Moving Forward in Response to our Recent Covid Outbreak
Dear Butte Falls Charter School Parents,
Thank you for working with us through our abrupt change to Distance Learning. This letter responds to the latest guidance from Jackson County Health Department concerning quarantining and isolating. Quarantining is what one does when exposed to Covid; Isolating is what one does when actually having Covid.
Developments since Monday. We have been monitoring how things are progressing with our families who had one or more sick students earlier this week. Actual cases have continued to increase. Some families who had no symptoms on Monday are now seeing Covid symptoms in one or more family members. Simply put, it is spreading. At this point quarantining or isolating are the best choice for helping end this outbreak.
Because of the spread, we are extending Distance Learning through Monday, January 24. Our hope is that by keeping students and staff separated, for an additional week, we will be in better shape to resume classes on-site on Tuesday, January 25.
Guidance on Quarantining and Isolating. On Wednesday, the Jackson County Health Department provided detailed guidance on what to do if one has Covid or has been exposed to an active case. I am attaching a copy with this email. We are also posting this on our website for easy access. This is the most straightforward explanation I have seen so far, but it is still pretty complicated. If you have questions, please use our district Feedback@buttefalls.k12.or.us account. I will be checking this periodically and will try to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can answer.
Deliveries of additional learning materials on Tuesday, January 18. In response to our initial decision to close, our teachers and instructional support staff identified materials for four days of learning. We delivered materials and Chromebooks last Tuesday to any students who needed them. Now that we are extending Distance Learning for four more school days, we are planning on delivering any additional materials on Tuesday, January 18, during the day. We will contact parents if we need to deliver something to your residence. While our older students are using Chromebooks and GoogleMeets, our youngest students are using more paper and pencil materials so we anticipate the majority of our deliveries will be for younger students.
Food for Families. It is a little tricky to distribute meals (breakfasts and lunches) for our students. Our menu selections for delivering food are different from the good cooking we provide at school. For this reason, our first food delivery cannot occur until Thursday, January 20. We realize that some of our families depend on our providing meals and so our head cook is working with vendors to obtain food that can be delivered safely. You will receive an email with a link to a survey tonight. Please complete this promptly so we can determine who wants meals delivered and order sufficient food for delivery.
All Activities are cancelled through Monday, January 24. In order to reduce the possible exposure to Covid, all sports practices and games are cancelled until we return to in person learning. This also applies to any other community meetings on our campuses.
Board Action eliminates requirement for students to wear masks outdoors. At Monday evening’s Board Meeting, in response to Governor Brown’s adjustment to outdoor mask requirements, the School Board directed that we eliminate the outdoor mask requirement for students. Additionally, the School Board directed that student athletes be allowed to not wear masks while actively engaged in sports practice indoors and while actively playing in competitions. Athletes are still required to wear masks while on the bench and at all other times while inside district facilities. This also applies to away games/competitions for Butte Falls players. If another school has more restrictive requirements, we will abide by those while in their facilities.
The Board had a robust discussion about allowing parents to attend and observe athletic practices, but did not give explicit direction regarding this. Given the current high levels of Covid infection in our school community, the district will continue is regular practice of holding closed practices once practices resume and will revisit this matter with the Board at its February 14 meeting.
Masks required for adults and employees. Employees, parents, and guests to our campuses must continue to wear masks indoors and outside. We will not be allowing food in our gyms during games. Spectators must wear masks that cover the nose and the mouth at all times.
We want to get our students back to on-site learning as soon as we can do that safely. We appreciate the support of our families and our community of our health and safety practices that will help us accomplish that as quickly as possible.
Dr. Phil Long, Superintendent
JCSD#91 (Butte Falls)