Good morning friends!
The air is crisp, a light dusting of snow fell very early this morning, and even at 6am I could see trees brightly lit in the front windows of homes as I traveled to work. The Christmas holiday break is upon us and peace can be found in the stillness of quiet time. Yes, we know our students will be excited and probably a bit more energetic than usual today, but there is joy to be found in that excitement, and I look forward to witnessing it, a bit, during our school visits today.
As many of you know, the Governor announced some changes in our current quarantine practices during his press conference yesterday. These new practices will officially begin on Monday, January 4, 2021. Students will no longer be required to quarantine if in close contact at school while wearing masks. Under these new guidelines, school personnel will notify parents of the contact and ask that they please monitor their student for Covid symptoms and keep them home if symptoms arise. The key to this new guidance is that all entering our school buildings remain vigilant in wearing their masks, that social distancing continues, and consistent sanitation practices remain in place
Also, it was announced that school faculty and staff will have the opportunity to receive the vaccination during the first phase of its deployment in Utah. More information will be forthcoming as that deployment should begin late December. I look forward to sharing these updates as they come. In regards to our current COVID data, here are the numbers:
Total positive cases since school started, August 25th – 242
Total student positive cases since August 25th – 172
Total employee positive cases since August 25th – 73
Number of current active cases – 89
Number of recovered cases – 151
Number of positive student cases related to school attendance – 11
Number of positive employee cases related to school attendance – 10
Number of students and faculty currently quarantined – 378
Number of students quarantined since August 25th – 1563
Number of employees quarantined since August 25th – 128
We now have two weeks to “pause”, rest, recuperate, and then return to school on January 4th to begin the second half of our school year. I know that our school community as well as our community at-large continues to be grateful that in-person teaching and learning is taking place. I am grateful to be living and working in a place that understands the importance of human connection and honors this understanding. Fitting for this time of year, I was reading Dickens’ A Christmas Carol while I was home sick last week. This passage is one that has never stood out to me before, but certainly did during this reading as it has significant meaning given our current circumstances. It is a timely reminder that there is still much to be joyful about, and it is my hope and sincere desire that each of us will take time to laugh and make happy lasting memories in the weeks ahead.
“It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humour.”
― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Please have a safe and joyful holiday! With much love and appreciation,