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COVID-19 Metrics - UCFSD Update #1

Dear UCF Community, 

While our opening of school in a virtual setting has been successful - we all desire the return of our students for in-person instruction. I have been open in my belief that in-person schooling is what is best for our students. We all want our children back in school - and we all want to do it in a way that keeps everyone safe. 

To help guide us in our decision making - we contracted with Dr. Salwa Sulieman, Pediatric Infectious Diseases physician at Nemours/AI Dupont Hospital for Children. Last night she presented guidance to our community on interpreting COVID-19 data released by the PA Department of Health and Chester County Health Department and metrics related to our instructional models (virtual, hybrid, or fully in-person).

Dr. Sulieman will provide monthly updates at our Board work sessions - This was her report from last night. In addition - Dr. Sulieman will meet with UCFSD leadership to provide weekly guidance - summaries of these weekly updates will be shared with our community.   

Report Summary: 

Chester County has seen an increase in cases per 100,000 over the last two weeks from 29.1 to 71.3.  Additionally, the positivity rate has gone from 2.7% to 6.5% over two weeks which has put us in the High range for community transmission. Based on the school reopening metrics provided by the CCHD -  a virtual and/or hybrid instructional model is recommended during High community transmission. Trend predictions also indicate a continued increase in cases for Chester County over the next three weeks.  Based on the incidents rates in Chester County - we are trending upward. We will continue with our weekly review of the data and provide weekly updates for the community.  Given current data trends, we will continue with remote instruction and review updated data on September 18. 

Any decision to change our instructional model (virtual, hybrid, or fully in-person) will require a Board vote at least two weeks prior to the date of the change. We understand that families need this lead time to make arrangements and the district needs the time to plan. Below is an example of how the timing will work for this process:

 

September 15 

Weekly update to the community

September 18 

Release of updated COVID-19 data by PA DOH and CCHD

September 20

Weekly meeting with Dr. Sulieman

September 21

Potential Board vote on instructional model starting October 12 - vote is only necessary if there is to be a change in instructional model. If there is no vote - next possible change in instructional model is October 26.

September 22

Weekly update to the community

September 25

Release of updated COVID-19 data by PA DOH and CCHD

September 26

Weekly meeting with Dr. Sulieman

September 28

Weekly update to the community

October 2

Release of updated COVID-19 data by PA DOH and CCHD

October 3 or 4

Weekly meeting with Dr. Sulieman

October 5

Weekly update to the community

October 9

Release of updated COVID-19 data by PA DOH and CCHD

October 10

Weekly meeting with Dr. Sulieman

October 12

Dr. Sulieman presentation at work session 

October 12

Potential Board vote on instructional model starting October 26 - vote is only necessary if there is to be a change in instructional model. If there is no vote - next possible change in instructional model is November 2.

 

Dr. Sulieman will continue to present to the Board monthly at work sessions and provide weekly analysis and guidance regarding appropriate instructional models based on COVID-19 transmission status.

I appreciate and understand that we are all uniquely situated and have varied views and perspectives as to the best path forward. Please know that our decision making is driven by three guiding principles - to keep everyone safe, provide an excellent educational experience, and support students and staff socially and emotionally. I thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate these uncharted waters - together.

 


Kind Regards,


John Sanville