Dear Summit Schools families,

We are making daily progress in our preparations for a return to school on September 3. While our playground is still in need of repair, we feel confident in our ability to deliver our schooling experience in a safe and purposeful manner.

Summit’s Board of Trustees has approved the revised 2020-21 school calendar. Students will report to school for morning only sessions (8:30-11:30 a.m.) on Thursday, September 3 and Friday, September 4. The first full day of school (8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) is Tuesday, September 8.

Summit will also host a back-to-school Virtual Town Hall thisTuesday, September 1 at 6:30 p.m. Please register for the Zoom link here and submit any questions ahead of time here.

During our most recent Board meeting three very important issues were discussed regarding our return to school. The first issue has to do with the inherent risk of a return to school during recent outbreaks of COVID-19 in both Johnson and Linn counties. While we will do our best to manage the risk of infection while at school, following the guidelines of Linn County Public Health (LCPH) and CDC, it is worth noting that nothing is risk free. We understand that students and families do not exist in a bubble, and that interactions with others outside of school bring the additional risk of exposure. If we do identify a positive case of COVID-19 within the school, we will follow the guidance and recommendations of LCPH. By using classroom cohorts and limiting the movement within the school of our students, we hope to contain and simplify the process of contact tracing. If contained, we may be able to operate the school, while just quarantining a room, thus minimizing the amount of students that would need to learn in a virtual capacity for a specified amount of time.

This brings the second issue that came from our Board Meeting in regards to online learning. If a classroom were to quarantine and need to move to a virtual platform, the class would continue to follow its daily schedule from home; you can find a daily schedule sample hereAll teachers should share a copy of their daily schedule with you. Students would continue to have core curriculum as well as either livestream or pre-recorded specials (Art, PE, Spanish) classes. The school would also follow the daily schedule virtual model if the entire school needed to be closed for an extended period of time.

The final question that came from our Board meeting had to do with additional resources for mental health services for students/families that were dealing with the anxieties that come from a return to school during these times. As previously stated, we will work closely with the AEA and the counseling services that are provided by the state, in addition to the administering of the Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) assessments that are provided by ACT (Tessera) and supported with specific curriculum. As mentioned in previous communication, a state-funded program is also available for free virtual counseling for those that are challenged by the COVID-19 experience. A link for these services can be found here.

We look forward to your return to school next week, and hope that you will find the early entry and assessment period of August 31-September 2 helpful. This brief re-introduction to school will help reduce some of the anxieties that both students and parents inevitably feel about our return.

Summit’s ever-evolving enrollment continues and we have a few spots still available in PreK/K, 1st grade, and our middle school program (grades 5-8) if you know of local families who are seeking in-person instruction this fall. (Other filled grade levels have a waitlist.) Please encourage interested families to email us or call at 294-2036 to get the enrollment process going before classes start next week.

Thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Paul Pressler
Head of Schools/Principal