Return to Headlines

September 2, 2021 Message from Superintendent Ben Ferney

Valley School District Update September 2, 2021


Over the past five days, we’ve learned that two persons in Valley Early Learning Center (VELC) have tested positive for COVID-19. With the initial positive case, we worked with Northeast Tri County Health District (NETCHD), contacted families and implemented required close contact notifications and quarantines for affected students and staff. After contact tracing measures, we could not be certain the positive case identified in VELC earlier and the second one is connected. At this time, two staff members tested positive and zero students. In coordination with NETCHD, it was determined the best choice is for VELC to close until Monday, September 13th. Transitional Kindergarten is scheduled to start on Tuesday, September 7th. Please contact Candace Harris if you have any questions regarding VELC.


Closing one our buildings is not an easy decision. The loss of childcare and preschool services during this time affects students, staff, parents, and the community. This current spread of COVID-19 is the worst our county has experienced since the pandemic hit over 18 months ago. We have continuously implemented well-established and effective health and safety protocols on campus. Our operational system is already being stretched by staffing shortages; quarantines and any potential extended classroom or building closures cause a ripple effect of related hardships on families and the community. Over time, we have learned these interruptions in school and family routines negatively impact the emotional well-being of our children.


We ask you to work together with us to overcome the difficult reality of this health crisis. The district’s priority is to maximize in-person learning to help our students flourish and get back to normal operations as quickly as possible. While each person’s choices and path through this crisis may vary, the destination that we all strive for is an end to this pandemic, which will benefit everyone in our community.


We are nearing the end of a very successful first week of school for Valley School and Paideia High School, and the Board and I are committed to doing everything we can to keep our students on campus connecting with staff, establishing routines, and engaging in learning. My hope is that we will continue to move forward with this positive momentum and ask each one of you to take the steps needed in your daily routines to stay healthy, diminish the virus in our buildings, and support a thriving learning and working environment at Valley School District.


Take care,

Ben Ferney