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COVID Update 10-7-2021 – Letters from Mr. Thielman

October 7, 2021

Dear Parents and Community,

I am happy to inform you that the Alsea Charter School will be open for in person learning tomorrow, Thursday, October 7th, 2021:)
Today, we had two staff members receive their “NEGATIVE” test results and this will facilitate our ability to adequately staff school tomorrow.  In addition, the subject of last weeks increase in COVID positive cases, and possible in school source of spread is a natural and understandable stressor for all stakeholders in our school family.  I wanted to share some highlights with all our parents that were gleaned from today’s meeting:
1.  This years State Mandate is designed to “keep schools open for in-person instruction” as much as possible; Unlike last years that was set up to support schools being closed.  As a result, we have had to redefine our “abundance of caution” approach from, strategic closures/quarantines; To: robust screening, testing (rapid tests when available), isolation (3-5 day rule), contact tracing and quarantining.  Last week’s increase in cases certainly tested our mettle, but the Alsea spirit continues to overcome:)
2.  Today, we received the following determination from the Benton County Health, Communicable Disease Case Investigator:  “Have been keeping a fairly accurate spreadsheet that shows the cases (Alsea) and includes the hard work and effort that we have both been doing in regards to contact tracing and supports the fact that due to the interactions outside of school and the spread amongst familial relations, which is most of Alsea that I am not seeing the school is the cause or aiding in the spread at this time.”  This determination demonstrates the consistent commitment of the Alsea School District to safety for all students and staff.  This being said, WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT.
3.  Vigilance is best applied by applying the “abundance of caution” rule in support of home screening for symptoms.  If in doubt keep your student(s) out, isolate via the 3-5 day rule and seek testing:)  In addition, reach out to us immediately and communicate any symptoms, possible exposures, and/or intermittent contacts so we can help support you in this process.  As the news reel reported today, “Delta-COVID case counts indicate five straight weeks of decline statewide…..but remain high while hospitalizations and deaths continue to slowly decrease.”  What this means is the ratio of identified positives, in which people contract COVID but don’t require hospitalization, is increasing in relation to the percentage of more severe cases requiring hospitalization are decreasing.  This is really good news as the severity of this latest pandemic spike is slowly on the wane but not over.
Thank you to all our amazing parents and families for all the support, and for reaching out and sharing your concerns and asking really good questions.  I am looking forward to a great day of school and a restful “COVID-FREE” weekend for all our parents, students, and staff:) Go Wolverines!!!!  As always, please feel free to call or text me at 509-220-5313, or email me directly at marc.thielman@alsea.k12.or.us if you have questions or concerns.
Sincerely,
Marc Thielman

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