Message from Superintendent Dan Shelton, Ed.D.
Hello Christina Family,
This is Dr. Shelton, Superintendent of the Christina School District. We want to thank all of you, our families, our teachers, our administrators, our staff and most of all our students for the patience you have shown, and the work that you have done to make this very challenging beginning of the school year a success.
We have discussed with multiple stakeholder groups our DRAFT plans for both our hybrid and our Virtual Academy instructional models. We have received feedback from many people through our surveys, through direct correspondence and in person meetings. It was our hope to publish plans this week on our website, but, through the feedback we have received, we are making revisions to our plans. Early next week we will be placing our plans on our Reopening Website and will be scheduling presentations to our staff and to our families.
Please understand that we are closely monitoring the health data dashboard that is being provided by the Delaware Department of Public Health for our local area. We have a direct liaison as well, that assists us in interpreting the data and understanding how it impacts us. We are also working closely with a pediatrician assigned to us by DPH to develop a comprehensive plan for how we will provide instruction to some of our students with significant disabilities or medical needs that may require adaptations to the guidance provided by the State.
In all cases, we are determined to provide a safe environment for our staff and our students. We are equally determined to ensure we are doing what is best for our students and their families. We have worked with outside experts to ensure our building HVAC systems are operating properly and promoting a healthy environment. Health and safety remains our number one priority!
We are actively developing a plan to bring students back into our buildings. This work will continue and is ongoing. Within the plan, there are projected dates to implement. A solid plan is essential and the dates are only a part of understanding the plan. Please understand that if the local health conditions do not support our return, we will modify those dates and re-evaluate the data.
Over 6,000 families have responded to our most recent survey about returning to school. Most of our families understand that mask wearing is an essential component to coming back. Over 70% of our families who responded in our special programs would like to return to face to face instruction now. That is in contrast to our traditional schools where 65% of our families have either enrolled in the Christina Virtual Academy (CSDVA) or are not ready to enter hybrid at this time. We have recently added the second wait list to our Virtual Academy raising the enrollment to over 2,200 students.
As previously stated, we are continually monitoring the local and statewide health data. Assuming the data does not continue to rise, it is our intention to bring back students in our Special Programs on October 26. Should all go well, we will continue to bring in cohorts of students over the next few weeks until we have everyone successfully incorporated into some level of face to face instruction.
We are also working to ensure that those families who are not comfortable coming into our buildings have options for virtual learning. A third waiting list has begun for our virtual academy and we plan to publish a comprehensive plan for both Hybrid and the Virtual Academy early next week.
We understand that there are questions and you want to be able to make plans and understand what the path forward will be. We want that too. We also want to make sure that what we publish will be the right answer the first time so that we do not confuse families with changes. With that said, we thank all of our families and staff for their continued patience as we navigate this unprecedented time in our history.
Once again, we want to thank everyone for what they have done so far, this school year and hope that you have a wonderful weekend.
Dr. Dan Shelton
Superintendent | Christina School District