November 20, 2020
Dear Orange Families,
I hope this message finds you and your family well. As you know, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health has issued a Stay at Home Advisory effective through December 17th. The county cases per 100,000 have skyrocketed to over 645, dwarfing past numbers, and as I shared last week, case projection models produced by Case Western Reserve University are predicting 2,000 cases per day by the end of the month. Currently, all of this is having a big impact on our ability to properly staff the buildings. Our Covid Dashboard went from 34 quarantines on Monday to 75 yesterday, 31 of which are staff members in addition to 11 positive staff cases. These absences do not include typical absences for other illnesses of staff and their families, and the picture does not look good ahead.
At last night’s virtual Townhall, I announced a plan to go fully remote for 5 weeks after Thanksgiving, Nov. 30 - Dec. 18 and Jan. 4 - Jan-18 (Winter Break begins Dec. 19), resuming in-person hybrid learning on Tuesday, January 19th if conditions allow. This includes OCE&R’s Orange Early Childhood preschool and Lion’s Club. The Stay at Home Advisory cites 28 days as two incubation periods for the Coronavirus, giving time for those contracting the virus in this time of heightened risk to be home while it takes its course, not spreading it. Applying the same logic, we will remain virtual after New Year’s Day, delaying our in-person return for a little over one incubation period.
Athletics are also on pause from Monday through the duration of the Stay at Home Advisory (Dec. 17th). More information is forthcoming from Katie Hine, Athletic Director, pertaining to athletics. Furthermore, families who were receiving appointment-based IEP SDI and related services will be contacted soon with additional information. Also, looking ahead, in the next couple weeks, you will be asked to make a decision to select remote or in-person learning for your children second semester. Please know that due to the negative impact and teacher reassignments for kids, you are asked to commit for the semester. There were too many teacher changes for many of our students which negatively impacted them, so please plan to commit. Stay tuned for more information.
I know things are evolving very quickly, but I see this as an opportunity to buckle down for the 5 weeks of remote learning so we can return in January properly staffed to make a long run of in-person learning second semester. Of course we do not have a crystal ball, but I am hopeful that conditions will improve between now and January 19th. We have a robust remote learning plan, and we will continue to deliver the best education possible, as safely as possible. Please reach out to your child’s principal with any questions or concerns. We can do this! I look forward to turning the corner on this current surge of cases all around us so we can get back to implementing our hybrid model. Until then, please stay safe!
Dr. Lynn Campbell