August 7, 2020 IRCSD COVID-19 Reopening Update

August 7, 2020 IRCSD COVID-19 Reopening Update
Posted on 08/07/2020
August 7, 2020 IRCSD COVID-19 Reopening UpdateAugust 7, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

These continue to be trying times, and we appreciate our community’s understanding as we navigate complex and unprecedented times. We, too, understand and appreciate the range of perspectives present in our own Indian River community. Even so, we all agree that health and safety are our highest priorities. 

As described by Governor Cuomo in his audio address to NY today (8/7/20), COVID-19 infection rates remain below his previously stated 5% threshold (currently approximately 1%). Therefore, schools are directed to open for in-person instruction as delineated in each school district’s local reopening plan. (IRCSD’s plan was shared online on 7/31/20.) Additionally, schools are directed to focus communication on several aspects of the plan, including several new elements to be coordinated with Jefferson County Public Health. These include:

- COVID-19 testing procedures and protocols (additional information forthcoming in consultation with Public Health)
- Contact Tracing (additional information forthcoming in consultation with Public Health)
- Remote Learning - details for parents/students as specified in IRCSD’s reopening plan

Now that additional guidance and direction is available, IRCSD will schedule several community-based virtual “meetings” to describe plan elements and offer an opportunity for a virtual Q&A. IRCSD will also hold at least one (or more) sessions for faculty and staff. Information on the scheduling of these events will be shared via normal communication channels early next week. 

As described in our reopening plan, with today’s direction from the governor, IRCSD plans to open school in a hybrid model with students starting school two days per week in-house and learning remotely three days per week. This initial learning model will allow for a safe, measured, and flexible approach that can expand or contract in the weeks ahead based on infection rates and other local conditions (safety protocols, transportation challenges, etc.). Initial Monday-Tuesday/Thursday-Friday cohorts are being finalized and will be shared with families as soon as possible. This information, as well as the details specified above, will help parents and students make informed decisions regarding the return to school on September 8th. I encourage you to visit and explore IRCSD’s COVID-19 resource page for plan details, a summary, and a helpful FAQ at: https://www.ircsd.org/covid-19

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility during these difficult times. We understand that many parents, students, staff, and community members have vastly different opinions on this important issue, and we will do all we can to answer your questions and provide information to maintain our partnership in order to keep our entire community safe. We also appreciate your continued participation in our community surveys, including the important transportation survey released earlier this week. Please stay on the lookout for more information over the coming days and weeks from the district as well as the individual school buildings.

I look forward to “talking with you soon,” albeit virtually. Until then, please stay safe, stay healthy, and stay WarriorStrong! 

With respect and understanding,

Mary Anne Dobmeier, Superintendent
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