As mentioned in a previous newsletter, STEM is using the white-water rafting metaphor to guide us through the challenges of 2021-22 as we all share the goal to remain in person for the year. There have been some obstacles early in the journey including required quarantines in some of our younger grades. Our hope is that STEM can return with calm waters and normal school after Labor Day and that much of the spread can be contained with the continued wearing of masks and maintaining healthy practices such as handwashing and hand sanitizing regularly.
STEM is compassionate to the stress caused when quarantines are required. I can assure you that decisions such as these are not easy ones for our team to make. We know that our youngest learners need supervision and adult partnership with lessons. Our teachers want to teach your students in-person as much as we want to have them attending in person. They have created those bonds and connections with each and every one of them and they understand how important it is to maintain that for social and emotional health.
Our staff who have children at STEM were also impacted when their young children were in quarantine. Having to scramble for childcare, while also preparing for their in-person learners (or virtual learners in many cases) the next day placed great stress on them.
There are so many factors that we weigh when discussing the next steps with Tri-County Health on all of our COVID-related matters. The decision to quarantine is made by TCHD and our Leadership Team after reviewing STEM’s positivity rate each day. Our school nurse, Mallory Jimenez, RN, is in daily discussion with TCHD.
What is best for students guides every decision. Great teachers are best for students, and so how we care for our faculty and staff remains a priority.
Thank you to our amazing and supportive STEM parents and guardians for being a positive partner in the 2021-22 white-water raft adventure. Working collaboratively toward the shared goal of being the best in-person school for your child while being one of the lowest funded schools in the country is truly a remarkable feat. Together we can continue our journey navigating whatever obstacles come our way.
P.J. Eucker PhD