August 7, 2020
Dear ACSD Community,
We are moving closer to the start of school on our new statewide start date of September 8, and our ACSD Recovery Planning Teams are finishing their initial work in preparing a plan for all the phases of learning that we may be facing this year. We will now have more consistent information to share as we approach the start of the school year, and will be sending a district-wide communication every Friday to update you on further development of our school reentry plan. In addition, school principals will be communicating every Friday to share building-specific information with their communities.
As we shared previously, the Addison Central School District will begin the year in a hybrid model. We will be following guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Education to determine how long we stay in the hybrid model. Starting in a hybrid model allows us to move towards fully in-person instruction if Vermont’s COVID-19 threat stays low, or pivot to remote learning if we experience what some other states are experiencing as they reopen schools.
Creating Cohorts in Hybrid Model
We will divide students into two groups, one group attending school in-person on Monday and Tuesday with the second group attending in-person on Thursday and Friday. Students will be educated remotely during the remaining three days of the week. Some families will elect to be remote all five days per week. Please contact your building administration if you wish to register your student(s) to be fully remote. The deadline to select fully remote is August 19.
We will be dividing students based on the last name of a household’s youngest student who is attending an ACSD school. The group with last names A-J will attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday. The K - Z group will attend school in-person on Thursday and Friday. Additionally, individual schools and/or classes will need to adjust the alphabetical breakdown to maintain sufficiently small classes and adequate social distancing. For example, in one of our elementary schools an entire class has last names in the first half of the alphabet. Families will receive student schedules in the coming days that specifically designate their child’s in-person days.
We will consider hardship requests for a change in groups based upon factors including family socioeconomic circumstances, health and safety, balancing class size, or specific student circumstances outlined in formal support plans. If the assignment of your student’s group represents a significant hardship for your family, you should contact the school principal in writing. Decisions regarding individual hardship requests will be made consistently by administration across all schools in ACSD.
Special Education Services
ACSD is following the Vermont Agency of Education guidance for school reopening in addition to the Vermont Special Education Rules and Regulations. We expect that further guidance will be forthcoming, and we will continue to share information as it is released.
Special Educators will be scheduling IEP team meetings for students in late August and the first week in September. You will hear directly from your child’s case manager about selecting a time to meet with your team. IEPs will be amended to reflect service delivery for a hybrid, remote, and fully in-person model, in order to be prepared for possible transitions. All decisions regarding your child’s special education and related services will be made by the IEP team.
Complete ACSD Reentry Plan
Next Friday, we will be sharing our complete ACSD Reentry Plan, which will provide further information on what students and families can expect in the year ahead. It will outline how we’ll respond in different phases of learning, and will provide detail to give our entire community a sense of how we’ll be transitioning throughout the year should health and safety guidance change.
Again, I want to thank our entire community. There’s significant stress and challenge as we face the impacts of the pandemic in all of our lives, and I look forward to working together to make the start of the school year successful for all of our students.