A message from Superintendent Scott W. Lay:
The 2021/2022 school year is in full swing and we have a lot to be excited about while at the same time recognizing the hurdles that face us. First the positive. Schools are fully in session with extracurricular activities available to our students. They are enjoying in-person learning with new elective options and challenging core classes that enhance their learning and expand student horizons. Once again, our school sports teams are competing and showcasing their talent and love for the game. The only major difference is that we all need to wear masks. It seems a small price to pay to keep our schools fully open.
The challenges we face include but are not limited to the lack of rapid testing to allow our students the ability to remain at school in a modified or shortened quarantine, the time it takes staff to contact trace when a “close contact” is identified, and the shortage of substitute staff in our county. They are very real hurdles that we will all meet together. Our contact tracers (which include nurses, front office staff, and administrators) have been working incredibly long hours to keep schools safe. This is compounded by our shortage of substitute staff which means schools must get very creative to keep classes open when teachers are required to quarantine. It is not easy.
To combat these challenges, we must remain positive for the students and support each other. The state has promised to increase production on rapid test kits which will improve our ability to offer the modified or shortened quarantine. My office is actively recruiting new substitute teachers to fill our vast need in this area.
And, schools are finding creative and collaborative partnerships to meet the contact tracing needs. However, this will not happen overnight.
It has become apparent that COVID -19 is not going away quietly or quickly. I am convinced that we are up to this challenge and whatever the future brings. Nevada County is home to a highly dedicated and compassionate educational staff. Together, we will succeed.
Take care and stay safe,