Good afternoon Finneytown Families,
I hope you are enjoying this wonderful weather for spring break! Fourth quarter begins on Monday, March 29th when school resumes after spring break. I want to alert you to some recent updates in the COVID outlook.
We knew from the beginning of the COVID-19 challenge that circumstances would constantly evolve. Since we asked about your preferences for school this spring (flex/virtual), there has been tremendous progress with vaccinations.
As of today in Ohio, people 40 and older are eligible for vaccinations, meaning all parents, grandparents and guardians should have access to free vaccinations.
Starting March 29, the first day of our spring quarter, anyone 16 and older is eligible. That is amazing and makes a huge difference. There are mass vaccination sites being set up. One was at the Cintas Center at Xavier University last week. Thousands are being vaccinated in a few days.
The majority of our teachers and staff have already been vaccinated with both doses. We will continue to follow protocols wearing masks, sanitizing hands and surfaces, and practicing social distancing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported:
- “Although children … can get sick from COVID-19, and can spread the virus to others, less than 10% of COVID-19 cases in the United States have been among children and adolescents aged 5–17 years.”
- “Based on the data available, in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission. … school reopenings do not appear to pre-date increases in community transmission.”
In Finneytown and surrounding areas, COVID cases have not been spread in school. Positive cases have originated at home or in the community and have not been shared at school. We will continue to follow quarantine rules and distance as much as possible. Even those who are vaccinated will be required to follow these protocols, just to be safe.
Many of our extra-curricular activities have resumed, although most are based outdoors in the spring. We are moving forward with plans for Prom and Graduation. They will look different but will be able to happen.
In light of these new developments, we want to once again offer you the chance to switch your children to Flex Campus (in person learning). The Pediatric Association continues to emphasize the benefits of students being in person, both academically and emotionally. They have stated that the benefits of in person school to the mental health of our children far outweigh the risks of being isolated and having no interaction with peers.
The staff and administration would love to have all students back in person full days for fourth quarter. Many of you expressed the same thing but we still have over 40% of our students who are choosing virtual and we have promised to support that through the end of the year and we will. The only way we can try to have students back full days four days a week (we have state testing, IEP meetings and trainings scheduled for all Wednesdays through the end of the year) is if we have only a few students attending Virtual Academy.
This is not meant to pressure anyone. I am just being transparent. We want you to have the opportunity to switch your child(ren) to Flex Campus since vaccines will be so much more available. Please respond to this email to let me know if you want to switch your child. Please include this information.
First and last name for each child:
Grade for each child:
I will get the information to each principal to get your child set up to come back in person on the 29th.
Thank you and enjoy the week! Let’s get those kiddos back in school!
Superintendent Terri Noe