Dear UCF Community,
Last night the Board held their regular meeting to discuss many important issues, among them, the decision that was made over the weekend to transition grades 6-12 back to remote instruction beginning yesterday. The Board voted to affirm that decision and to remain in our hybrid instructional model at the elementary level with the intention of revisiting the status of our elementary and secondary instructional programs during the School Board meeting on December 7.
Originally I had hoped that we could get through the Thanksgiving holiday and look at a transition to remote instruction for our 6-12 students beginning November 30th, however, as I stated in my communication on Saturday, there were many new developments last week that we needed to consider - and which ultimately led us to our decision to go remote for grades 6-12.
Also over the weekend, we met with Dr. Sulieman and she presented the most recent COVID-19 transmission rates and metrics - (See the latest report here). As you will see, community transmission is increasing exponentially across the commonwealth and in our community. These are the important takeaways:
- Chester County positivity rates increased from 5.1% to 7.1%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly increase in incidence rate per 100,000 from 85.8 to 140.6;
- UCF municipalities have seen an increase in incidents from 25 to 34 (a rate that had doubled over the past two weeks);
- Projected incidence rates per 100,000 - in the coming weeks - show Chester County cases to remain above 100 and continue to rise above 200.
We will keep an eye on these numbers and how they may impact our elementary hybrid and secondary virtual programs. For now, we will stay the course at the elementary level as we know that our younger learners are benefiting greatly from our in-person instructional model. Our mitigation efforts have proven to be successful with zero transmission occurring in our schools. These efforts along with our amazing staff and students who are doing the right things are allowing us to stay open for our elementary students. We must continue to be mindful of remaining safe and healthy outside of school - especially as the numbers increase in our community - so that we may continue down this path for as long as it is safe.
Again, I would like to thank our families for your understanding this week with the transition to remote instruction for secondary students. I appreciate that the announcement may have come as a surprise. I assure you that every decision we make is with the best intentions and with the top priority of keeping our staff, students and families safe.