Over the past several weeks, we have been extremely pleased with the success of our transition to Full-Time In-Person instruction across all grade levels. We are thrilled to see our campuses bursting with the energy reminiscent of years past and our students engaging with staff and peers in a way that feels more normal. Falling regional and national COVID-19 infections, rising vaccination rates and the continued mitigation strategies in place in our schools have allowed us to make this transition smoothly and safely and we have every expectation that we will return to an even greater degree of normalcy next school year.
With this in mind, we wanted to share some important updates for next school year so that families can plan accordingly.
Return to Normal School Day Schedule
When school reopens in September, we are planning to resume our regular school day hours. All elementary schools will open at 8:20am and dismiss at 3:05pm. The middle and high schools will run from 8:15am-2:51pm (period zero will begin at 7:32am and academy period will be from 2:51-3:11pm). Early release Wednesdays will be discontinued with all students in class five days a week with the exception of six early releases for Professional Learning (calendar section below).
Virtual Learning to be Discontinued
While we recognize that a fully virtual option has provided comfort for many families, especially during the height of the pandemic, we believe that our students learn best in school and that the considerable progress in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will allow for a safe return for all. As a result and with support from the Reopening Advisory Task Force, the District will be discontinuing the fully remote option for families next year. Importantly, we believe moving in this direction will allow our teachers to best meet the academic and social-emotional needs of our students. In the coming weeks, principals will be reaching out to families who have remained in the fully virtual model to discuss their concerns and address them on a case-by-case basis.
2021-22 Calendar and Professional Learning Days
On Wednesday night, the Board of Education adopted a revised version of the 2021-22 School Calendar. Importantly, this calendar includes six Wednesdays on which students will be dismissed at 1pm for Professional Learning/Staff Development. Prior to the pandemic, the District had used two-hour delays several times during the year for this professional learning time, however switching to Wednesday afternoons allows us to capture additional time with our teachers and staff. These dates are as follows:
October 6, 2021
November 3, 2021
December 2, 2021
January 12, 2022
February 2, 2022
March 2, 2022
June 1, 2022
I would like to again thank our teachers, administrators and all staff members for their incredible work during the school year as well as our Reopening Task Force for the countless hours they have put in. We look forward to a productive end to the school year as we continue to plan for a more “normal” 2021-22.
Thank you for your continued support.
Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools