As you know, one of our top priorities for this school year is to keep our schools open and provide a safe, learning environment for our students who have signed up for in-person learning, and for the staff that serves them. During our first week of indoor activities, we are seeing how difficult that may be as we have experienced a number of quarantines of unvaccinated, unmasked students. That experience is likely to be repeated once classes begin on Monday and our full in-person student body comes to school. To put our students and staff in the best possible position of keeping students in school and our classrooms open, today in a special meeting, the Ray-Pec Board of Education voted 6-0-1 to start the school year by requiring face coverings in all indoor settings when physical distancing cannot be achieved.
We understand that this is a change from the direction the Board was headed earlier in the month. However, after looking at this latest experience and knowing that the majority of our students have selected in-person learning in our schools, this is the best course of action to keep schools and classrooms open. The need to quarantine unvaccinated, unmasked individuals will not be sustainable. This change to require face coverings indoors will significantly reduce the potential of student and staff quarantines. Given all of the choices available, this is the best way to keep students in school for the greatest amount of time and engaged with their learning, and involved with their activities such as performing arts, after school events, and athletics.
Regardless of individual views on face coverings, our families want their children to be in school, and this change will improve our ability to keep classrooms and schools open.
I wrote to you on Wednesday that there are so many things to look forward to this school year. I know we are all eagerly looking forward to this school year. If there is one thing that being your superintendent has taught me over the past year is that this is a strong community bound by the common goal of having a tremendous school district.
Let’s make it a great year!
Thank you for entrusting your children to the Ray-Pec School District,