November 13, 2020 COVID-19 Parent Letter
Today, Friday, November 13, 2020, marks the sixty-sixth (66) day of in-person instruction at Frontier School Corporation. At this time, I would like to thank you for adhering to our health policies and procedures which were aimed at trying to keep our students and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These policies include screening your son or daughter for COVID-19 symptoms each morning. If your son or daughter experiences one or more of the symptoms, you should not send that son or daughter to school. Additionally, any student with an illness must be symptom free and fever free for seventy-two (72) hours without the use of fever reducing medications and have a physician’s note stating the symptoms are not related to COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to school. Your due diligence in checking your child for COVID-19 symptoms and adhering to our policies and procedures have brought us to the feat of sixty-six (66) days of successful in-person learning at Frontier Elementary and Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School.
Recently, I have been asked on multiple occasions when Frontier Elementary or Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School would move to Distance Learning. Frontier School Corporation continues to have problems finding adequate numbers of substitute teachers, substitute cooks and custodians, and substitute bus drivers. If Frontier Elementary or Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School cannot adequately staff Frontier Elementary and Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School to provide adequate supervision or instruction then we would be forced to move to Distance Learning. However, at this point we continue to fill vacancies by our Principals using existing staff members to cover all staff shortages. I would like to thank our staff for their self-less attitude for covering additional duties allowing in-person instruction to continue.
At this point, we would like to ask for your assistance. Frontier School Corporation has experienced three (3) COVID-19 exposures during the 2020-2021 school year. In all three instances, the exposure was a result of a non-school activity in which the student contracted COVID-19. Please continue to remind your son or daughter to socially distance, wear a mask, and wash their hands often. These simple precautions remain the best preventions for COVID-19.
On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, White County moved to a seven (7) day positivity rate for COVID-19 of 10% to 14.9%. As a result, White County is listed on the Indiana Department of Health’s website with the color of Orange. If the White County positivity rate reaches a threshold of 15% or greater, White County will move to a color of Red. The color of red illustrates a substantial community spread in the county. The Indiana Department of Health’s recommendations for counties with a substantial community spread is to maintain in person learning for elementary students, but to move to hybrid learning or virtual learning for students in grades 7-12.
So, it is possible the White County Health Department will ask Frontier School Corporation to move to a hybrid or virtual platform for Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School if White County COVID-19 community spread reaches the threshold of 15% or greater. However at this point, Frontier Elementary and Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School will continue to operate on an in-person learning instructional model.
Additionally, Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School and Frontier Elementary may have to move to a hybrid or virtual platform if 20% of a class, grade level, or school has a 20% COVID-19 positivity rate. In other words if a single classroom has 20% of the students that are diagnosed with COVID-19, the classroom may move to a virtual instructional model. If 20% of a grade level contracts COVID-19 the grade level may move to a virtual instructional platform. If 20% of the student population at Frontier Elementary School or Frontier Jr.-Sr. High School contracts COVID-19 at the same time the school may move to a virtual instructional model.
As I stated earlier, the movement away from in-person instruction to a hybrid or virtual model will be influenced by our ability to cover staff vacancies by our existing staff, or if White County COVID-19 positivity rate continues to increase and reaches the rate of 15% or greater, or if 20% of students in a classroom, grade level, or school contract COVID-19 at the same time then in-person instruction may be discontinued and a hybrid or virtual instructional platform could be used.
Thank you for your continued support!
Daniel A. Sichting