Dear Cedars Families,
I hope this message finds all of you safe and well. As you can imagine, given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been spending a great deal of time and effort planning for a strong and safe start to the year.
As things currently stand with Austin in Stage 4 of its Risk Based Guidance, we are planning to start the school year on August 18, 2020 for Cedars families with online learning for all students for the first 9 week grading period of the 2020-2021 school year.
However, we will be providing a limited number of spots for students to complete their online learning on campus, if it is absolutely necessary. We have a new survey that will allow us to know how many students may need to do remote learning on campus for the start of the year.
Option 1: Full-time distance learning (at home) for 5 days per week
Option 2: Full-time on-campus remote learning for 5 days per week, with everyone wearing masks, enhanced hygiene, disinfection, and physical social distancing protocols.
PARENTS WILL HAVE THE OPTION OF UPDATING THEIR SELECTION THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST IN A SUBSEQUENT SURVEY.
In order to allow students on campus to do their remote learning in a manner that is safe and consistent with state and local guidelines, we are developing a comprehensive health and safety plan that includes prevention measures, physical distancing, incident response, and other components. Included in the plan are the following:
- All students and staff on campus will be screened for COVID symptoms to include a check for fever each day.
- All students and staff will be required to wear masks.
- We will be implementing new, intensive cleaning and disinfecting protocols throughout each school.
- If a visitor is approved to come on campus, then they will be screened for COVID.
- Students will receive detailed training on health and safety protocols beginning on the first day of school and reinforced during the year.
- We will be implementing regularized and systematic procedures for student handwashing and sanitizing.
- Student desks and workspaces will be separated as far as possible (generally 3-6 feet apart, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics).
- The TEA recently clarified that we are currently under the Governor’s order to require face coverings for students age 10 and older, wherever 6 feet of spacing cannot be maintained. However, Cedars will require ALL students to wear a mask to be allowed on campus. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will provide updates soon as we have more firm information regarding the use of face coverings.
- Plans for how to best facilitate drop-off, pick-up, and times such as lunch are in the process of being developed.
While these health protocols will be needed to ensure an on campus remote learning safe return to school, we remain committed to monitoring the everchanging COVID landscape to update these measures in a way that is least intrusive for our overall student remote learning experience.
As you can imagine, this is a continually evolving situation, and we are subject to requirements that may be put in place by city, state, and federal authorities.
Please complete the following survey no later than July 23, 2020
Your response to the survey is a commitment for the first 9 week grading period, except if a student needs to transition into distance learning at home for health reasons. YOU WILL HAVE ONE MORE OPPORTUNITY TO UPDATE YOUR CHOICE, THE FIRST WEEK OF AUGUST.
Michael G Blalock
Business Manager/Interim Superintendent