Porta Community Unit School District #202

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1st Semester is Nearing the End and Other Covid Related Information.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer some information from our school district as we enter the final week of the 1st semester.  To begin we are hopeful that we will be able to continue in person learning in this final upcoming week.  We will continue to monitor COVID related quarantine and positive cases and make decisions based on our ability to maintain the services we provide.  Substitutes are a priority across this state and that is no different here at PORTA. As such, we are very susceptible to reduced staff numbers in times like these so please continue to monitor your children’s health and quarantine those who are showing signs of illness so that we can continue to offer in person learning.  Please remember when our staff and students are in contact with a positive case they are forced to quarantine regardless if they are symptomatic or not.  In the vast majority of cases our staff and students have been forced to stay at home even though they have negative test results.
As we enter the second semester and a new year we will monitor our staff’s health and make decisions as to our back to school plans.  At this time we are planning to return under our current learning model. Students will be offered the opportunity to decide to return to four day in person learning or continue with an A/B schedule or remain full remote.  So, please be prepared to make those difficult decisions in the first few weeks of the New Year so that we can settle into a routine as quickly as possible.
You may have heard that the CDC has offered options for reduced Quarantine in recognition of making it easier for people by reducing the time they cannot work. However, local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. As such, the Sangamon/Menard County Health Dept has continued to the current 14 day quarantine rules.  The Health Staff and myself have questioned the local health Department officials about this decision and have been told the department did consider the CDC’s reduced quarantine guidelines but at this time the health board was unwilling to risk increased COVID spread.  We are hopeful that our region’s positivity rates will continue to drop and the Health Board will reconsider moving to a 7-10 day quarantine model.
News from the High School:
PORTA High School will not have traditional semester exams/exam days this semester. All students are expected to be at school and/or remote learning on Thursday, December 17th. Many students will earn the privilege to not have to come to school on Friday, December 18! Students are expected to be at school and/or remote learning UNLESS they have met the following requirement on a class by class basis- 80% or higher 1st qtr. and 2nd qtr. and also, fewer than 5 discipline points for the semester. Students have received more detailed information via email. If you have questions, please call the high school office. 
Thank you for your time and patience.  From the PORTA Family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.