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Nov. 17 Important Message for Ritenour Families: Delay of In-Person Learning

November 17, 2020

Dear Ritenour Staff, Families and Community,

Our Ritenour staff have been working hard to prepare and have been looking forward to welcoming back students in grades 4-12 next week. We also know that many students and families have been excited to return to hybrid in-person learning. 

For these reasons, it is difficult and disappointing for me to share that we will not be able to return to Phase 2 in-person learning for grades 4-8 and selected high school students on Nov. 23. The record-breaking increase in positive COVID-19 cases and transmission rates in our region, as well as an increasing number of quarantines of Ritenour staff and students, are weighing heavily into our decision to pause the return of in-person learning. Our revised plan now is to offer hybrid-in person learning for grades 4-12 in January. 

At this time, our full-time in-person learning for preschoolers and hybrid in-person learning for grades K-3 will continue for the families that have selected this option. 

As I have mentioned many times since this historic pandemic started, our goal is to have all students who want in-person learning back in our school buildings. We know students learn best in person with their teachers and their peers, and the social-emotional benefits of traditional instruction in our classrooms cannot be duplicated in a virtual setting for all students. However, the escalation of the COVID-19 virus in our region has led us to make another “pivot” in our Return to Learning plan.

As our region experiences this critical and dangerous time in this pandemic, I’m asking everyone to help stop the spread of this virus in our community by wearing masks anytime you are around other people outside your home, washing your hands often, keeping socially distanced from others and staying home when ill. It’s more important than ever to follow these CDC guidelines so we can fully implement our Return to Learning plans. 

I understand this delay poses additional stress on students and families. Please reach out to your children’s teachers, school counselors or administrators to address concerns. We are all here to help!  Together, we are Ritenour Strong.  

Be well and stay safe!

Dr. Chris Kilbride
Superintendent