Nov. 19, 2020
Ray-Pec Parent Community,

During a special meeting called by the Ray-Pec Board of Education earlier this week, the Board discussed the learning mode to be used for the three-week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Board of Education voted to continue with the current approach, meaning that we will continue to be in the hybrid model for the secondary level, in-person at the elementary level, and ViPR for those that have chosen that. The Board was clear that while the goal is to continue with the current approach, the superintendent’s office continues to have full discretion as to if and when to transition schools to temporary virtual learning should conditions warrant it. 

Data indicates that for July 4th, Labor Day, and Halloween, the number of positive cases in the county increased 10-14 days after these events. Because of that, I ask for your help over the Thanksgiving break. I know we have the desire to be with our loved ones and friends during the holidays, and that is what makes my ask of you feel awkward, but necessary. Health professionals are urging significantly limiting your social circles during the Thanksgiving break, and I wholeheartedly agree. 

We are doing the very best that we can in meeting our staffing challenges which, in our experience, primarily have been caused by quarantines and isolations from outside of school exposure. In a non-covid year, school districts struggle with the availability of substitute teachers at peak times throughout the winter. The pandemic has reduced the available pool of substitute teachers. This has led us to find new and creative ways to cover our classrooms, including moving administrative personnel, counselors and librarians from their assignments to be used as substitute teachers. We are exhausting every possible option to meet our staffing challenges, but if we get an increase in positive cases and quarantines from outside exposures over the next several weeks, we will have to temporarily move to virtual learning in some or all of our schools. None of us want that to happen. As we move into the Thanksgiving holiday, I ask that you and your children critically think about the personal interactions outside of your immediate family. 

It has been quite a semester thus far. Thank you for your continued patience and grace.

I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving.

Thank you for entrusting your children to the Ray-Pec School District.

Mike Slagle

I am passionately driven by the belief that Everyone Is Created To Flourish