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Superintendent Ritchie's Communication 11-21-20
Superintendent Ritchie's Communication 11-21-20
Posted on 11/21/2020
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November 21, 2020

Dear Members of the NLPS Community,

 Good afternoon, all.  I hope you are well.  Below are two links to this week’s COVID-19 data, also highlighted from Ledge Light Health District.  The first is a link to the various school models across the state.  Here you will find an interactive map that will allow you to see the percentage of students, in each school district, who are participating in fully in-person, hybrid, or remote learning models.  The second link brings you to current COVID data for all CT regions.  Please note that, like the past four weeks, the community data for the City of New London remains in the “red” category, which means there has been a large total number of COVID positive cases in the NL community.  The most recent data shows that the percentage of positive cases in the community of New London is 28.4.  Although, the community’s numbers have gone down over the past few weeks, all need to continue to remain educated, diligent, and cautious.

http://edsight.ct.gov/relatedreports/Supporting%20Student%20Participation%20in%202020-21.html

 https://data.ct.gov/Health-and-Human-Services/CT-School-Learning-Model-Indicators-by-County-14-d/e4bh-ax24

Within our school district, we continue with very low positivity rates.  This past week, students who tested positive have been out of buildings for extended periods of time or are full-time Distance Learners, so no action was needed in any building.  We will welcome back our Cohort A students next Monday and Tuesday, for in-person instruction, before the Thanksgiving break.  As a reminder, there is NO SCHOOL for teachers or students on Wednesday, November 25th.  

Although our NLPS’ COVID data remains very low, out of extra precaution, we have decided to keep our school buildings closed from Monday, November 30th through Friday, December 4th.  ALL STUDENTS will participate in full-time Distance (Remote) Learning during this week.  Students will engage in live teaching and learning, with their teachers and support staff, during these days.  

This decision was based on multiple new factors related to this week’s holiday:  

  1. Staff travel, out of state, that will result in quarantine and additional need for sub coverage
  2. Unknown potential exposures over the holiday
  3. Extended time to access testing (and results) if traveling or visiting non-immediate family

If you or your child is one who cannot avoid intermixing with new people, whom you usually do not see on a regular basis, we ask that you utilize the week of November 30th through December 4th to take a free COVID-19 test to help ensure our school community remain safe for all.  (Please see link to view some testing sites: https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-testing/.)

 

Moving forward into the winter months, the district plans to remain consistent offering its two distinct instructional models: 1.) In-person Hybrid Learning or 2.) Remote Distance Learning for students.  Below is a chart outlining the plan for the next several weeks of instruction, during the month of December and through the next series of holidays. 

Week Of:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thurs.

Friday

Nov. 30th

Dec. 4th

Distance Learning for all

Distance Learning for all

Distance Learning for all

Distance Learning for all

Distance Learning for all

Dec. 7th -

Dec. 11th

Cohort A Hybrid or Distance Learning

Cohort A Hybrid or Distance Learning

Distance Learning for all

Cohort B Hybrid or Distance Learning

Cohort B Hybrid or Distance Learning

Dec. 14th -

Dec. 18th

Cohort A Hybrid or Distance Learning

Cohort A Hybrid or Distance Learning

Distance Learning for all

Cohort B Hybrid or Distance Learning

Cohort B Hybrid or Distance Learning

Dec. 21st -

Dec. 23rd

Cohort A Hybrid or Distance Learning

Cohort A Hybrid or Distance Learning

Distance Learning for all

(Half-day for students)

NO SCHOOL

NO SCHOOL

Jan. 4th -

Jan. 8th

Distance Learning for all

Distance Learning for all

NO SCHOOL

Distance Learning for all

Distance Learning for all

 Please note that we have mapped out additional days for full-time Distance Learning for all students after the December holidays, as people will most likely be intermixed or gathered again.  Students will participate in live teaching and learning with their teachers during these days, through their virtual platforms and 1:1 technology device.  Counseling sessions, small group supports, 1:1 intervention session, special education, 504 and EL/Bilingual services, and after school enrichment programs will continue virtually.  Staff will continue to be available to students and their family, full time, during each DL instructional day.  Students and parents are asked to utilize the Microsoft Teams platform and NLPS email addresses to communicate directly with staff, as these will be checked and responded to regularly.  

 Food services will continue to serve meals to students regularly.  The regular distribution schedule remains in place during Hybrid Learning days. Please see the schedule below regarding details of food distribution during whole-district Distance Learning days:

  • Monday, November 30th: Students in Cohort A may pick up meals from their individual schools between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 2nd: Distance Learners and students in Cohort B may pick up meals from their individual schools between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 
  • Monday January 4th: All students (Cohort A, B, & Distance Learners) may pick up meals from their individual schools between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 7th: Distance Learners and students in Cohort B may pick up meals from their individual schools between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • The amount of food provided on these days will be enough for the duration of the school closure.

 We remind all to please try to limit your child’s and your family’s exposure to others, and therefore to possible COVID-19, by adhering to the following precautions, outlined by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid close contact – maintain 6 feet social distance
  • Wear a mask that covers you mouth and nose
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touches surfaces daily
  • Monitor your and your family’s health and seek medical attention should you develop COVID symptoms

Please remember that we can receive calls regarding positive COVID-19 cases at any given time and will always take the appropriate action to keep everyone safe, based on each individual circumstance.  Like has been modeled throughout this fall, these actions may be to close: a classroom, a grade level, a school, or the district to in-person instruction if the circumstance warrants this type of decision.  We are hopeful that everyone will continue to do their part to stay safe, healthy, and responsible, so that the school community will be able to continue to serve all with choice, consistency, and with excellence.

I am grateful for many things including our faculty, who continues to work tirelessly to best serve our students.  I am grateful for our families and members of our school community who have equally risen to be flexible and supportive during these unprecedented times. Please continue to reach out should we be able to assist you further in any way.

Have a wonderful upcoming (short) week and Happy Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,
Superintendent Ritchie

 

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