OMAHA, Neb — In a letter to families today, Millard Public Schools superintendent, Jim Sutfin said that the district is making a change to in-person learning due to an increase in COVID-19 cases.
He said that the district has seen a significant number of students and staff being quarantined in recent weeks.
The letter also included the following information:
- Students will not report to their buildings during the week of Thanksgiving.
- Students will learn remotely on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th and will be off school the rest of the week.
- Teachers will assign asynchronous work for students on those two days, which means students will not have any set times they need to join a zoom class. Students will do the work on their own time.
- Teachers will be available to answer questions during regular school hours on November 23rd and 24th.
The full letter is included below:
November 11, 2020
Dear Millard Community,
I am writing this letter to update you on our response to COVID-19 and a change to our in-person learning. We have seen a significant increase in positive cases and quarantines over the course of the last couple of weeks. You can see our current data by clicking on the COVID-19 link at the top of our district website, www.mpsomaha.org [mpsomaha.org], or on your school website.
We have been able to handle situations where COVID-19 is brought into our buildings on a case-by-case basis. Unfortunately many of these cases have caused significant quarantines of students and staff.
Students will not report to their buildings during the week of Thanksgiving. Students will learn remotely on Monday, November 23rd and Tuesday, November 24th and will be off school the rest of the week. Teachers will assign asynchronous work for students on those two days, which means students will not have any set times they need to join a zoom class. Students will do the work on their own time. Teachers will be available to answer questions during regular school hours on November 23rd and 24th.
We hope by closing our buildings for the entire week of Thanksgiving that we can offer a reset. Our plan is to return to school in-person on Monday, November 30th. This will give us a nine day window for COVID-19 cases to settle out and to allow individuals to finish their quarantine periods so that we can bring back a staff that is closer to full strength. Closing our buildings will also allow us time to deep clean our facilities and for the new Directed Heath Measure to have an impact on our community.
During Thanksgiving break, it is extremely important that you avoid the 3 C’s and wear a mask when you can’t social distance from people that are not part of your immediate household. I want you to be safe and stay safe. This extended break from school is giving us our best chance to set up a positive run to winter vacation, but it will only work if we all come together and lessen our own personal risk of exposure. If we don’t do this, we may find ourselves in a tough situation in the weeks leading up to winter break.
This decision was not made lightly, but after examining our current situation and looking at the impact on our staffing, it is the least disruptive way that we can reset so that we can get back to educating your children in-person. Your help is greatly needed as we move forward as a community.
Jim Sutfin, Ed.D. Superintendent