STGRSD Full Remote Learning Until 12/7/2020

STGRSD Full Remote Learning Until 12/7/2020
STGRSD Letterhead

November 25, 2020

Dear Families, 

When I wrote to you on November 5, 2020 notifying you of the need for the District to go to a full remote learning status for all students, I noted the agreement between the District and the Teacher’s Union and the metrics in that agreement that used the Hampden County Weekly COVID-19 Positivity Rate of 3% as its benchmark. I am pleased to notify you that the District and the Teacher’s Union have successfully negotiated a new agreement that utilizes multiple data points, including town specific data, to drive decisions about opening schools for in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. I cannot thank the teachers enough for their dedication to our students and their desire to get back to in-person learning. 

As I am sure you are aware, during the past two weeks, we have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country and our towns are no exceptions. When we closed on November 6, 2020, our town COVID-19 Positivity Rate was far below that of Hampden County. However, this past week, Southwick’s rate surpassed Hampden County’s Positivity Rate. Therefore, after consultation with the Southwick Public Health Nurse, and data that indicates that COVID-19 cases in our communities continue to rise and Southwick is expected to be “well into the RED” for the second consecutive week, I am making the difficult decision to extend full remote learning for all students until at least December 7, 2020. 
I know for many families, as well as myself, we had hoped to reopen sooner. There is no replacement for in-person learning but the active COVID cases in our school community prevent reopening at this time. The District will continue to work with the STGRSD Safety Committee, which includes the Director of the Board of Health and Public Health nurse, to monitor community metrics and we will keep you updated on a return to in-person learning as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving celebrations, no matter how different they may look this year, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each of you for your continued dedication to our students and our STGRSD community. 

I wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools
Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District