Reopening Update 10-16-2020

Posted Oct 16, 2020EASTERN Cares logo

Dear EASTERN Family,

Last night our Joint Operating Committee approved our recommendation to transition to a hybrid model starting November 5th. The previous update I sent to you communicated the schedule and safety protocols we will have in place to ensure student and staff safety along with a presentation for parents. All communications regarding school operations during the pandemic are posted on here on our website for your convenience.

You will be receiving an email from Mrs. Larson, Career and Technical Education Supervisor, with a link to a form for you to sign up for our hybrid model, request to stay in a virtual model, and select your transportation method. This allows us to finalize our planning to ensure a smooth transition. Please keep in mind that we do not recommend the fully virtual model for a long duration for most of our programs. Mrs. Larson will contact Students/Parents who elect to remain virtual to discuss the impact on attaining the career objective for the program. Also keep in mind that the virtual learning that is part of the hybrid or fully virtual experience will be much different for most programs when we transition into a hybrid program. Our teachers will be here working with students on hands-on skills while students work mostly independently on virtual days. Each of our programs are unique and our teachers will be setting up their in-person and virtual learning to best serve our students and help them reach their career objective.

Earlier this week, many of our district superintendents and I met with staff from the Montgomery County Department of Health (DOH) to discuss how we can all collaborate effectively through this model to ensure student safety and school responsiveness. Our DOH friends, who are also the people who conduct contact tracing and monitor the spread of COVID-19 in the county, shared some really important information with us that I want to share with you:

When there is a positive case (student or staff) in schools that adhere to masking and social distancing protocols, they are not seeing the virus spread and they are not seeing disruptions to education, which means other students/staff are not getting infected, and because everyone is wearing masks and maintaining 6 feet of social distancing, other students/staff are not being asked to quarantine. When there is a positive case and the DOH conducts contact tracing, a contact is someone who was within 6 feet of a person who tested positive for 15 minutes or more.

EASTERN will be strictly enforcing mask wearing and social distancing a minimum of 6 feet so we can make this a safe and positive experience for students. Our hybrid model allows us to have half of our class (average of 10) in a classroom at a time which also helps us ensure the appropriate distancing.

We are looking forward to seeing our students back again in our building and meeting some of our students for the first time.

Screening and Reporting:

Parents, please screen your child before sending them to school. Do not send your child to school if they are experiencing:

One of these symptoms:

  • Fever (100.4 or higher)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing

Or

Two of these symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, please report this immediately by calling the school 21784-4800 or emailing this address (email preferred): covid@eastech.org

Thank you for your continued support,

Cathleen Plesnarski
Executive Director