Central Valley students will resume their normal in-person, hybrid, or virtual schedules on Monday, Jan. 4.
We weighed the pros and cons of returning and believe this is the better option for students and their families. We looked at the following factors:
- Best for students—Our experience is that in-person learning is the best model for students. Nothing replaces students physically in front of their teachers in the classroom. We remain committed to bringing back all of our students as quickly as we can.
- School is safe—Science shows that the risk of child-to-child transmission is relatively low. So far, our protocols of masking, social distancing, regular cleaning, and precautionary quarantines and closings have been effective in preventing the spread of COVID in our schools. Although several adults and a few students have tested possible for COVID, we have no seen no evidence anyone contracted COVID in our buildings.
- Families need children in school—Families build their work schedules around school. When school is not in session, they must choose between paying for child care or missing work.
So, we will resume, knowing that this could change. I have repeatedly said that we must be ready to pivot at any moment. We know that we can limit the spread of COVID in school, but we cannot control the number of people who will test positive for the disease as the result of exposure outside school. If we find we don't have enough teachers, bus drivers, custodians, or other adults to SAFELY keep our buildings open, we will move to 100 percent virtual classes. If that is the case, I will to my best to warn families as soon as possible.
While I have focused on students and families, we have an equal responsibility to keep our employees safe. We will work with the Herkimer Health Department to monitor COVID cases and protect our staff.
I look forward to a brighter 2021. Hopefully, we will soon have access to the vaccine and our schools and society can return to normal.
Jeremy Rich, Superintendent of Schools
Central Valley CSD