Submitted by PLT#3 Superintendent Dr. John Petzke
Editor’s Note- The following is a letter written by Dr. John Petzke on the current state of Covid-19 in the PLT#3 District.
Hello PLT3 Families,
I wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone Happy Thanksgiving and provide an update on where things stand with our school efforts. To begin, I am personally thankful for the amazing work our district staff have been putting in everyday. Through their efforts, our students are able to come together for in-person learning in greater numbers than we had initially expected. Our staff are also balancing this by providing remote learning opportunities for students that, due to health concerns, prefer this learning option. This includes ALL district staff, from our bus drivers, our custodians, the food service staff, our paraprofessionals, the office staff, general education teachers, special education teachers and administration.
In addition, I want to extend a sincere appreciation to our students and families for their continued diligence and support. Your decision to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms, or recognizing there might have been the possibility of exposure to COVID through close contact or another family member, is really making a difference in our schools and classrooms.
At our Board of Education meeting last night, we reviewed our data monitoring metrics which includes the following:(1) Student and Staff Symptom Monitoring (cold, flu, allergies, etc). For this metric, we are monitoring the number of staff and students who are absent due to symptoms. Specifically we are looking at 8% of new symptoms being reported over a three day period. At this time we are seeing numbers in a normal range between 3-5%.(2) Student and Staff Positive COVID Cases. For this metric we are monitoring the number of positive COVID cases for both staff and students. As shared with the Board of Education last night, over the past three weeks we have seen four (4) student cases and three (3) staff cases. Currently, our district data does not suggest that COVID cases are being transmitted as a result of contact in the schools. Also, our local district data is not exceeding our threshold to close schools.
In light of our efforts, there continues to be a healthy amount of uncertainty as we continue to monitor national, state and county data. If our local data takes a turn, or if the Governor institutes a stay-at-home order, I wanted to communicate the importance of being prepared for the possibility to rapidly transition to full remote learning.
Just to be clear, this IS NOT a confirmation of going to full remote learning at this time; simply an acknowledgement of the uncertainty of the current health situation. These are highly challenging times for all of us and I thank you for your continued patience, flexibility, and support.
In closing, I wish you all a restful holiday break and encourage everyone to take a moment to review the recommendations from the CDC for how to safely enjoy the upcoming holiday break. The only way we will decrease the possibility of transmission through the schools is if we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID.