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  • August 6, 2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff: 

    I hope this update finds all of you and your loved ones well! I also want to thank all of you for your patience during our continued navigation of this COVID-19 Pandemic. 

    Please be advised that at the Board meeting on Monday, August 3, 2020, I made the recommendation to the Board of School Directors to enter the 2020/2021 school year in a “virtual” mode. Simply put, I am deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of the students and staff members and our ability to provide a safe environment considering the number of variables associated with this Pandemic. 

    With that being said, we will be in the virtual learning environment from the start of school on Monday, August 31, 2020 through January 4, 2021. However, I will be constantly monitoring the COVID-19 Pandemic information and should I be able to bring our students and staff back to our schools before the January date, I will certainly do so! 

    In the very near future you will begin to receive a great deal of information explaining our Virtual Learning Program and how exactly it will work. Please know that we have been working on our virtual delivery process for many months now and I am very confident that this program will provide wonderful experiences for the students we serve. 

    Our staff has been working very hard on various segments of professional development to be sure that we can make this experience as positive and productive as possible! As stated above, you will begin to receive correspondences from your appropriate building Principal and also our Curriculum and Instruction Department regarding the specific expectations and details about our virtual program. 

    At this time, I am sure some of you have questions about the status of athletics and other extracurricular programs for the start of the school year. As of now, the League that we participate in has been meeting and has voted to delay the start of the Fall 2020 season. By making this decision, it will allow the participating schools to take more time to decide on our direction with athletics going forward. More specifically, the plan for the start of the Fall 2020 season will be as follows and is subject to change: 

    • Fall practices and heat acclimation will begin on September 7, 2020
    • Athletic competitions/games would begin on September 25, 2020

    Regarding any of our in-house extracurricular programs, we will continue to look at those programs that will be possible to run through a virtual environment and without jeopardizing the health and safety of our students and staff. We will do our best to make these programs happen as long as we can meet the criteria mentioned above. There will be much more information about these programs provided to you through the building Principals’ and appropriate Advisors’ communications. 

    In closing, I would like to once again thank each and every one of you for your patience during these difficult times. I can assure you that we are putting the health and safety of those we serve as our priority while still constantly developing what I believe will be outstanding programming going forward! 

    Be well and stay safe,
    Dr. Toleno 

    Links:
    Aug. 3rd Board Meeting: https://bcove.video/2DpjyLT
    FAQs: https://www.umasd.org/Page/12070
    Questions on School Reopening: https://www.umasd.org/Page/12049

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