person option.  We must use a hybrid model in order to fulfill requirements surrounding physical distancing.  Everyone in the school is expected to remain 4-6 feet apart.  By using a hybrid option, we can limit the number of students and adults to 16.  When we move to the red tier, we will be provided some flexibility in terms of cohort size; however, we are still  expected to follow this requirement.


In light of the fact that families will declare (at some point) their decision for the rest of the year, and because staff assignments will be adjusted accordingly, if these requirements for physical distancing are lifted, all students who have chosen the hybrid in-person option would be able to return to 5 day, full-time, in-person instruction assuming that our Public Health experts determine that it is safe.


Students who choose the remote option will certainly be able to return to their home school for the 21-22 school year.  However, at this time, before we understand the number of students who will be choosing the remote option or the in-person option, it is not possible to predict whether remote learning will be provided to students/teachers at their home school or with students/teachers from across the district.  Where possible we will endeavour to keep students in their home schools when organizing remote classes.  We have learned a lot about how to strengthen remote learning based on the recent Thoughtexchange.  I believe this option will continue to be a viable one for those who choose it.  In other words, though your teacher may change, the structure would be similar to what our students are experiencing now .


Thank you very much for all of the perspectives you are sending by email.  We ask that you use the email address to share your perspectives and questions.  This account is monitored daily.  Your perspectives will inform our next steps and your questions will be answered in the Frequently Asked Question section of our planning guide.  


I do apologize for two emails in one day; however, I wanted to respond to some of the questions that emerged right immediately after sending the survey.


In a future update we will explain how the steering committees have been formed and how all partners, including students, can influence our next steps.


We will also be asking all staff members to offer their insights regarding our students' return to in-person instruction.


We trust you will involve your children in this process so that their voices are heard as well.


In the meantime, please send your perspectives, insights, solutions and questions to the email address above.  We appreciate all of the many ideas that come from our community.


Please remember that this survey will give us a pulse of where our families are right now.  The formal declaration will come later.