Update from PCSC - Return from Thanksgiving Break

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Dear PCSC Community,

I would like to begin this email to our school community by first expressing my gratitude.  Every member of our PCSC staff, our students, and our families have played a vital role in our ability to have school and to keep our schools open for in-person instruction for as long as we have.  While we had to pause our in-person instruction for a few days prior to this break, our plan at this time is to return to in-person learning on Monday, November 30.  

Our local health officials continue to state that they believe our schools are a safe place due to the expectations and procedures we have established as a part of our mitigation efforts.  However, even with those procedures, we have experienced the impact of COVID-19.  Specifically, being able to maintain adequate staffing in a building or a particular department is often a challenge due to staff being quarantined.  PCSC is no different than other schools throughout the county, state, and country in that we do not have a large pool of available substitute employees, and when those we do have happen to get quarantined, the staffing difficulty becomes even more complicated.  These factors led us to the recent decision of having three eLearning Days prior to Thanksgiving Break.  The intent was that the time not physically in school will allow those quarantine periods to conclude and we can provide the adequate staffing to resume in-person school upon our return.  As of the time of this email, it is still our plan to resume in-person learning on Monday, 11/30.

As we continue moving forward with in-person learning environments, please be aware of the following:

  •  Please contact your school nurse or principal and do not send your child to school under the following conditions:
    •         If anyone in the household is sick with COVID-19 symptoms
    •         If anyone in the household has a pending COVID-19 test
    •         If anyone in the household has tested positive for COVID-19
  •  We will attempt to remain open for in-person learning as long as we are able.  The exception to this will be if local health officials determine that we need to close or if we are unable to remain adequately staffed in particular schools or classrooms.  We are looking at other possible relief times we can build into the calendar in order to try to help us remain open for in-person learning and adequately staffed.  More information on this will be forthcoming at a later time.
  • Please have contingency plans in case we have to shift to virtual for longer periods of time.  You may have experienced this at an individual level if your student has been quarantined as a close contact.  However, this could happen at the classroom, individual school, or district level.  Our transportation department may also be impacted in that we might have to delay or even cancel certain bus routes due to staffing.  While we will attempt to provide families with as much notice as possible, it may unfortunately happen as late as the morning of the date we need to close and move to virtual.  

Preventative measures have helped us keep our schools open for in-person instruction up to this point.  Good hand hygiene and wearing a mask during school have had a positive impact in mitigating the spread of the virus in our schools.  These protocols will remain with the hope that they will continue to help keep our students and staff safe and able to benefit from the safest possible learning environment.

Lastly, our teachers, administrators, and staff have been amazing in the effort they have put forth in preparing and implementing a quality learning experience in the best environment possible.  As so much is being asked of our educators, we wish to thank them for their relentless commitment to our students and community.  


Andy Hartley