December 18, 2020

Dear Dike-Newell and Fisher-Mitchell Families,

We hope this letter finds you well, and ready to enjoy the winter break.  It’s wonderful to know that we have made it to this point in the year with students in school several days each week, and that we are at a point where we can begin to transition to even more in-person learning. As stated in recent board meetings, transitioning from hybrid to 100% in-person is much like opening school all over again, and it’s important that we share information with our families in order for everyone to be ready to make this transition.

When we return from break, the first week of school (Jan. 4-8) will be our final week in hybrid, with A students attending M/Th, and B students attending T/F.  With the exception of our returning third graders, our distance learning students transitioning back to in-person will return to school during this week, on their designated cohort days, and our in-person students transitioning to distance will begin their remote learning during this week as well. 

Beginning January 11th, we will move to 100% of in-person students attending 5 days per week.  The following changes are important details of this transition you should be aware of:

A students will be in school from 8:15-2:15

B students will be in school from 9-3

Wednesday will become a school day with our usual Late-Start, so A students will be at school from 9:15-2:15, and B students from 10-3

All Pre-K students will be designated as “A,” and will attend 8:15-12

Dike-Newell and Fisher-Mitchell will reach out to their families with specific drop off and pick up time information the week of January 4th. 

The COVID-19 guidelines will still be in place, so students must arrive wearing a cloth face mask, and if they are riding the buses they will be expected to wear a mask to board the bus. We will continue maintaining social distancing throughout the school day.  

School breakfast will be available at both schools, and our lunches have been organized in order to ensure groups do not exceed the maximum group size of 50 individuals. Please remember, school meals are free for everyone this year! If you child has not tried our school food service program, this might be the year to give it a try! 

There are some things that might be a bit different for students as we move to 100%.  Because we will have more students in the classrooms, mask breaks and recess will be more restricted. We will still provide both, but the opportunities to do so at 100% are more limited. Any movement breaks that we can squeeze in will occur outside, so be sure to provide appropriate weather gear and a back-up mask. 

Space will also be limited in the classroom because of more students, so we ask that students do not bring any items to school that are not needed.  As a reminder, toys and personal electronics are not to be brought to school per the student handbook. 

We are excited about being able to teach students in person more frequently.  While our online programs have been invaluable, and will continue to be utilized, there may be some adjustments in the amount of IXL, Lexia, Dreambox, and Flocabulary (grades 3-5) used as we shift to 100% in-person instruction. These programs will continue to be used, and will also be a major instructional focus should we need to shift to remote instruction at any point in the school year. 

We will continue to adhere to the safety protocols that are in place.  These include:

  • Wearing of a cloth face mask

  • Having 3 feet between students, 6 feet while eating in all school locations as well as on buses

  • Schools access being closed to non-staff and non-students

  • No field trips

  • Frequent handwashing and/or hand sanitizing

  • Restricted ability to change bus routes, cohort groups, or learning plans

  • Requirements for quarantining, working with your child’s primary care physician, and/or PCR testing if symptoms occur

We know this year has been challenging.  Our schools and school staff have worked hard to provide a safe and flexible school environment while striving to help students get back on track academically.  We know parents have also had to be very flexible, and adapt to changing information and timelines, new ways of doing school, all while dealing with high levels of concern about the welfare and growth of your children. We always appreciate partnering with our families, and now more than ever appreciate your support and dedication as we work to move from hybrid to 100%. 

Sincerely,

Jennifer McKay

Principal, Dike-Newell School


Principal, Fisher-Mitchell School