Community Letter 11.20.21
November 20, 2021
Dear Noble Community;
This letter is to provide you with some updated information as we head into Thanksgiving break. The school district has been handling a steady stream of positive COVID cases since the first week of school in September. In fact, since September 6, 2021, our building/district administrators, school nurses, and district head nurse, Amy Creighton, have processed over 120 positive cases. This is significant as the total number of cases processed last year was 140 again, that was for the entire year. Processing a case means verification of positive status, contact tracing, notifying families of close contact status, completing the reports/notification to the CDC, and sending out follow up informational letters. All this takes a significant amount of time.
Since the start of the school year, there have been some notable trends. Typically, Mondays and Tuesdays are heavy days for processing cases. The weekend and early Monday morning seem to be the times that school staff receive confirmation of positive cases and then the processing of the case(s) begins. That can take a few hours or a full day depending on the amount of cases a school is dealing with. Currently all schools are dealing with some form of active cases.
That summary brings me to this next statement of notification. Please be aware that we are strongly considering having students and staff participate in remote learning November 29, 30, 2021. Based on November break being a heavy travel time, and a number of positive cases we are waiting to receive confirmation on for this upcoming week, we anticipate even higher positivity rates at the conclusion of break. Being remote on those two days would allow ample time for buildings to collect information on positive cases, focus on procedures and notification, and provide additional time for symptom monitoring for families and staff. The symptom monitoring is another important reason for going remote. We understand the added burden that quarantining puts on families and allowing an additional two days for symptom monitoring would likely cut down on the amount of community quarantining that will need to occur between now and December break.
I want to state again that we are strongly considering this option but we also wanted to provide ample time for families to know this information as a consideration in order to begin making plans should this come to pass. We will look at the trends on Monday, November 22, 2021, have a final consultation with the CDC/DHHS and send out further information Monday afternoon.
Again, this letter is to provide families lead time to begin thinking about remote learning for November 29, 30, 2021. We recognize that significant coordination for families needs to occur for a two day shift to learning and we wanted to send this out over the weekend as preliminary notification. Please be looking for the updated correspondence in the afternoon on Monday, 11/22/21.
Thank you for your assistance as we continue to navigate this situation.
Superintendent of Schools