Dear Summit Public Schools Community,
On Monday, January 3rd, more than 1,000 students and 100 staff members took advantage of COVID testing at our Middle and High School. I thank everyone who participated in this opportunity, which was intended to offer the district and our community real data that could protect our students, teachers and staff members, and keep our schools safely open.
Mirimus, Inc., the diagnostic company that conducted the testing in our district, informed us this afternoon that current testing pools are trending at an approximately 50% positivity rate. This is not the type of news we had hoped to hear and, while we have not received our district’s final results from Mirimus, it is reasonable to believe that we will track within this trend.
Given this new information, we worked through multiple scenarios to determine if we would have enough staffing capacity to open our schools. Since we are already close to our maximum ability to staff our buildings, even a small percentage of additional staff testing positive would create a situation where we would be unable to fully staff our buildings. In addition, we are potentially having to conduct contact tracing for hundreds of students.
Based on the information above and after speaking with our administrators, building principals, and the Department of Health, the District will be transitioning to remote learning tomorrow, January 6 and Friday, January 7. Students and staff will follow a full-day schedule of remote instruction, not a single session. Please anticipate additional communications from your building principal about school-specific scheduling and information. Grab-and-go lunches will be available for all students to pick up tomorrow and Friday from 8-10 a.m. at Summit High School and Jefferson Elementary School.
When we do receive the results from Mirimus, students and staff members who tested positive will be contacted immediately. We will send out an additional message to our entire school community to inform everyone that we have completed the notification of positive results.
I realize this is not the information anyone wanted to hear. However, we anticipate this to be a short term solution to our staffing shortage and contact tracing requirements. Our goal is to return to full day in-person instruction on Monday, January 10, 2022. We will continue to monitor this situation and update the community by the end of the week. Thank you for your flexibility and understanding.
Superintendent of Schools