Dear UCF Community,
This week I’ll be sharing the latest metrics released by Chester County, information regarding our instructional model for the remainder of the year, and an update on vaccine availability for students aged 12-15. Last night, Dr. Sulieman presented the latest metrics and guidance to the School Board - you may watch the video of her presentation here. She provided her analysis of the latest data and guidance - see her latest report here. Key takeaways from this week’s metrics include:
- Chester County positivity rates decreased from 6.1% to 5.6%;
- Chester County has seen a decrease in incidence rate per 100,000 from 117.7 to 85.5;
- The UCF community had a decrease from 17 to 12;
- UCF has seen 145 cases (students and staff) this year with 21 over the past four weeks;
- Our students 16+ years of age are getting vaccinated - many have already received their first dose within the last two weeks;
- The Pfizer vaccine for children 12 to 15 years of age received approval from the FDA and we are working on identifying clinic opportunities for our students whose families are interested in having them receive the vaccine - we expect to have more information on vaccine availability for our students by the end of this week.
Last night I made the recommendation to the School Board that we remain in our current instructional model through the remainder of the year. About a month ago, I had hoped that we would see an opportunity to transition to phase 2 and bring students in for our regular schedule before the year ended. Last week we met with our COVID-19 task force which includes parents, teachers, staff and students - the group discussed many options and, in the end, felt that another change to our schedule would not be the best decision for our students or families. We reflected on the Task Force feedback and determined that with only 25 days left in the school year, it is best to stay the course.
As I shared with you on Friday - the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) released new guidance on mask-wearing outside. This new guidance impacts our students participating in athletics, recess, and any activities that require a high level of exertion while outside. Please review the new guidance and my email from Friday for more information.
Additionally - we have reviewed Governor Wolf’s plan to lift COVID-19 mitigation orders - effective May 31, 2021 and are in discussions as to what these changes mean for schools across Pennsylvania. We continue to work closely with the CCHD and we are ready to adjust plans as the CCHD incorporates the Governor’s Order. It is worth noting that this could impact end of the year events and activities during the last two weeks of the school year. We will have to wait and see.
The last two weeks of metrics and recent information on vaccines have us hopeful. As we plan for next year, we are encouraged that a good number of our students could potentially be vaccinated. We are seeing how next year could be a return to more normalcy for everyone - I certainly hope that is the case. Until then, let’s focus on finishing out the year strong - and staying safe and healthy.