March 25, 2021
Dear Sheboygan Area School District Families,
I sincerely hope this email finds you doing well as we progress through the school year. We have faced many challenges since the Governor’s closure of schools over a year ago, and we are very optimistic in regards to the future of our district and students. At the March 23 Board of Education meeting, the Board engaged with administration on planning for the 2021-2022 school year. Please click here to see the slideshow that was shared with the Board for the most detailed information on our plans.
We want to highlight a few aspects of the plan:
While our student growth was relatively stable across the district on the nationally normed STAR assessment, we did see some signs of gaps in relation to comparing scores of classes both before COVID-19 and in our current COVID-19 educational setting. Obviously, there is one quarter of the year remaining, and we believe that we will continue to see these gaps shrink. That said, we will utilize a number of assessments to start the 2021-2022 school year that will pinpoint the specific gaps of individual students. This assessment data is then utilized by principals and teachers to plan instruction specifically for your child. This personalized approach to education is what allows the SASD to rank as one of the best districts of its size in the state.
In order to ensure our schools have the necessary resources to meet the needs of students, the Board of Education has allocated over $2 million dollars in COVID-19 relief funds for the following:
In addition to academic planning, we will continue to support our students’ social-emotional needs through screeners and surveys that allow us to respond to the needs of each individual child. The district added 2.5 social worker positions this school year and two additional therapists to ensure our students who need those services benefit from them.
We look forward to implementing this plan and a return to normalcy in the 2021-2022 school year.
While we are anxiously looking forward, we are also committed to finishing out the last quarter of the school year strong and will continue to make adjustments as guidance on mitigation strategies change.
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released changes to guidance on social distancing within a seated classroom. The CDC revised physical distancing recommendations to at least 3 feet between students in classrooms if students are masked and cohorted and/or depending on community transmission of COVID. However, the guidance does not change the need for students to remain 6 feet apart in non-classroom settings. This also does not impact contact tracing.
Schools will continue to accept students back into in-person learning as space allows. If you would like your child to return to in-person learning, please contact your school office.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to your child’s principal or myself. Thank you for your continued support.
Seth A. Harvatine
Sheboygan Area School District