November 18, 2020
Good afternoon, ER9 Families and Staff:
As expected, the number of positive cases across both towns has continued to increase. As of yesterday’s review of the leading indicator (the number of new cases 14-day average per 100,000 population) and the secondary indicator (positivity rate), we have crossed the threshold into the red level. We have also seen increases in staff absences due to district-related quarantines, pending test results and childcare issues as a result of school closures in surrounding towns.
After conferring with our local health directors from Easton and Redding and discussing the anticipated uptick in positive cases following Thanksgiving, we have decided to shift all five schools to full distance learning starting tomorrow, Nov. 19. We will remain in this model at least through Friday, Dec. 4, and I will continue to review the health data in collaboration with our local health officials to determine next steps. Principals will send additional information regarding school-specific details.
My hope is that we will be able to return to the hybrid model on Monday, Dec. 7. During this period, I will continue to monitor our local health data in collaboration with our health officials, and share regular updates with our families. While we all anticipate increases in the number of positive cases stemming from holiday gatherings next week, I want to remain consistent in my commitment to making data-driven decisions.
As you can imagine, this was a very difficult decision. We can all agree that students learn best via face-to face learning. However, I believe that shifting to distance learning is the best next step in order to promote the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff. Thanks again for your flexibility and support during this tough time.
Superintendent of Schools
Easton, Redding & Region 9 School Districts