Dear Saklan Community,
I hope everyone is well. I know we just left school a couple of weeks ago, but I thought it is important to update you on our work regarding getting ready for next year.
Part of the planning process includes information needed from you regarding how comfortable you feel about sending your child to school next year. Please take two minutes to complete the survey.
As I mentioned in the town hall, the COVID-19 Task Force would be continuing to share information with you over the summer as we learned more and received more guidance from the various governmental agencies. At this point, there has been more guidance coming out, but still many questions too.
Firstly, it is still our full intention to start school in person this August. No one can predict precisely what conditions will exist at that time, but we want your children back in our lives - in person.
The big question we recently solved was that we have found a way that every Saklan student will be able to attend school “live” every day that we are in session on campus. It will not be easy, but with some adjustments to facilities and possibly additional personal - we will be able to make this happen while still following the physical distancing guidelines. Special thanks go out to Kim, Liz, Vickie, and Javi for helping figure this out.
I also want to let you know that we are scheduling some of our field studies, such as Hawaii, Yosemite, Coloma, etc. for later in the year. We hope that we can still send students off to do their research. We know that is on the optimistic side of things, but we did not want to throw in the towel on some of our students’ most important work. Moreover, we are forming a committee that will be specifically looking at ways in which we can continue to deliver a very hands-on and experiential education in an environment that demands physical distancing.
There are a few other items I would like to give you a heads-up on as the full work of the committee will not be published until mid to late July. Details for the items below are in the process of being worked out.
For the health of the entire community, we will have a sick policy and daily screening procedures in place that will need to be fairly draconian. Any student (or staff) that shows any symptoms of COVID-19 will not be able to come to school.
Students will need to have a properly fitted mask every day.
The first two days of school (August 19th and 20th) will be half days as we find our footing with kids on campus.
We have had an uptick in inquiries but are being selective to ensure that we have students and families that are a good fit for Saklan.
The extended day program presents challenges for us as kids should not be mixing from other classes. No decisions have been made, but we foresee limitations to how many students we can host and how late they will be able to stay.
We intend to run the bus service, but as of now, the state guidelines dictate that only 14 students will be able to ride the bus. There is a possibility of running an additional bus. Whatever we do, bus fees will most likely increase.
As I mentioned above, we are still working through details of these issues. Our first priority was to ensure we could have every student on campus each day. Having a better understanding of the state and local guidance, we know we can achieve that goal. We will now focus on many of the other issues that have presented themselves.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to help bring clarity.