Feelings of Spring Flowers!

Greetings Parents and Community Members,

As we continue to move forward in 2021, we are also excited to welcome back 55 new face to face students on March 22. This move comes with careful planning and consideration as we look to transition students back to their original homeroom classes. With mitigation strategies already in place, I am happy that we can continue with 4 days a week of face to face instruction while simultaneously continuing to offer quality virtual instruction from a dedicated virtual teacher. We are paying close attention to our capacity dashboard to ensure that students who want to return are in a classroom where everyone can continue to safely socially distance to the greatest extent possible. In order to do this, there are some instances where a child may need to be placed in a different classroom from their 1st semester of virtual learning.

I understand that it is not ideal for a child to have three homeroom teachers in one year; however, this is a necessary step for us to take to put the safety of our students and staff first. Families can expect communication from your teachers either Friday or Monday. Original face to face students will receive communication around new class numbers and students. New face to face students will learn their new homeroom teacher as well as receive info to prepare for Return and Learn Day 1 (the PikMyKid dismissal app, our new health screener, meal service and surveillance testing info). I want to give a BIG shoutout to our amazing teachers and staff who continue to go above and beyond for our students- and what better time to do this then Teacher Appreciation Week!!

I’m also happy to announce that as each day passes, more and more of our staff are choosing to be vaccinated. We are so lucky to have internal partners and parents that have offered up their time to vaccinate our staff. Paired with our dozens of other mitigation strategies, Brandon will continue to offer 4 days a week of face to face instruction, even with our high intent to return numbers. With that said, I want to encourage all families (including those returning on March 22nd) to participate in Surveillance testing. Each week, we continue to test over 400 students and staff, allowing us to safely remain open and get ahead of any outbreaks that could occur.

Yesterday, your child also brought home some documents regarding a new APS health screener that should be completed each morning before your child comes to school. The health check can be done through a mobile app or website and we need all families to register. I realize this is a big ask, especially after the PikMyKid lift, however, this is a district initiative that will allow us to closely monitor who is home because of symptoms and those that are at school because they feel well. Prior to arrival each morning, we will do “spot checks” in our database to ensure parents are completing this for their children. Please note, this will go into effect on March 22 (the first day of Quarter 4).

No matter where you are, I hope everyone continues to have a safe and comfortable learning environment. Social Emotional Learning will continue to be the major focus for our students (second only to safety), and we want to ensure that our students are okay at school, at home, or possibly in a new homeroom. When students are happy and comfortable, learning will take place. I’m excited gifted testing is finally in full effect, Read-a-Thon is right around the corner (geared to ALL students whether virtual or in person) and that we have our final budget GO Team meeting tomorrow where I hope to obtain a final vote on our FY 22 budget.

As always, if there is anything you need, do not hesitate to reach out.

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