A Letter from Dr. Derek Bub, July 28
July 28, 2021
Dear West Ada School District Students, Parents, Guardians, Staff and Residents:
I want to reach out to all of you considering the recently released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We have spent the last 15 months learning about COVID-19, and working closely with our healthcare partners, staff, parents, and community leaders, and are committed to making the best decisions for all children and families in the West Ada School District.
Recently, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidance for returning to school, stating teachers and students should wear masks inside classrooms, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not. The recently released guidelines do not change our existing plan of not requiring, only recommending masks to be worn by teachers, staff, and students. If a change is necessary, because of new guidance or data, we will be sure to make such changes public.
Our Fall 2021 Return to Learning Plan continues to be flexible. We are committed to making decisions regarding the need for increased preventative and mitigating measures by utilizing data regarding COVID-19 cases, community spread, and trends on a school by school, and classroom by classroom basis. In June, the Board gave the superintendent the authority to make operational decisions for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 – which includes but is not limited to implementing a targeted mask requirement, moving to a hybrid model, and/or transitioning a school or program into remote learning. This is the plan we expect to utilize as we begin the new school year.
For families who are not comfortable with this plan, we would encourage you to research our Virtual School House. Many families found this to be a good alternative during the last school year. We also encourage parents to work with their school directly to request additional safety measures for their students, such as plexiglass, social distancing if available, or other options available at the school, if needed. Additionally, we want to let you know that we are exploring other operational possibilities to keep our students safe while at school.
Again, flexibility is asked of all of us – the pandemic is not over, and we learned a lot this past school year – including that the situation can always change. Our plan provides a safe environment and a quality education to our students while considering national and local health guidance and being mindful to individual choices.
The bottom line for us is making the best decisions for all students and families in West Ada. The first day of the 2021-2022 school year is set for August 26, 2021. We can’t wait to see you all!
With great pride,
Dr. Derek Bub, Superintendent of Schools