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November 6, 2021 Valley School District Update from Superintendent Ben Ferney

November 6, 2021  Valley School District Update from Superintendent Ben Ferney

 

Valley School District Families and Staff,

 

Yesterday, we had our first experience with needing to close two different grade level classrooms due to positive Covid cases. The Health Department requires that we check students with known exposure to a positive case for current symptoms and isolate those students from other students.  Through that process of evaluating and isolating symptomatic students, we found some weaknesses in our supervision plan and the space used to isolate symptomatic students. Our internal review of our process from Friday found that an adult was not present 100% of the time when students were in the isolation area. We have fixed that procedure to ensure that going forward, supervision will be maintained 100% of the time.  In addition, although the isolation space has two doors, an external door to the outside of the building and an internal door connecting the area to the rest of the school, the internal door has an automatic locking mechanism.  Our procedures going forward will ensure that the inner door remains propped open whenever the space is used for isolating symptomatic students.  We apologize that we did not recognize the need for these key elements in our protocols prior to Friday, when we used those protocols for the first time with a high number of potentially symptomatic students at the same time.  As the safety of students and staff continues to be our number one priority, we will be seeking a third-party review of our actions and protocols for isolating symptomatic students. We are a learning institution, and we must also continually learn and grow as leaders in the middle of a constantly evolving pandemic that forces us to adapt and change in our endeavor to keep our kids and staff safe.  We thank you for your patience, partnership, and your grace in these difficult times.

 

Take Care,

Ben