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Updates to School Reopening Plan announced

March 29, 2021 (video transcript)

Hello Vestavia Hills City Schools staff, students, and families. Earlier this evening during a Board of Education meeting, I reviewed the latest student attendance information along with the fourth update to our 2020-21 reopening plan. You can find both of these on our website at www.vestavia.k12.al.us/covid19

As you know, our top priority for the entire school year has been to have students learning in the safest manner possible. To date, based on information provided to us by students and parents, a total of 16 students this year have been identified in the system as having tested positive for COVID-19 because of a close contact at school. That equals 0.26 percent of our traditional student population. I appreciate the cooperative efforts of our staff, students, and families that have contributed to keeping this number so low. 

As we move into the final two months of school, our focus remains on learning in a safe and healthy environment. Accordingly, we will continue to observe the enhanced safety procedures and precautions that have allowed us to operate successfully this year. Specifically, that means we will continue wearing face coverings/masks for the remainder of the year while indoors. Students, staff, and guests may remove their face coverings/masks while outdoors and observing appropriate social distancing. And while the CDC recently changed guidance that allows for 3 feet of distance between students in school, we will still be required to quarantine students and staff who are exposed to a positive case within 6 feet of distance.

There are two updates to the plan related to academics and instruction. First, final exams for students in grades 6-12 will count toward their final course averages. You will receive communication from your child's school regarding their final exam schedules and requirements. Second, students who are enrolled in the traditional learning model will no longer be able to move to remote learning unless it is for a quarantine related to COVID-19. In those cases, school administrators will consult with our lead nurse to make the determination if a student should be moved temporarily to remote learning. If a student is quarantined at the time of final exams, an alternate time will be scheduled for them to make it up. Students who are committed to, and currently enrolled in, remote learning will remain there through the end of the school year.

This spring, each school will be hosting several events that will give parents and guardians the opportunity to be on campus. Most activities that involve larger populations of students and families will be held outdoors. There will be some limited activities held indoors. Safety and health precautions will be observed for all activities. You will be hearing more from your child’s school about these events.

I am excited about the on-campus opportunities our students and families can participate in during April and May. We remain committed to keeping our students and staff safe while maintaining a focus on our mission to provide our students the opportunity to learn without limits. I wish for our students, staff, and families a successful finish to the school year.