I hope this email finds you well and in the groove of summer break. We have been actively preparing for a return to school and I would like to share some of those details with you in this week’s communication.
As previously mentioned, we will begin our official school year on August 12th with our optional but highly recommended Return to Learn Academy. Our modified academic calendar can be found here. These eight additional days will be used to get our students familiarized with our new daily health and safety procedures, and to begin the process of formal assessment to better address any gaps in learning that exist as a result of the early departure from the 2019/20 school year.
We are currently in the process of preparing our Return-to-Learn Plan (RLP) for the Department of Education which is due on July 1st. This document will lay the framework for how we would plan to provide schooling in three different scenarios: Required Continuous Learning (Online), Hybrid Learning (1/2 On-Site and 1/2 Online), and On-Site Delivery. As you can imagine, a lot of thought goes into this planning and the Department of Education will ultimately decide if our plans not only meet state standards and requirements, but also address the safety, health, and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff.
The Department of Education is due to release Return to School guidelines by July 1st that provide clear expectations of what is required and/or recommended to operate a safe learning environment on-site. At Summit we are already preparing for what these guidelines may entail and have begun to purchase COVID-19 mitigation supplies in anticipation of certain safety requirements. We have also explored an outside cleaning agency to provide nightly surface cleaning and once per week deep sanitization of our building.
As part of our RLP we have provided information on the scenarios in which masks and/or face shields will be required, and when they will be recommended. We have also purchased and planned for temperature checks of all individuals as they enter the building, and will be changing our drop-off and pick up procedures to help manage this new preventive measure. Further, all teachers, staff, and faculty will be required to become Health and Safety certified by the Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) this summer in order to better ensure our understanding of how to clean properly during this pandemic. This Health and Safety training is in addition to the professional development they will receive in order to further enhance their ability to teach in a virtual environment.
And finally, we are also in the process of finalizing classroom assignments and student placements for the new school year. I may be reaching out to some of you over the next two weeks as a courtesy and to answer any additional questions that you may have. As always we thank you for your patience as we work through this process. If you have yet to submit your enrollment/payment paperwork for next school year I ask that you do that now so that we might finalize classroom rosters.
Thank you all for your continued support of Summit. We are working very hard to ensure that your students‘ return to school this year is healthy, safe, enriching, and of course fun!!