I wish I had better news to share, but as many of you know our Humboldt County COVID-19 numbers are continuing to rise. This week we have moved from the Yellow Tier 4 (minimal risk) to the Red Tier 2 (substantial community risk) in the state’s ranking system. Locally, our 7 day case count has more than doubled in a short period of time and our positivity rate is increasing. It is expected that there will be a related rise in hospitalizations and possibly deaths as well. Please read on to learn more about how this surge in cases will affect our school community.
School pictures, originally scheduled for November 30th, have been postponed. We will reschedule for the spring.
Distance Learning for All after Thanksgiving
As many of you know, prior to the county moving to the Red tier Big Lagoon had already been discussing a week of distance learning following the Thanksgiving break. Based on our movement to the Red Tier, and pending Board approval, we now plan to pause our site based instruction for two weeks and only offer distance learning during that time. This proposed change is in accordance with the recommendation of Dr. Teresa Frankovich, the Humboldt County Health Officer, who gave the following guidance to all Humboldt County Schools on November 17th:
“At this time, Humboldt County Public Health is strongly recommending that schools move to distance learning for the 14 day period following the Thanksgiving holiday. Although schools have done a remarkable job of implementing preventative measures to promote safety in on-site education, we anticipate a marked increase in local infections due to travel and gatherings occuring around Thanksgiving. This would threaten rapid identification and containment of cases, leading to increased transmission in the school setting.”
I will host a parent Zoom meeting (already scheduled) on Thursday November 19th at 5:00 to discuss this change and respond to parent questions or concerns.Parents, please check your email for the Zoom link.
There will be a special board meeting this Friday, November 20th at 3:00 to discuss this change. Please email me for the Zoom link if you would like to attend.
Even during distance learning, our staff will still be on campus. Please know that we will be recommitting to our campus safety protocols and activities such as materials pick up and drop off may be more restrictive than in the past.
As we head into the Thanksgiving break, please be aware of updated travel guidelines from Humboldt County Public Health, which include the following key elements:
* Travel outside of Humboldt County increases your risk of getting infected with the virus causing COVID-19, and spreading it to others after your return. Hosting and interacting with individuals, even family, from areas outside of Humboldt County also increases the risk for your and your community.
* Humboldt County Public Health strongly recommends that people who travel outside of Humboldt County, but remain within California, self-quarantine for 14 days if their travel activities include spending time within 6 feet of people they do not normally live with while they or or anyone around is not wearing a mask. Post-travel quarantine is also recommended if your travel includes the use of transportation shared with people you do not normally live with where masks are not worn at all times.
* Humboldt County Public Health also recommends that people hosting visitors from outside of the county consider self-quarantining for 14 days if they spend time within 6 feet of their visitor or share a vehicle with them when everyone is not wearing a mask.
The full travel advisory can be found by clicking here.
I hope that each of you have a safe and healthy holiday. Thank you for your understanding and continued support. As always, I can be reached at the main office phone number, 677-3688 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of Big Lagoon School is to educate, empower, and prepare students in an environmentally connected and culturally responsive learning community.