A Message from Richland One Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon (12-14-2020)
December 14, 2020
Dear Richland One Parents and Staff,
As we approach the end of the 2020 calendar year, COVID-19 continues to have a profound impact on the nation, state and our local community, including Richland One. Our Restart Strong Reopening of Schools Plan has been in place and in operation since the start of this academic school year. As a part of the plan, on October 26, we transitioned to Phase 2 (Hybrid) of our Phase-In Model, while other students continued their learning through the yearlong Virtual School Program model. Along the way, there have been adjustments to the plan based upon science, data and circumstances. This includes changes in keeping with recommendations and guidance from health officials.
That said, we have to acknowledge the increases in COVID-19 incidence rates that have occurred in recent weeks. In addition, other factors such as staff availability cause us again to evaluate our plan at this time. Given the current high incidence rates and the likelihood that these rates will increase after the Winter Break, Richland One will return to eLearning beginning Monday, January 4, 2021. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 data and staff availability in anticipation of a return to Phase 2 (Hybrid) on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.
Please note the following information:
- Richland One will move to eLearning Monday, January 4, 2021 through Friday, January 15, 2021.
- Students will receive live virtual instruction.
- Classroom assignments will remain the same during this time.
- The district will observe the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 18, 2021.
- Hybrid instruction tentatively will resume on Tuesday, January 19, with AA days on January 19 and January 20, and BB days on January 21 and January 22. There will not be a flex day the week of January 18.
- Meal distribution information will be announced on the district’s website and social media. Parents also will receive notifications through the SchoolMessenger system.
In addition to monitoring activity at individual schools during this week, we will continue to evaluate data and work with our Task Force and health care professionals to determine metrics that could result in the classroom or school closures after our anticipated return on January 19.
We thank you all for your flexibility and understanding during this transition. This is not an easy decision, but this adjustment allows us to maintain our focus on the safety of our students and staff.
Craig Witherspoon, Ed.D.