Hello and Merry Christmas to everyone. We really miss you at school. I want to thank everyone for responding to the survey concerning live learning only. After listening to everyone's opinion and following what is happening in our community concerning covid, we are not going to move to live learning only in January. We will stay just like we are. This gives parents an option they may need.
But, it also puts more pressure on the parents and teachers that have students using remote learning. Parents have to check "Parent Portal" to stay up with their child's attendance and grades. Teachers have to continually find ways to deliver remote instruction. Both parents and teachers struggle with students not attending or working, finding ways to do both live and remote, and the sheer time it takes.
The state has now approved school district administration to require students to attend live at school if they are failing or have poor attendance. This is not for students that are passing and attending. We have a small group of students not even trying. This is for that group. We are exploring this option for students who are at risk of not passing to the next grade level. Students homeschooling or in private school are required to pass a grade assessment test to enter the next grade level at CCAISD; this is required at most public schools. Some public schools do not even allow an entrance test and you automatically repeat the previous grade. Please understand checking out of school doesn't mean you will be enrolled in the next grade level next year. Enrolled students without the required 90% attendance rate or enrolled students not passing their classes do not pass to the next grade level and have to repeat the grade they are currently in. The other requirement is a student has to pass the required state test.
The good news is that as of 12-4-20, we have had only about 1 % of our students have had covid this year. Also, as of 12-4-20, we have only 2 staff and 1 student reporting they have covid. We have another 3 staff and 2 students in quarantine with direct exposure. We are watching to make sure this holds. New information shows that 98% of the people who are directly exposed, who actually contract covid, will do so within 10 to 11 days after exposure. The Thanksgiving Holiday ended on 11-29-20 (Sunday), so by 12-10-20 (Thursday) any spikes should be identified. Remember, any staff or student can now get a covid test free of charge at school. Just call the school nurse and arrange an appointment. Several have already taken advantage of this.
With the good news, many that wanted live learning only will be asking why are we staying with both remote and live. According to the CDC, the Covid Pandemic is at its highest peak and expected to get worse over the next 3 months. The vaccine will most likely not reach the general public until sometime in March, April, May, or even June. On top of this, our county is still at a 16% positivity rate. Area hospitals are struggling to keep up with covid patients. Texas is starting to send patients to other states. On the not so good side of CCAISD's statistics is that 23% of our staff has had covid, 46% of our staff has been directly exposed to covid, and 69% of our students have been directly exposed to covid. Only our precautions and quick move to remote learning have kept our students at 1 %. It is very inconvenient for parents and staff, but it is keeping everyone far more safe this way.
We will teach live for 2 weeks and then Christmas break begins.We have amended the school calendar to add another week to the Christmas and New Year's holiday break. Staff will report back on 1-11-21 (Monday) and students will report back on 1-12-21 (Tuesday). This will give staff 9 days and students 10 days after the holidays to know if they have COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms and not come into the building. Be safe, be healthy, be kind to someone today.