Dear HUUSD families,
We hope this correspondence finds you safe and well. We know all of our lives have been turned upside down. Our hearts go out to those who have experienced loss or illness during this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic presents the most serious public health crisis the world has experienced in generations.
HUUSD is working to reopen our campuses for the 2020-2021 school year with significant safety measures in place. Our goal is the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs.
While we have learned much to improve remote learning over the course of the school closures, there is no substitute for in-person instruction when it comes to the quality of students’ academic learning. In-person school also plays an important role in our ability to support students’ social-emotional needs, including their mental and physical health, and in mitigating the impacts of trauma. Additionally, we recognize how disruptive school closures have been to families trying to maintain regular work schedules and home life while also facilitating remote learning.
Our first commitment is to safety. Following guidance recently released from the Vermont Agency of Education & Department of Health, we have created five district teams and a team in each building that will work through the summer to prepare for the start of school. At this point, we have many unanswered questions. We have received the first of 5 expected implementation documents from the Agency of Education that will establish the criteria for specific decision making before school begins. Below is a summary of the safety measures currently identified to be in place. Please note that these may change based on how the local COVID situation changes over the summer.
Our planning is based on the guidance we have received from the state. If you wish further information, here is a slideshow Overview of School Health Guidance ; the full document is available at A Strong & Healthy Start: Safety & Health Guidance for VT Schools.
In addition to safety planning, we are considering how we can take the learning from the past few months to make school even better suited to all of our students' needs. This is not just so that we can pivot as the pandemic changes, but so that we can use this turning upside down as an opportunity to improve our schools for all, for the long term.
We need to understand your needs and plans for August. We appreciate that each family has unique circumstances. We ask that you complete one survey for each child attending an HUUSD school next year. While your answers are not binding, they will inform our planning. Please let your school administrator know if your plans change. Your individual answers will not be shared publicly; they will be used only by our planning teams. Please complete this survey by Wednesday July 15.
We will share a link to the Return to Learn Survey on the home page as well.
Our state and our district will frequently revisit our approach as the COVID-19 situation evolves over time in our local communities. We will keep you apprised of our plans as they develop. As always, it takes all of us working together to create the best situations possible for our children, and we thank you in advance for your efforts from the homefront.
The HUUSD Admin Team