November 12, 2020
Dear Hillsboro R-III School Community,
The Board of Education approved the recommendation to remain on the Hybrid schedule through the first semester for all students K-12.
As we communicated last week, the health data in our schools and community continue to trend in a more negative direction with some of the highest levels we have seen to date. There has been a significant increase in the number of cases locally that is impacting our schools, including both students and staff.
We currently have 14 students and 9 staff members isolated due to lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests, as well as 85 students and 17 staff members in quarantine due to exposure to a positive COVID-19 case.
Remaining in the hybrid schedule provides a greater ability for our students and staff to socially distance while at school. While there has been a significant increase in the number of staff and students who are currently quarantined, those contact cases have been limited within the classrooms.
As of today, we have 26 staff members out for 10-14 days. Unfortunately, the quarantines are resulting in some critical shortages in staffing. There are limited substitutes available to fill these vacancies. This specific issue is not just a Hillsboro R-III issue, but one that is impacting many districts statewide. If this continues, these shortages may not allow us to support in-person educational services appropriately in the near future.
We are asking our staff and families to prepare for the future possibility of a short-term move from the hybrid schedule to full virtual learning for students. Moving forward, we will look to this possibility for individual classrooms, grade levels, or schools to minimize the impact districtwide. Here is what our families need to know:
Planning: Please develop a family plan for the care of your child if your school would need to move from the hybrid schedule to full virtual learning. It is important that you review these opportunities now so you will be prepared in case of a temporary school closure in the future.
Timing and Notification: We want to provide parents as much time as possible before announcing the need to move to virtual learning. However, because we immediately quarantine staff members upon the results of contact tracing, this may result in very short notice.
Returning: As soon as staffing returns to an appropriate level, we could begin plans to bring our in-person learners back to the classroom. We would keep our families informed and up to date throughout this process as teachers and staff in quarantine are able to return to school.
We ask that our school community utilize the mitigation strategies that we use in school: wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash/sanitize your hands, and stay home if you have any COVID-19 symptoms.
Be assured that our goal remains the same – we want students who have selected in-person learning to continue with that option. We also know that changes in plans and schedules this year have been challenging for everyone. This year has been difficult for not only our students and staff, but also for our parents. Thank you to everyone for your continued patience, cooperation, and support of our students
Dr. Jon Isaacson
Superintendent of Schools
Please click the link for the PDF of this communication - https://5il.co/n0m8