The school board unanimously approved staff’s recommendation to commence general conditioning for our Virginia High School League (VHSL) sanctioned activities. We are excited about this opportunity for our students. Adding layers of physical accessibility to the school community with thoughtful planning and practice will increase opportunities for our students. While doing so, it’s important to be reminded that with each additional variable that is introduced to our school community, we must maintain diligence with our proper mitigation procedures as required by our health plan. Our school community’s health is paramount for functioning during these times, and we need to be careful not to upset the balance in a way that would force a cessation of the face-to-face option within the hybrid learning model or the newly added general conditioning model.

According to today’s CDC K-12 School Metrics, the Core Indicator of total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days places Orange County at 114.6 which is in the category termed Higher Risk for community transmission (the scale grows from Lowest Risk to Lower Risk to Moderate Risk to Higher Risk to Highest Risk). The other Core Indicator for Orange County is the percentage of RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 14 days; this metric is at 5.3% and termed as a Moderate Risk. While we look at these Core Indicators, we also consider our available resources within the context of the pandemic. Given these data in conjunction with our resources we believe that we can thoughtfully continue with our hybrid model of instruction and add general conditioning without upsetting the balance for everyone.

We are pleased that our mitigation measures are working within our school community as evidenced by the fact that we are in our tenth week of the school year. We’re confident that thoughtful continued partnerships and dialog will afford us a measured approach as we continue to assess the addition of more variables to the school community. We would only do so as it makes sense with regard to ensuring that our students and employees can safely maneuver through their day without upsetting what we have already achieved.