- Downes Elementary School
Community Update - January 2
Happy New Year to our Christina family!
We have received a number of emails and viewed social media posts in regard to school re-opening on January 3rd. On behalf of the Christina School Board of Education and District Administration we would like to share the following. We have enjoyed the advocacy shared by our community and have been sharing the individual concerns with our leadership team and the Division of Public Health (DPH). Furthermore, we appreciate that many of our families and staff have individual issues and circumstances they are dealing with and that school closing and/or remaining open affects each family differently. We appreciate you acknowledging this is a tough spot for all of us. We are working diligently with the Governor’s Office, DPH, DDOE and our surrounding sister districts to ensure we make the best decisions for all with health and safety as our foremost concern.
We wanted to provide some clarity so that we are all operating from the same space with the correct information.
We understand from conversations with DPH that instances of in-school spread remain low. In fact, because of the structured and controlled environment our schools provide, DPH has stated that schools are one of the safest places for our students. Here is the latest information on the dashboard.
I can assure you we are aware of the current surge and are using science, recommendations from the State’s foremost experts and our currently successful mitigation strategies to ensure COVID-19 is not spread in our schools. As noted in many of the letters we have been receiving as well as the evidence of the Epidemiologist, the spread that people note has by and large been traced to exposures that occurred outside of school when mitigation strategies were not in place. We have also been fortunate that the majority of those vaccinated and infected recently have had mild to moderate symptoms, resembling a cold, or no symptoms at all. We must continue to be diligent in our safety and mitigation. Ensuring everyone wears their mask, encouraging Weekly Quidel testing, washing hands and staying home when symptoms do occur. Vaccinations are available for those 5 and older and can be found here.
If or when we are faced with a threat to operations because of this surge, we will respond immediately and if needed on a school by school basis. The communication will occur early and often, in order to keep everyone informed.
We truly appreciate your advocacy. We want to thank our staff for all you have done over the last few years to both keep everyone safe as has been proven in our numbers in school and keep our students learning, which we know from the data happens best when our students are in school. We want to thank our families for the patience and grace they have shown and ask that you continue to work with us as we navigate this latest iteration of the pandemic.