In the spirit of keeping you informed and updated on the letter dated August 10 (copied below), we thought you would be pleased to know that both the first and third benchmarks for Maricopa County have officially been met, and the metrics for the second benchmark continue to improve. The Arizona Department of Health Services has released the updated data for the week of July 26 (the link for this data is also included in the August 10 letter below). As a reminder, the ADHS released these aspirational metrics for schools to consider in making their own decision on when to open. While these are not a mandate for schools, they are an additional piece of information for us to consider. August 10, 2020
Dear SCA Families,
Important Update and One Modification:
Last week, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) released new aspirational metrics for schools to consider prior to opening for in-person instruction. Within this release are three main metrics they suggest schools consider in making their own decision on when to open. While these are not a mandate for schools (as the earlier delay to August 17 was) they are an additional piece of information for us to consider. We wanted to speak about them directly and transparently.
You can review the specificbenchmarks. Here is how Maricopa County is currently doing:
Benchmark 1: The first benchmark (related to the decline in cases per 100,000 people in Maricopa County) has already been met.
Benchmark 2: The second benchmark (related to percent positivity below 7%) since the week of June 28has been progressively improving from a high of around 22.7% down to 13.2% the week of July 19, and anticipated to be reported as 11.8% the week of July 26. Based on this positive trend for over a month now, it is anticipated this will likely fall below 10%, and then below the other marks of 7% and 5%, shortly.
Benchmark 3: The third benchmark (related to hospital visits for COVID-like illnesses below 10%) has already dropped below the threshold (10%) on July 19 at 8.8% and has been trending down since June 28. It is anticipated this will be met (two consecutive weeks standard) with the upcoming report for July 26, and anticipated to be approximately 5.3%.
With much consideration, we are opening on August 17 for both the traditional in-person option and the Remote Learning Option (RLO). We understand the difficult decision that each family must make given their own particular circumstance and concerns. For this reason, we have adjusted the RLO program to allow for some flexibility for family decision making.
Knowing the data and your own family dynamics, if you are comfortable and ready for your children to return to an in-person learning environment, then you have the traditional option (modified with all of the new health and safety parameters).
If you prefer to wait for that option until a further date because of your own family decision, we completely respect that and the RLO option is available for you and your family.
Modification for RLO families: As you are aware, we had asked families who are interested in the RLO to agree to stay within this program until the end of a quarter. This was to make it clear that these are two distinct options (traditional or RLO) and are not designed for a student to come in and out on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. With that being said, we have decided because the data mentioned above is trending in the right direction, and has been for a few weeks, that we will allow families enrolled in the RLO to choose to exit from the RLO and return to traditional in-person learning once they are comfortable as a family to return.
We hope the added RLO modification will help families make the decision that is right for them. There is still time to sign up for the RLO if that option is of interest to your family. To date, 5.1% of our students have chosen the RLO option, and we anticipate that percentage to increase to some degree before school starts based on the original survey to families about these options. Giving families flexibility in making this initial decision is our goal.
You are loved, cared for, and prayed for. We understand the importance of keeping our campus safe and healthy, and we understand the importance of children being back in school as well, and we continue to do our diligence in finding the best balance.
Important hyperlinks so that you have them all in one place: