Dr. Friedman's News

Letter from Dr. Friedman
Posted on 04/16/2021
Dr. Janean FriedmanDear Emmons Parents:

As we have completed our second week of full in-person, we are learning what works best and what changes we need to make. One procedure we need to adjust is when students are home sick with a COVID symptom and join the classroom through Zoom. This change will also pertain to siblings of the sick child. While this procedure seemed appropriate in theory it is much more difficult in practice. Many of the classrooms do not already have remote students everyday so they are not prepared to accomodate a Zoom student immediately. They have adjusted their teaching modality to fit in-person learning. Plus, the new virtual student does not have the necessary materials for the lessons since the teachers are using much more pencil/paper activities versus electronic work. As we know, parents often don't know their child is sick until the morning, therefore teachers are getting notifications of sick students as late as 9:30am. This situation is creating disruption to the classroom and frustration for the student at home. In an effort to streamline this process, we will no longer have students join through Zoom the first day they are home sick or quarantining. This will allow some time for the sick student to rest and also for the teacher to prepare for the student to join remotely on the second day. During the first day a student stays home, the teachers will push out assignments as they are able and if it is appropriate. Students in K-5 that are home are encouraged to complete iReady Reading and Math lessons in their independent pathways. This is an activity students can begin their day with and does not need any teacher direction. The only exception to this new procedure is for students in 6th and 8th grades. The 6th and 8th grade teachers can accommodate a new virtual student quickly because those grades serve the majority of our fully remote students of the entire school. We thank you for your understanding and patience as we make adjustments to our procedures and we learn what is best in this new environment. I just want to recap the changes:

- When a student has a COVID symptom and stays home from school, he/she will only work on assignments such as IReady or anything else the teacher has assigned. Siblings of the sick student that are home will also only engage in asynchronous work on the first day they are home.
- After the first day home, students and their siblings who continue to stay home (Day 2 and beyond) due to COVID related symptoms, will join the class remotely.
- The only exception to this procedure is if the student is a 6th or 8th grader. These students, if well enough to participate, can join the remote classroom the first day they stay home. This still only applies to students with COVID symptoms and their siblings.

I also wanted to inform you that the COVID positive cases are on the rise in our region. The Lake County Health Department has informed us that most of the positive cases have been the result of gatherings, such as sleepovers and birthday parties, as well as sports teams. Please do everything you can to prevent the spread of COVID. I am hearing many stories of learning being disrupted in other schools due to students being quarantined after a positive case has been identified. Thank you for your help as we strive to provide continuity of instruction for all students.

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