Letter from Dr. Vieira

Letter from Dr. Vieira

Dear Douglas Community, 


I am writing to inform you of what has transpired within the Douglas Public Schools over the last few days. 


This morning, Mr. Delaney, the Principal at the Middle School, submitted his letter of resignation effective immediately. Mr. Delaney has the unique opportunity to be part of the leadership team of an educational organization and will start in this position tomorrow. He has served the Douglas Community for over four years and made several contributions to improve the educational opportunities for students and build a positive culture for staff. I wish him the best in this new endeavor as I know he will thrive in it. In the meantime, Ms. Urquhart will assume the responsibilities of building principal and Mr. Aronian will be stationed full time at the Middle School. I have started the process of looking for an interim principal and will keep you informed as we go through this process.


The Board of Health informed us today that out of an abundance of caution they are placing the middle school boys’ basketball team in quarantine. On January 4 and 5 we had a student athlete attend practice. The student athlete was informed on Tuesday that they might be considered a close contact pending test results and did not return to school or practice. Late Saturday night the Middle School Nurse was informed that the student tested positive for COVID-19. We informed the individuals on the team on Sunday that may have been impacted as a result of this. Out of caution, the BOH has decided to quarantine the team. Upon receiving word today, all students on the team were sent home.


One of the many things that we do in school in order to ensure the health and safety of students and staff is to track daily illness calls from families and to also contact trace when we are made aware of cases. This takes a full team approach. Our team includes, principals, assistant principals, deans, nurses, secretaries, and at times additional staff members. As a result of some members of our team being placed in quarantine and shifts in staffing to fill vacancies in classrooms and our leadership team, this team and process has been impacted. My concern, and one that I spent the better part of the day meeting with people on, is could we effectively contact trace and track our illnesses given the amount of people on the team out and with new responsibilities. 


Given all of this information, the fact that Friday is a full day professional development day and on Monday the District is observing Martin Luther King Day, I have made the following decisions as a result of staffing constraints due to COVID; our pre-K to 5 schools will remain open, however our 6-12 schools will transition to a fully remote model effective tomorrow Tuesday January 12. Students and teachers will return to school on Thursday January 21. By staying open in prek-5 we can maintain continuity for our youngest learners and make certain that those buildings are fully staffed. Grade 6-12 students can more quickly adapt and adjust to remote learning. This pause will allow for us to effectively monitor the data as it comes in and to be able to fully and safely reopen on Thursday January 21. 

 

Please know that this was not an easy decision and one that was not made quickly. The goal always has been and will be to stay open as long as it is safe and at this time in order to effectively track illnesses and contact trace this needs to occur.


It is your choice as a family to send your students to school. Over the last few months many families have made the decisions for a few days to keep students at home. That is understandable. If that is what you decide, please contact your building principal.


I have scheduled a zoom for tomorrow at 7PM to answer questions. Below is a link to the session:


Topic: My Meeting

Time: Jan 12, 2021 07:00 PM 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://douglasps-net.zoom.us/j/84727875591?pwd=MnpVUXhDUURtMDZ3UXJGQ21UVnVNdz09

Meeting ID: 847 2787 5591

Password: 844646

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.