Dec 17, 2020

Winter Break Update from Supt. Briggs

Winter Break Update image

Hello Pickerington family,

Can you believe we are almost at the end of 2020? It has been a year unlike any other in our country’s history and we thank you — each and every parent, student and staff member — for your patience and support as we navigated through the frequent, necessary changes that were made to PLSD’s learning environment and plan due the COVID-19 pandemic. As we near the end of the December school calendar, I wanted to update you on the learning plan level when students return to school in January.

As you are aware, the Board of Education and Pickerington Schools’ administrative team committed to remaining in the hybrid learning model until the end of 2020. Our team has again examined our district’s data as outlined in our COVID-19 Dashboards and determined that Pickerington Schools will continue in the hybrid model to kick off 2021.

Some of the following factored into this decision, many of which are mentioned in the “Important Message from Pickerington Schools” article recently released:

  • The Franklin County Board of Health, and the Ohio Department of Health in their latest executive order, have recommended that schools remain in their current instructional models even when the county moves to red or purple on their public health advisory system.
  • Our data supports that our safety protocols are working. We believe our current hybrid model is allowing us to meet the objectives of providing the highest possible quality education given the circumstances, and we are able to do it by preserving the health and safety of our students and staff to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Currently 72% of districts in Ohio are providing some form of face-to-face instruction and based on your placement requests, 80% of you want your students in a face-to-face instructional model versus an all virtual. 
  • Building administrators have been reporting 100% compliance with students and staff (without medical exemption) wearing masks.
  • Although we understand that the virus is spreading in our community, we have only had a few possible cases of in-school transmission.
  • This week, we have seen a reduced number of positive cases in the district compared to some of the previous weeks.

January and February are expected to be challenging months due to COVID-19 and winter weather. As previously announced, snow days, should they be necessary, will become remote learning days for all students. Meantime, news reports estimate that vaccines will become more readily available within the next few months. So if we can work and stay #InThisTogether just a little while longer, our hope is that all students will be back safely learning full-time in our buildings soon, which has always been our ultimate goal.

I can’t wait to see students back in school or virtually in January, and I hope you enjoy your winter break! 

Happy Holidays everyone!

Dr. Chris Briggs,
Superintendent