Confluence Academies shares re-entry for the second quarter

Dear Confluence Families,

As you know, Confluence Academies altered its plan for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year in the interest of public health and safety. Earlier, we decided to offer all classes virtually and implemented virtual learning support centers at our three elementary sites (Aspire, Old North, and South City Academies) to accommodate students and families requiring supervision, instructional, and technology needs. We are pleased with our efforts to date. The purpose of this communication is to provide our return to in-person learning plan.

Over the last few weeks, we have diligently observed the data and have taken extra steps to gather additional information. Using this information, we envisioned what in-person learning might look like, and considered multiple factors to guide our decision-making to include:

• Closely monitoring the COVID-19 data for our region, including test positivity rates, transmission rates, and seven-day averages of new cases.

• Carefully monitoring and learning from in-person activities that have or are continuing to take place successfully in our network and others, including our own virtual learning support centers (VLSCs) and athletics/activities. These programs have provided valuable outlets and support for our students, while also allowing us to implement safety measures that will expand into our class- rooms when we resume full in-person instruction.
At this point, the health (or COVID) data for younger ages is trending in a way that makes us feel confident in implementing plans to bring back PreK – 5th grade students at Aspire, Old North, and South City to in-person learning as soon as the second quarter. We have targeted the beginning of the second quarter (October 26th) as our first date for in-person student re-entry; we are increasingly concerned about our youngest of learners and vulnerable populations of students to include our students with special needs, ELL learners, and families in transition.

While we implement in-person learning in grades PreK – 5, we will continue to monitor the health and wellness (or COVID) trends for students in grades 6-12, in efforts of returning to in-person learning soon. As a support to students in grades 6-12, we are extending our virtual learning support centers to Confluence Preparatory Academy and Grand Center Arts Academy, as well as continuing services at our three elementary virtual learning support center locations. Consequently, all classes, PreK-12, whether in-person or virtual, will occur daily (Monday-Friday).
We simply cannot thank you enough for your flexibility and patience during this trying time. Our greatest desire is to get our students and staff back into our schools; however, we must do so in a way that keeps them safe and healthy. We must prepare for multiple scenarios, knowing we may have to change course along the way.

So far, 2020 has been a historic year, full of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty. We are grateful for your commitment, as well as your confidence in Confluence Academies, as we continue to make difficult decisions in the best interest of students and staff. All have worked hard to ensure safety, well-being, and educational excellence during this unprecedented time.

Take care and be well,
Candice Carter-Oliver, PhD Chief Executive Off