Greetings Parents, Students, Guardians, and Community Members,
This message details operating procedures moving forward for Quarter two (Q2), as well as a look at the weeks following Winter break. There will be Q & A sessions on Friday, 10/16 to clarify any questions and address any concerns. Please join the Zoom meeting at the designated times if you wish to participate.
Friday 3:30pm K - 8 parents/students.
Friday 4:30pm. 9-12 parents/students
Zoom meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/93512578335
Nenana City School will continue with virtual delivery for the weeks ahead. This approach is a function of elevated case rates in Fairbanks, Denali Borough, and potentially the immediate Nenana community. Ongoing collaboration with local and state healthcare professionals suggests there are a number of uncertainties surrounding community spread. With case rates well into the High operational zone, there may very well be asymptomatic, undetected cases present within the localized Nenana and/or school community. The implications of this reality cannot be underestimated.
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There is a strong desire to pilot in-person attendance for local K-12 students on Fridays, along with that of NSLC students. Doing so safely will be dependent on a decrease in the general upward trend in positive cases in the region, AND confirmation from public health professionals that there are no active COVID cases in the immediate Nenana community. If/when the above-mentioned precursors are met, students may be invited to attend school in-person on select Fridays during Q2. This decision will be assessed weekly and communication to families will follow.
High School students residing at the NSLC are likely to see opportunities for in-person schooling before other populations of students in Nenana. Having undergone quarantine upon arrival, engaged in active symptom screening, and refrained from any recent exposure to the outside community - students at the LC are symptom free and assumed to be virus free.
These variables, in combination with the strictly controlled living and learning environments of the NSLC and NCS suggest students residing at the NSLC can operate safely in proximity to staff, regardless of COVID-19 case rates in Fairbanks and/or the local community. Again, this is dependent on strict adherence to safety protocols by both students and staff when in district buildings and public spaces, as well as when in proximity to one another. Both NSLC and NCS staff are routinely reminded of this and actively engage in these practices on a daily basis in the school building and Living Center.
Local families who wish to pursue student-residence at the NSLC are encouraged to contact Joe Digrande, Director. This option is available for 9th-12th grade students only at this time. After a two-week quarantine, local students residing at the NSLC will be permitted to participate in all activities available to LC students. Examples include; open gym, pre-season basketball, peer tutoring, structured evening study environment, regular food service, weekend activities, communal cooking, gaming, walks and talks.
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DATA SHOWING CURRENT AND PROJECTED UPWARD TREND
Tentative Friday Schedule for Q2
10/30 8am-11am Virtual Instruction, 11:40am - 2pm Conferences (more info coming soon)
11/13 In-Service, No School
11/25. Holiday, No School
12/25 Holiday, No School
Delivery will be virtual for K-12 students during the first two weeks of semester two. Staff traveling out of state will be expected to work remotely from Jan. 4 - Jan. 15. NSLC students traveling home for the winter break will quarantine for 14 days upon their return. In person schooling for these students will begin on Jan.18.
In an effort to provide local Nenana students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to also attend school in-person beginning Jan.18, local families will be provided the opportunity for their student(s) to reside at the NSLC beginning Jan.4. Students will be required to quarantine for 14 days prior to attending school in-person. They will also be expected to adhere to all program operating procedures and health and safety protocols at the NSLC. This quarantine period will ensure that all student residents at the NSLC (local and otherwise) are symptom and virus free. We feel strongly that the combination of quarantine, removal from potential road-system exposures, and the controlled living and learning environments of the NSLC and NCS will enable students and staff to operate safely, regardless of COVID-19 case rates in Fairbanks and/or the local community.
As mentioned above, local families who wish to pursue this option prior to winter break are encouraged to contact Joe Digrande at the NSLC.
Grades K-8 can be expected to remain operating virtually to begin semester two, with the potential for 1-2 in-person days. Again, the reality of in-person schooling will be dependent on a decrease in the recent upward trend in positive cases in the region, AND confirmation from public health professionals that there are no active COVID cases in the immediate Nenana community. Ultimately, the downward trend needs to result in case rates that enter into the medium risk zone (<10) in order to ensure student and staff safety.
David R. Huntington
Principal, Nenana City School
907-832-5464 (NCS office)