It has been awhile since I have given a COVID-19 update. It is very frustrating because as a school we don't have a lot new to report. COVID fatigue has played a key role in the academic achievement of our students and we are feeling the frustration and fatigue from parents as we try to remind everyone to stay the course, while all of us really want to just return to the classroom.
As of this week, San Bernardino County is still stuck in the purple zone as COVID cases surge. Remember that we have to be in the red zone in order to resume in person instruction. Encore continues to take all of the precautions to help thwart the spread of this powerful virus, but right now the virus is still running it's course. The following chart is from COVID19.ca.gov website to describe what is needed to move into the red.
Last week on ABC News, Dr. Fauci said that we need to reopen the schools because based on the tests in Europe, schools being open with the proper precautions has not had a large impact in the spread of the virus. It remains to be seen if Governor Newsom will make any moves toward Dr. Fauci's recommendation. In the meantime, Encore is continuing to give the best Distance Learning program that we can as we ask teachers, parents, and students to remain vigilante in getting their education. We know that this is hard and we know that this type of education is not what any of us signed up for. Stay positive.
I know that this has been a tremendous strain on our families and we really wish that we could do more for all of you. If you need additional support with mental, social, and emotional support - please reach out to our counseling department firstname.lastname@example.org
In regards to the academic health of our students, please continue to make sure that your children are logging in to school every day and completing their assignments. If they are lost and need academic help, they can ask for help from their teachers with tutoring Tuesday through Friday from 7:45 - 8:15 am and can get peer tutoring by email email@example.com through Encore's National Honor Society.
Internet activity in the high desert has been strained over the past few weeks as well. If you would like to have your students come on campus for a few hours a week due to connectivity issues, you can contact our IT department and gain access to Encore's internet cafe where students can come in and use the internet like a public library. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Finally, Encore has submitted plans and requests for additional outdoor activities for our students to the CDC. If they get approved, we will be able to offer some additional activities for our students to take part in. Stay tuned.
I know that all of us feel like we cannot help right now, we can. The way that we can help get our kids back in to school is to follow the precautions and get tested regularly. Please help us help our state get the data they need to help us return to school.
PLEASE DO YOUR PART.
Wear a mask.
Wash your hands frequently. (I have gotten in the habit of sanitizing my hands every time I get into my car or sit down to eat on top of the regular times of the day that I wash my hands.)
Stay socially distanced.
Check your temperature regularly. At Encore, everyone is checked upon entry of the campus every day.
Stay home if you are sick or have been exposed.
Test regularly. (Today will mark my sixth test in the last month.)
If you have been exposed or become sick, let the people know that were around you in the last 14 days. Sharing is caring.
If someone contacts you to let you know that they have been exposed and you have been around them, get tested and stay home according to the CDC guidelines (so you know that you are not spreading the virus to other people.)
Breathe. It is completely acceptable to be sensible and figure out where your comfort level is with the virus. It is also completely acceptable for your neighbor to have a different level of comfort. This is a great time to learn how to respect differences of opinion.
As today marks the 266th day of the 14 days of stay at home order, we understand everyone's feelings of grief, anger, and frustration. Hang in there. We will get through this.
Thank you for your ongoing support of Encore and the support of youth academics and arts. We are here for you, even if socially distanced.
Have a great week.