Keith Levatino, superintendent of Schools released the following letter to parents and the community, outlining the issues they are facing when returning children to a five-day-a-week schedule.
February 24, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Since last March, the pandemic has seriously impacted the structure of our school, with our students attending either in a hybrid model or virtually. As of now, all grade levels are able to attend at least part of the time, which is a significant milestone. While our goal is to bring all of our students back for all five days, we continue to face the following limitations:
- We are only able to transport 20 – 24 students on a 60-passenger bus due to Department of Health guidelines.
- Students have to be seated at least 6 feet apart, limiting typical classroom capacity to between 12-15 students due to Department of Health and CDC guidelines.
The above limits clearly make bringing all our students back full-time impossible, but we are looking for ways to meet the needs of our youngest students, specifically in grades K-2. Those are important formative years, and we have made it a priority to bring those students back for as many days as possible. We believe we have a plan to have those students attend four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), but that plan is only possible with the support of the community.
At this time, the biggest hurdle is transporting all the students to school. Our fleet of buses is only able to transport about a third of the number that used to ride before the pandemic. In order to bring K-2 back four days a week, we need as many parents as possible to transport their children to and from school. We realize this is a hardship, and not possible for all families to do. In the coming weeks we will be making calls to assess the number of students that can be transported by families. That information will determine if we can move forward with the plan to bring K-2 back four days a week.
Thank you for your continued support as we continue to meet the challenges presented by this pandemic. I firmly believe that, as a community, we will come through this stronger than ever.
Keith T. Levatino, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
Little Falls City School District