COVID-19 Educational Model Special Update

April 5, 2021
Dear PRSD Students, Parents/Guardians and Staff:
We hope that the spring break provided an opportunity for all to spend time with family, rest and recharge. The past year has challenged and changed so many aspects of daily life. The pandemic has impacted each of us in different ways. Stress - physical and mental - has a tendency to build over time. We hope that the spring break and improving weather provides an opportunity to exercise, pursue hobbies and find balance.
As we move into this week, we are entering the next stage of transition:
●     April 6th: Return of Students in Grade K - 6 and 12 to the educational program that was implemented in mid-March. Students in Grades 7 - 11 remain in the hybrid. Students in full virtual remain in that model.
●     April 8th: Students in Grades 7 - 12 transition to the more recently selected program (i.e., five-day in-person, alternating day in-person). Students in full virtual remain in that model.
It is important to note that conditions and cases have worsened in recent weeks. We see this change in the region and in the district. We will continue to monitor the need for future shifts on the continuum. We will also continue to provide a daily update to the PRSD case count-to-date and rolling 14-day case count per building. It is posted directly to the PRSD COVID-19 website. We will continue to post the update each weekday by 5:00 p.m. ET. Please note that the 14-day rolling window case counts reset due to spring breakClick here to see the updated information. The overall conditions can be monitored through the ACHD Dashboard and the PADOH COVID-19 Dashboard.
Given the recent national news coverage of CDC guidelines for schools, we wanted to clarify a potential area of confusion and/or misconception. The updated CDC guidelines suggest the potential to reduce physical distancing in the school setting to less than six (6) feet if other mitigation strategies are in place. This updated CDC guidance does not change the criteria used to determine who qualifies as a “close contact” for the purpose of quarantine. Quarantine is designed as a preventative measure for healthy people who meet the definition of close contact to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. When a person has been identified as positive for COVID-19, any person(s) who have been close to an infectious person for 15 minutes or more (i.e., less than six feet) are placed in quarantine. That illustration is shown again here to explain why a student may need to quarantine.
As the final and most critical note, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of our shared approach to public health. Behavioral decisions in the community impact schools. Schools impact the community. Our continued commitment to face coverings, sanitizing and other mitigation measures will help us sustain our educational models. Transmission is less likely to occur in a school setting with a layered approach to mitigation. Transmission is more likely to occur in the social settings without mitigation (e.g., no masks and close contact/interactions). Given the reduction in physical distancing described above, student cases will likely lead to individual quarantine of other students. If cases require the short-term closure of a school building, all activities and athletics for that school will be cancelled during the period of closure. Effort will be made to reschedule athletic and/or extra-curricular competitions.
Brian R. Miller, Ed.D.                                  
Michael Pasquinelli, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent (7 - 12)           
Kristen M. Justus, Ph.D.
Assistant Superintendent (K - 6)