September 29, 2020

Board votes 4-3 to increase face-to-face time

Hamilton Families,

On Monday, Sept. 28, our Board of Education met to review next steps for learning in the 2020-21 school year. This was a difficult meeting and the results were mixed. This dedicated group of people has been collecting data and listening to requests from Hawkeye families and staff as they try to balance everything, creating a safe and educationally sound approach to teaching and learning in a pandemic. Tonight the Board had the privilege to review the recommendation of the Ongoing COVID-19 Return to Learn committee, the new Executive Order 185, staff and parent survey results, COVID positive rates, and feedback by way of email and phone.

After weighing all of the options, in a split 4-3 decision, the Board voted to increase the amount of face to face time students have with our teachers. They approved moving to four(4) days a week fully face to face, keeping Friday as a remote learning day for everyone. This allows for our teachers to balance the needs of both face to face and remote students. We know that this change, like the decision to start in a “Hybrid” model, is a significant undertaking. That is why I will be communicating details with you over the next few days and into next week. There are a number of significant changes that will need to take place and we are asking our families for the flexibility needed to transition. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020 will be a remote learning day for students to allow staff to transition back to their “home” rooms. Students scheduled to be onsite will work remotely.

Teachers will communicate expectations for the remote learning on Thursday and Friday as soon as possible. There is a lot for them to process so please be patient.

We are planning for the week of October 5 to be our first full four(4) day week for K-12 students. 

Starting on October 5, 2020 per Executive Order 185 all students in grades K-12 will wear masks in the building. 

If you are currently working in the “Hybrid” model and would like to transition to our remote learning plan please contact your building principal for next steps. 

We know that this decision will be met with varied responses and I am open to discussing concerns and solutions with you in the coming days and weeks. Our goal has always been to get to the point where we have our students back with our teachers for as much time as possible. After watching districts around us navigate this successfully we feel we are ready to move forward. This was a difficult decision, and it was not taken lightly. We look forward to seeing where this next step takes us and we will embrace the opportunity to work through the bumps in the road along the way. 

Please continue to communicate with your child’s teacher(s) so that we can do our best to meet specific needs as we make this transition. We are all in this together and we will make the next step a positive one.

 

Sincerely,

David Tebo, Superintendent