During the final week of the fall semester (Dec. 14-18), Options Schools shared its Spring 2021 Operational Plan in this email to families
We have made it! First semester is complete and we couldn’t be more proud of the resiliency and grit your students and families as a whole have shown as we’ve navigated such an unusual school year. Thank you to so many of you for participating in the survey about how we will return to school in January! The operational plan shared in the fall provided some basic information about multiple stages we may need to consider throughout the semester as we learned more about the effectiveness of the preventative measures we planned to take in the schools and the overall spread of the virus in our communities. Your students generally respected the new and uncomfortable requirements of wearing face coverings, staying apart from others, and cleaning commonly used areas likes tables. We are thankful for this and ask that you continue to encourage and support these measures over break and when they return in January. These intentional actions are what is keeping our teachers and other students safe at school! Additionally, we ask that you are mindful of your holiday activities and continue to protect yourselves and those that you may be in contact with. We want to see each of your students back with us in January and want to keep everyone safe!
Using the information from the surveys and the great suggestions and ideas shared, we have developed a plan to support the shared needs of students, teachers, and parents. We are excited to have a plan that can provide some stability for the semester and a sense of peace knowing it isn’t going to change at the drop of a hat like we’ve become used to with the early days of learning about COVID and the impact on schools. We have received a general level of confidence from the Indiana State Health Department, including Dr. Box, and our Hamilton County Health Department in our plans to remain open to in person learning with the planned safety measures in place. Because the viral spread is still significant in our community we have decided to reduce the number of students in the building at one time. This will allow us to better social distance in the classrooms, limiting the number of individuals that would be contact traced if a person did come to school while sick. It is important to remember that while our programs are small, so are our classrooms. Having all students in the building at one time was not allowing us to appropriately social distance. If your child has a specific need that would require daily, in person attendance please speak with your student’s principal. Accommodations can be made for special requests like this.
We cannot stress enough the importance of staying home if you are not feeling well and communicating with the building principals to ensure you are able to continue to learn from home if able. Additional information will be provided by each of the building principals no later than Monday, December 28. This information will include expectations for attendance check-ins, live help sessions for tutoring or support that will be available during evening school times, food resources, group assignments for the students, and more. If you have a specific question you’d like addressed in this communication please go ahead and email it to your building principal. They will be collaborating on these questions and work to ensure the information that gets sent out addresses your questions.
We hope you all enjoy some family time over the next two weeks and are able to rest and reset as you prepare to return for a great spring semester! I know we are ready for the break as well but will be excited to see you again in just a few weeks. We will return to school in Stage 2, on January 5, 2021. We anticipate staying at Stage 2 for the semester but think it would be great if the viral spread reduced in such a way that we could move to stages 3 or 4. See you in the new year!
Mike Gustin, President/CEO