Dear Escalante Middle School Community, March 12, 2021
With Spring Break right around the corner, we have a few announcements to share with our community. When looking at the national picture, we are in a pretty good place at EMS when looking through the COVID lens. Since we opened, we have had to place 4 cohorts into quarantine, two activities, and two bus routes. While these quarantines certainly are disruptive, it is encouraging that even in our largest spike to date at EMS, we still have twenty-one of twenty-four cohorts remaining in in-person instruction.
After spring break, we will start our football and volleyball programs for our student-athletes. In order to begin practicing, students need to submit a current physical form from either their doctor’s office or an Urgent Care. Please be aware that if your child does participate in an after-school activity, there is a greater potential for exposure to COVID and possible quarantine situations. However, after discussing the decision to continue with extracurricular activities with our parent accountability group, it is clear that these programs are valued by our families and students, and that we should continue our efforts to return to normalcy under the guidance of our public health advisors.
As the weather warms and vaccination efforts in our community become more widespread, the prevailing thought is that we will return to the Blue category on the COVID dial. If we do not have a large surge of cases after Spring Break, I anticipate that we will return to school five days a week in a matter of weeks after the break. I will certainly share out more concrete information when it’s available.
As we move into April, we will also begin our CMAS testing cycle. Coupled with i-Ready results, these assessments will give us valuable insight into the impact of the COVID pandemic and inform adjustments we can make to meet the needs of students. Students currently enrolled in the Remote program will have their assessments proctored at school. If your child is in Remote, please keep an eye out for information about those logistics. Another rite of Spring to look forward to is preparing our 8th-grade students for their high school transition. As we approach the end of the year, it is essential that we build their skills and academic mindsets. The high school will also have access to our students’ assessment information, so it is important that we stress the importance of giving their best effort over the 4th quarter.
On a final note, we are attempting to support students who are struggling with grades due to missing work by keeping them after school for tutoring in our modified ZAP program. It is a trickier proposition to organize as we need to retain our cohort system, but we will email and text notices to families requesting that your child stays after school. If you get a notice, please reach out to Administrative Assistant Tami Jantz if you do not want your child involved in the program. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a safe and cheerful spring break.