Emergency School Board Meeting

November 23, 2020 @ 4:00 PM
Hosted Online & Chesapeake Television

A School Board Meeting to review COVID Metrics and Data and discuss any necessary response was conducted virtually (Zoom) and broadcast to the public on Chesapeake Television.

The following message was emailed to all families after the School Board meeting on 11/23/2020:

Chesapeake School Board Votes Unanimously to “Stay the Course” and Make No Changes to Schools’ Operating Status; District Reveals New Data Dashboard that includes School-Level Data

At an Emergency Meeting of the Chesapeake School Board on Monday, November 23, 2020, Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton recommended that schools in the district stay the course and make no changes to the current instructional model in place.

Earlier in the school year, families were provided a choice to have their child learn on-campus on the On-Campus Continuum (Option 1), or they could choose a 100% online learning option (Option 2).  Currently, Option 1 elementary-aged students (grades PK-5) attend school on the Traditional Model, five days per week, while Option 1 students at the secondary level (grades 6-12) are operating on the Blended Model, with students reporting to campus two days per week and learning from home for the remaining three days.

With cases on the rise in the area, Cotton presented a new Data Dashboard to the Board that details the total number of new positive COVID-19 test results reported over a 14-day period at each location, offering increased transparency for the school community.  “Using this report, you can see the presence of the disease is not concentrated in any one building or area, but instead is somewhat evenly distributed across the district.  You can also see that at this point in time, there are no outbreaks in progress in our schools or support buildings, meaning there are no school epi-links at this time,” Cotton stated.  “If we are to shift our focus inward on the presence of the disease on our school campuses, then I think we need to provide that level of information to the public as well, so we are all on the same page.”

Instead of making changes for the district, the School Board supported Cotton’s recommendation to stay the course, but provide him the flexibility to change the instructional model in place at individual schools, if needed, without Board action.  This could happen if there was a rise in cases at one particular school or if community-spread of the virus impacted the schools’ ability to operate efficiently.  Cotton stated, “This way we can address concerns at a particular building based on building- or school-level data without disrupting the on-campus learning for all students across the district. It is our hope that an issue in one particular location could be addressed without causing the district to shift as a whole.”

For more information, please view the complete School Board Presentation from the November 23, 2020, meeting.