Dear Deer Park Families -
As our third full week of school comes to a close, I want to let you know how much we appreciate our families and your continued flexibility and perseverance as we continue to operate school during a national pandemic.
It is no secret that Deer Park, along with many other school districts across our state and country, has faced some significant COVID challenges along the way. This year has been even more difficult than last year in many regards. Our goal here is to keep kids and staff safe, keep kids in school, and enable our kids to learn to their greatest potential.
Since initiating the universal masking mandate, we’ve also restructured our lunch rooms at both buildings to try and enable us to social distance and to keep quarantining to a minimum. In conjunction with the cafeteria, students are also eating in the gymnasium, classrooms, extended learning centers, and professional development rooms to ensure we can maximize physical distance between students at a time they are most susceptible to COVID, when their masks are off and they are eating lunch. Accomplishing this is no small task. When leaving a large cafeteria space, we now move into other spaces that are not designed to be eaten in. There are many more tables that need to be cleaned, floors with carpet instead of hard surfaces, more areas to clean, and there also needs to be more adults available for supervision. Our custodial staff, teachers, and administrators are rising to the challenge and have taken an all hands on deck approach. For that, I’m extremely thankful.
While I know there have been a significant number of students who have had to quarantine during these first few weeks of school, I’m here to tell you that we are all in this together. Our staff and administrative team will do everything possible to ensure your kids are learning and growing academically. If you feel like you are getting overwhelmed and or need additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building principal or child’s classroom teacher. We are here to help!
Lastly, it is imperative that we all remain vigilant in monitoring for symptoms and continue to practice good hand-hygiene and mask wearing, ensuring that masks cover both the mouth and nose. It is also important that all families / staff conduct daily health checks PRIOR to leaving for school. If you are sick or exhibiting any COVID symptoms referenced below, please stay home. It is important to note that the COVID precautions need to be practiced during activities held away from school, just as they are in school – this includes social gatherings, youth groups, youth sports, traveling, etc.
Here are the steps we need you to take to protect our school community:
- Please monitor your student for symptoms of COVID-19, which may include cough, shortness of breath, new smell disorder, or new taste disorder. Other symptoms include fever (measured or subjective), shivering with chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose.
- If your child develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please keep your child at home and consult with your physician regarding next steps.