12-18-2020 — Temporary changes for January 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Since August, our goal in Lexington District One has been to provide the most face-to-face instruction possible, while ensuring a safe environment for students and staff. Therefore, shifting instruction from face-to-face to virtual — even for a short period — is a decision we take seriously and would come to only after weighing many factors.

We realize that any changes to the school schedule impact our families and add stress to your lives. We also realize that many people are anxious about their safety and the safety of their children.

Based on what we have learned after the Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to make some temporary shifts to our instructional model beginning January 2021.

The week of Jan. 4–8 will become e-learning days for all students. Students will still have school, but all learning will take place virtually. No students will come to school for face-to-face instruction that week.

For the week of Jan. 11–15, kindergarten through sixth grade will return to the four-plus-one model.

K–6 will come to school for face-to-face instruction Monday through Thursday. Friday (Jan. 15) will remain an e-learning day.

For the week of Jan. 11–15, grades 7 and 8 will shift to the hybrid model.

Grade 9 through 12 will return to the hybrid model.

Cohort A will come to school on Monday and Tuesday. Cohort B will come to school on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday (Jan. 15) will remain an e-learning day.

School is closed Monday, Jan. 18, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, grades 7 and 8 will return to the four-plus-one model.

High school students will remain in the hybrid model until further notice.

All athletic competitions are canceled beginning Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 through Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. Coaches will contact athletes with more information.

None of these shifts impact our Online Learning Academy students.

Let me tell you how we came to this decision.

The three weeks between Thanksgiving break and today showed us a lot about what we can expect within our schools following a major holiday. Since returning to school from Thanksgiving break, the number of positive cases of COVID-19 among students nearly quadrupled, and student quarantines tripled. The number of staff quarantined and positive cases more than doubled.

The second week after Thanksgiving was the beginning of the most significant increase we have experienced so far.

After talking with health care professionals, we expect the magnitude of Winter Break to be even greater.

The surge we expect led to our decision to shift to e-learning during the second week after Christmas. Our goal is to slow the exposure of our staff and students to the disease so we can return to a safe and stable learning environment.

Please remember what you do over the Winter Break and in January will impact school in the new year. We need your help.

We urge you to continue physical distancing. Wear your mask and make responsible decisions. We ask you to quarantine as much as possible the first of January to lessen exposure to the disease.

Now is the time to nail down your emergency plans, such as who will take care of your student if school is closed for severe weather or if more shifts in the instructional model are needed. Set those plans in place now.

Thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we work to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Your school will reach out to you with more information about what to expect during the first week of January.

Dr. Gregory Little, Superintendent