Dear students, staff, families and community,
As I draft this message to you this evening, staff and administrators across our district are working late to complete contact tracing and communicate with our families. A few hours ago I met with our COVID Coordinators from various buildings and departments, and the message they have asked me to relay to you tonight was unanimous. We are growing concerned and feel on the brink on whether we can continue to operate long term due to the sheer volume of symptomatic students and staff across the district. Students and staff must stay home when ill in order to help slow transmission and limit close contact with others.
We are a small district, and the contact tracing of staff in critical areas can cause concerns about staffing a building or department. We have so many staff stepping up to fill in and keep us going, but we realize that may not always be possible. We need all of your help to maintain our goal of operating in-person learning for all 180 days of the school year.
But it’s just a cold or allergies you say? Did you know that many Delta Variant cases of COVID are starting out with typical cold or allergy-like symptoms? Please, don’t treat this like it’s “just a runny nose”. Right now, with the wave of this current variant, that is one of the most common symptoms. Every staff member and student with ANY ONE of the COVID-19 symptoms should stay home.
This week has been difficult. Many families are struggling with what to do with their kids who are not being allowed at school due to quarantine requirements. Many are frustrated with regulations, with the entire COVID situation, with the schools and even with me. Our teachers, staff, and administrators are working hard every day to navigate the challenges of our current situation and many good things are happening in our district because of all their work.
As we all navigate our COVID fatigue, we need to remember that there are now families among us whose children are seriously ill. Those families are not frustrated or inconvenienced: they are frightened. Being the target of the frustrations of many comes with the job of being superintendent. I can bear that, because I know I am making the best decisions I can, with the information I have, and within the constraints of the guidance and mandates that have been issued, while keeping our students’ safety and education at the forefront. I care deeply about each and every one of our students and staff and their families, and I want us all to still be here when we get to the other side of this.
I am here to support all of our staff and students as we continue to navigate these tough times. If there is anything I can do to help, please reach out to me. It is a great night to be a Borderite, and, as always, a great night to be your superintendent.
Dr. Christopher Granger
Every Student. Every Day. In a New Way.