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SafeOregon - School Safety Tip Line

Letters from Mr. Thielman 11.25.20

November 28, 2020
Dear Alsea Parents and Community,
We have certainly been on the COVID Roller Coaster!  Yesterday, the Administrative team was hard at work setting a course to keep us safely open for the three week run to Winter Break!  As many of you may know, Benton County Health recommended that all schools transition to CDL by November 30th, however, they have verified that the Alsea Charter School is in what the state guidance calls, “Safe Harbor.”  This means that we are allowed to remain open with robust safeguards through January 4th, 2021 regardless of the Metrics.
This reality creates a real quandary as many of our families just want to know what the plan is in a timely manner!  We hear you!
Please know that the Alsea School District takes this pandemic very seriously and none of our decisions to stay open or move to Comprehensive Distance Learning (CDL) are done lightly.  This being said, the Alsea School District is equally as serious about the importance of staying safely open for in-person instruction.
After some intense meetings and correspondence with Benton County Health and the Monroe School District Administration.  I am charting the following course in support of in-person instruction balanced with staff and student safety.
The plan is as follows:
1.  The Alsea Charter School Will be Closed Monday, November 30th for Staff Training on the modified operating plan for the 3 weeks til Winter Break. I wish to apologize in advance for any inconvenience this one day break extension may cause.  Students will not be expected to attend school virtually on the 30th as staff will be in meetings.
2.  Beginning Tuesday, December 1st, GRADES K-5 WILL BE OPEN FOR REGULAR IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION.  Please expect that we will be operating with some added safety protocols especially at screening.
>>GRADES 6-12 will be on CDL Tuesday -Thursday this same week.  Again, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this course of action will cause for our valued families.  WHY 6-12 CDL for one week?:  This decision is based on the epidemiology of COVID-19 and the associated risks of the disease to, and potential subsequent spread by, older students.  By holding one week of CDL for this age group we will be able to assess those who may have been exposed over the break by allowing time for symptoms to develop, be identified, tested, traced, and if needed, placed on quarantine prior to returning to in person instruction Monday December 7th.
This plan has been shared with Benton County Health and they are here to support us as we continue with in-person instruction during this time.  It is certainly nice to know we are not alone in this task!
Speaking of not alone, the Monroe School District is operating under this same plan for their schools as well!  Having a neighboring District/Community stand in solidarity, and apply the same process speaks volumes to the efficacy of this plan, and the strength of both communities.  I am truly thankful for their support, and for their commitment to their own kids, and the importance of in-person instruction!  Go Dragons!!!
FEEDBACK REQUEST:  The decision to remain open for in-person instruction was made in direct support of the overwhelming feedback from so many of you!  This being said, I recognize that some of our families are alarmed by the rise in the COVID metrics and may be less excited about sending their students to school for in-person instruction.  Alsea Charter School is here for All Students and their families no matter where you land on this issue.
For planning purposes, I am requesting that ALL FAMILIES click on the following survey link: https://forms.gle/6aZHsmsLuz9TLGjx5
Please indicate your comfort level, and whether or not you elect to send your student(s) to school for in-person instruction during this time.  This information will help us know who to expect, and how we can better support all our students and families. We greatly appreciate your feedback.
Please enjoy the remainder of the ThanksGiving Holiday, and take time to be thankful for the good things that still pervade in spite of these crazy times!!!  On behalf of the School Board, Staff and Administration, please know that we are truly thankful for each and every one of you, and for the huge trust you have placed in us!! Go Wolverines!!!!
Sincerely,
Marc Thielman

Alsea Superintendent/K-12 Principal
541-487-4305 Ext. 201