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So far — so good.

On August 30, Superintendent David Blackburn released the following statement: “I am excited to report that we still have no COVID-19 transmission within our schools. It has been 18 days since students began returning to school. We have seen various levels of mask-wearing, but no transmission in our schools. We assume that will not hold true the entire year, but it is true today–and today we are thankful.”

Image courtesy of the Salida School District.

“Currently, the largest risk to losing in-person instruction is a staff shortage,” he continued. “We may be better staffed than many schools and businesses in our region, but we are desperate for all kinds of substitutes. Consider helping and protecting in-person instruction.

For example, we almost had to cancel busing this week due to staff shortages. When you send your student to school sick (COVID or otherwise) you endanger in-person instruction.  We can do this, but not without continued support by all families,” wrote Blackburn.

“Just as we were able to offer in-person instruction to families last year by being flexible and responsive to the local data, we will again find a pathway together this year to offer in-person instruction by staying agile.  We’ve started to receive results back from last year’s CMAS, PSAT and SAT tests, and what we know now is that our approach worked. Salida – we did it. Salida School’s students surpassed the state averages for all ages and all subjects tested. We did that, together, as a community.”

“We evaluate the conditions daily with our medical team<” Blackburn explained. “Thank you to our school nurses for being so responsive to family needs.  Please call them if you have a question about your child’s needs. The nurses would remind you that the number one protection to offering in-person instruction is staying home when you are symptomatic. If you are not sure if you should stay home, then call a nurse prior to coming to school.  If you send your student to school symptomatic, then you can expect him or her to be sent back home immediately.”

He added “We aren’t done yet. We ask that you continue to step up for our kids and our community. We will continue to encourage mask-wearing, because it is safer.  We will continue to encourage testing because we can target our response better with local data.  COVID is real, and it is nice to have some encouraging news to share.  Thank you for your support in this emotional and difficult time. Stay safe.”