The last three weeks have been extremely difficult for our school system. During this time period we have had 90 staff members that have been placed in quarantine due to exposure, close contact, or caring for a child that is a close contact. This accounts for approximately 20% of our total staff.
With positive cases on the rise in our county and the high number of staff members that are already in quarantine, we are no longer able to piece together adequate supervision at all of our school buildings. As a result, beginning Monday, November 16, 2020, NorthWood High School will be transitioning to full-time remote learning with our goal to return to in-person instruction on Tuesday, December 1, 2020. While NorthWood High School is on virtual learning, we plan to keep all of our other school buildings open. Staff members from the high school will be re-assigned positions throughout the district to help us with unfilled vacancies.
We apologize in advance to our students and their families for the inconvenience we know this will cause. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we have now crossed a threshold with our staffing levels where it is simply unsustainable to keep our facilities open.
It is important to note, that even though we have experienced a rising number of students and staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19, there is very little evidence that the spread is occurring in our buildings. Of the 214 students that have been identified as close contacts, so far only one student has tested positive while on their quarantine.
We knew this was going to be a challenging year and as we approach the holidays, we will need everyone’s help to reduce the spread of the virus. With our county-wide numbers rising at an alarming rate, we all must consistently implement the same protocols that are keeping our infection rates at school so low. These include:
• Wearing a mask when in public spaces
• Washing hands with soap and water frequently or using hand sanitizer
• Maximizing distance between yourself and anyone not in your household
• Staying home when sick or displaying symptoms
• Getting tested if symptomatic or if exposed to someone who has tested positive
In addition to doing what is necessary to reduce the spread, we also need additional substitutes to help keep our buildings staffed. If you or anyone you know is able to serve, please go to the following link to complete a substitute application. https://www.applitrack.com/wanee/onlineapp/
Thank you all once again for your continued efforts and cooperation. If you have questions or needs, please feel welcome to contact your child’s school or our administration office.
Scot D. Croner, PhD