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The next phase-in of students - Feb. 8, 2021
Dear SAISD Staff:  

During tonight’s COVID update, city and county officials announced that the positivity rate has dropped below 10% locally. Metro Health shared that the positivity rate is now at 9.7%, which moves our community into the yellow risk level. The recent gradual decrease in our local positivity rates is a good health indicator for our community. This, along with the roll out of vaccinations, is a sign that our community is moving in the right direction with its COVID response.  

The news shared tonight allows our District to begin planning for the next phase-in of students. Based on Metro Health guidance, schools may operate at 50% student occupancy at this yellow risk level.  

This week we will be working with our principals to bring back another cohort of students beginning Monday, Feb. 22. Campuses will begin reaching out to families this week, prioritizing those students who are struggling the most with remote learning. Families of returning students also will be given the opportunity to have their children participate in the COVID testing that is happening on each of our campuses prior to resuming in-person learning. 

As long as our positivity rate remains in single digits, we will continue a gradual return of students. As always, we will work with our families throughout this process, giving them two weeks notice to ease the transition from remote to in-person learning. 

We are grateful to see this downward trend in positivity rates – both in the community and within our District. Data confirms that schools are safe environments. Our safety protocols are in full effect, and this includes asymptomatic testing on all of our campuses from our pre-kindergarteners through our high school seniors. We have seen low positivity rates among our students and staff who are tested, and just like the clear downward trend in the community, our District rate also has fallen – to a mere 0.3% during the first week of February.  

To date, SAISD has been the most conservative among school districts regarding the number of students learning on campuses. We know families have been patient, and we appreciate them working with us to keep student occupancy low until it has become safer in the community to open our schools to more students. That time is now.  

It is important to note that we are dedicated to continuing our investment in resources to keep our schools safe. The health and safety of our staff and students will always be our priority. And for you, our staff, this includes working with local health agencies to continue our roll out of vaccines as they become available. 

I have always said we would get through this together. You have rallied to this charge, and I cannot thank you enough for getting us through to this point. We will finish this year strong, and we will begin next school year even stronger for it. 


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