Message to Families: Learning Options in the 4th Quarter for our 4K-5th Grade Families - 03.09.21

Dear Sun Prairie 4K-5th Grade Families,

We have some exciting updates to learning options in the 4th quarter for our 4K-5th grade families. This communication includes the following topics:

  • Our Staff are Getting Vaccinated
  • Public Health Orders Have Changed
  • 4 Days per Week In-Person or Virtual Starting April 15
  • What Caregivers Need to Know and Do
  • 4th Quarter Transportation Survey

Our Staff are Getting Vaccinated
It was nice to see so many of our employees, bus drivers, and 4K partners at the vaccination clinic at Sun Prairie High School on March 5th.  The second dose of vaccine will be provided to staff on March 30th.  We appreciate our partnership with SSM Health in order to provide the vaccine to 1,034 members of our community.  
 

Public Health Orders Have Changed
There has been a change in the public health orders issued by Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC).  These changes intentionally removed physical distancing requirements for students when cohort mixing is limited.  This gives schools flexibility to increase in-person instructional opportunities.  This is the result of a drastic reduction in cases across the county and data that continues to show that schools are not acting as sources for community spread.

4 Days per Week In-Person or Virtual Starting April 15
The changes to the public health order affords us the opportunity to expand our instructional model for grades 4K-5 to four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) beginning Thursday, April 15.  Caregivers interested in having their students remain in the fully virtual option may still do so. (The two days per week hybrid option will no longer be available in 4K-5 beginning April 15.) 

Wednesdays will remain an asynchronous learning day for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.  This provides staff the time needed to collaborate and ensure cleaning and disinfection.

Given this impending change, all students at the elementary level will remain in their current cohort (A, B or virtual) until April 15, 2021 instead of our originally announced date of April 6, 2021.  This additional time will give us time to respond to caregivers who change their selected instructional model for their students for 4th quarter now that four days is an option.

Secondary schools (Grades 6-12) will remain in the two days per week hybrid schedule for the remainder of the school year.

What Caregivers Need to Know and Do
At the elementary level, we will assume families who have previously selected the two day a week hybrid option will send their students four days a week starting on Thursday, April 15, 2021.  We will assume elementary families who selected the virtual option for the fourth quarter will remain virtual.  If these assumptions are accurate for your family, no action is required.  

If caregivers want to change from in-person to virtual or from virtual to in-person based on this new information, they will need to call or email the school secretary at their child’s school to indicate the change by March 15.   

We will do our best to maintain current classroom assignments for the remainder of the school year.  However, it may be necessary to consolidate students in virtual learning to a class and teacher who is dedicated to the virtual group. This may result in elementary students being moved to another teacher’s classroom as we explore options to simultaneously deliver in person and virtual instruction. 

4th Quarter Transportation Survey
Families whose children are eligible for transportation but have not signed up for the service will receive a 4th quarter transportation survey on March 9.  Please watch your inbox and complete the survey in order to indicate your transportation plans by March 15.  

Sincerely,
Rick Mueller, Director of Elementary Teaching, Learning & Equity
Nick Reichhoff, Director of Student Policy and School Operations