Below is the full email sent to the Blue Valley district (parents, teachers, etc) by Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Superintendent of schools. The intent of this posting is to keep everyone educated for best practices.
Blue Valley middle and high school families,
As a former high school counselor and administrator, the value of our activities and athletics programs is not lost on me. I know these voluntary programs play an important role in the total educational experience for our middle and high school students. I have said many times over the last several months that I want nothing more than for these programs to continue as soon as it was safe to do so.
Last month we shared that we would evaluate voluntary activities and athletics against the Kansas State Department of Education’s (“KSDE”) Navigating Change Gating Criteria in two weeks (more information about how this calculation is made is available online). When applying current data (as of the end of day Sept. 3) to the criteria, the gating level Blue Valley will be in for activities and athletics through Friday, Oct. 2 is YELLOW.
Our staff has been participating in robust professional learning to prepare for the return of middle and high school students when learning remotely. Teachers are preparing relevant, student-centered and personalized learning experiences that will include synchronous, direct instruction from their teacher in addition to asynchronous classwork.
We want nothing more than to have our students back learning in-person, but know a successful transition between learning modes will require advance notice. As communicated on Aug. 21, middle school and high school students will be in distance learning through at least Friday, Oct. 2. The district is committed to reviewing the criteria every two weeks and giving two-week advance notice when transitioning between learning modes whenever possible.
HOW FAMILIES CAN HELP
To give our students the best opportunity to return to in-person learning or a hybrid model and continue to participate in activities and athletics we need your help. Here are some ways families, and students can help:
As we head into the first week of school, I would remind families that while our community has varied opinions about returning to school and activities and athletics. I would ask that we come together as ONE TEAM to support each other, our school staff and most importantly our students.
Dr. Tonya Merrigan
Superintendent of Schools