OSD Update

Hello Oostburg Families,

It is our hope that this message finds you and your family doing well. We would like to take a moment to provide an update around our current status in relation to COVID-19 and what that status means for our school community going forward

*Since September 1 we are aware of the following positive student or staff cases:
11 staff positive tests
26 student positive tests

*OSD had a high of 184 students in official quarantine during the week of November 2nd. This larger number was primarily the result of 3 positive cases which required us to move 3 classrooms to temporary virtual instruction. Our K-8 grades are cohorted by classroom which results in entire classrooms identified as close contacts at those grade levels as compared to cases at the HS which typically quarantine far fewer students as close contacts due to cohort structure.

*As of 11/13/2020, we have approximately 160 students in official quarantine. We also have a fluctuating number of students who are out with less conclusive symptoms. We appreciate that parents are taking a cautious approach in these situations.

*If you have a test pending in your home your student may not attend in person. Please do not send your child in these situations.

*Student compliance with our facial covering requirements while in school has been excellent at the ES, good at the HS and in need of additional focus at the MS. Please remind your child of our expectations in this area. We are seeing lower facial covering compliance on some bus routes and ask that you please make sure that your student has a facial covering and knows that you expect them to wear it appropriately while on the bus. Our drivers need to focus on the road, so clear parent expectations in this area will help in student compliance and allow us to avoid additional steps in addressing those who are not meeting this expectation.

*We are seeing increased symptoms and case counts in K-8 grades during the past 3 weeks and appreciate diligence by parents in monitoring symptoms and keeping their child home when risk factors are present.

In my update two weeks ago I shared that our hospitals were at 80% capacity. They are now over 90% of capacity and facing significant challenges in staffing these facilities. We continue to have regular communication with health officials and plan to continue in-person learning.

We continue to believe that our schools are some of the most disciplined places with regard to measures which prevent the virus from spreading. Washing hands, facial coverings and efforts to control social distancing remain central to our efforts at school. We believe that the upcoming holidays present a very high risk with the potential to impact our ability to stay in person for learning. We know many in our community share our desire to remain in person for learning yet the majority of our known school positive cases have origins associated with gatherings outside of the school setting. Please partner with us in avoiding situations which could compromise our efforts to keep our classrooms open for students.

Kevin Bruggink