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As a follow up to my message a couple of days ago, I need to provide an update to our current state and our planning for next week. Yesterday we had 75 teacher requests for substitutes, and today we are at 79 once again.
Only a portion of these absences are apparently COVID-caused, since we are not tracking COVID cases among teachers and staff at nearly the current rate of absenteeism. As I mentioned in my previous message, RSV, seasonal flu, colds, etc. are all contributing to absences of adults and students in our district, in addition to COVID.
In consultation with the district safety committee, which includes Utah County Department of Health nurses, I am announcing today that Wednesday, January 19 will be an online learning day throughout the district. We are hoping that (total) 5 days away from school (Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed) will allow more staff to recover. I should point out that as we continue to track absences, I may need to extend the one day (Wednesday) by an additional day or two, but I am not making that decision today. As it stands now, we are planning to have in-person school again on Thursday, January 20. Any updated decision regarding Thursday and Friday next week should be announced by noon on Wednesday, at the latest.
Our Child Nutrition Department will operate our meal program on Wednesday as we did last school year. Breakfast and Lunch available for pick up Wednesday, January 19 for the online learning day. This is for enrolled students only. Parents/Guardians need to place orders using the online link provided.
Click Here to Order Meals
Online ordering will close on Wednesday at 9 AM. The link is now active and earlier orders are appreciated. Pick up locations remain the same and Parents/Guardians may pick up for all of their students enrolled in Provo City School District at one school location. Pick up time for Wednesday, January 19 will be from 10:30 am to 11:00 am at all schools, and Parents/Guardians will pick up both breakfast and lunch at that time.
I want to publicly thank all persons who have demonstrated great flexibility, especially over the past week or so. Many teachers, secretaries, classroom aides, and countless others have been willing to help by covering classes, often at the last minute, so that school has been able to operate, more or less as normal until now.
Thank you for your understanding in this unfortunate situation.
Keith C Rittel
Provo City School District