Ray-Pec Parent Community,
I want to update you on our recent experiences with COVID-19 and discussions about the spring semester.
First, the numbers and the definitions….
As of this writing, a total of 16 students and staff members are in “isolation” and are not in school due to testing positive for COVID-19. We have a total of 166 students and staff members not in school due to being in “quarantine.” Since the school year began, 360 students and staff have reported to us a positive COVID-19 test result, and a total of 1,884 students and staff members have been in quarantine due to an exposure. The majority of the isolations and quarantines have stemmed from exposures outside of school. This information is updated weekly on our website.
A person is considered positive for COVID-19 when a coronavirus test comes back positive from a physician or a testing service. When a person tests positive, they go into a status known as “isolation.” Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a person stays in isolation, meaning the person needs to stay home with as little contact with others as possible, generally for a period of 10 days.
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing is initiated by the local health department. Contact tracing is the process to identify other persons who may have come into contact with the COVID-19 positive person. Those other persons who meet certain criteria (most commonly being within six feet to a COVID-19 positive person for greater than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period) are placed on “quarantine” by the local health department for a period of 14 days. Quarantines are precautionary and do not mean the quarantined person has COVID-19. Isolations, on the other hand, are for persons who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Bringing students back
At the Ray-Pec Board meeting last night, the Board discussed our current data, the possibilities of vaccine availability, and the second-semester outlook. While it is definitely our desire to bring our secondary students back for more in-person days than the current hybrid model, at this point changes to our instructional approach will be informed by our health partners and vaccine availability for our staff. We have developed plans for the quick implementation of a vaccine clinic for our staff when supply is available. Teachers, school staff members, and school support team members are next in line for the statewide vaccine rollout. We are cautiously optimistic that we will see some vaccine supply soon. While we are not able to promise a definitive date for more in-person days at this point, we will be ready to consider changes should it become possible during the second semester.
I know that this has been a trying year. No parent, guardian, caregiver, student, teacher, support team member, Board member, administrator, nor anyone else in our community ever wanted to experience a global pandemic. Everyone is being asked to make sacrifices and choices that we wish we did not have to make. I appreciate the patience and grace of our parents, students, and staff as we have navigated difficult decisions. I am optimistic that we will be in a better position soon to consider changes to our current instructional approach at the secondary level.
On behalf of the Ray-Pec Board of Education, thank you for entrusting your children to the Ray-Pec School District.
I am passionately driven by the belief that Everyone Is Created To Flourish