Update on Covid Cases and Phase 1 Return to In-Person Learning

Dear ARPS Community:

The Amherst Health Department has notified the District that the total active cases of Covid-19 have increased from 35 to 51 since we notified you yesterday that the Phase 1 return to in-person learning would be delayed.  The updated daily count exceeds the Districts’ metrics from the tentative agreement with the Amherst-Pelham Education Association for returning to in-person learning, which include:

  • fewer than 28 new cases per week per 100,000 (using a 7-day rolling average) in Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties, with a weighting of .8 for Hampshire County, .1 for Franklin County, and .1 for Hampden County

Given these metrics, the District will implement a minimum two-week delay in the Phase 1 return to in-person learning, with an anticipated in-person learning start date of October 15, 2020.  This change will also push the Phase 2 and Phase 3 return to in-person learning back by two weeks.  The updated start dates are included in the chart below:

Phase 1:Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, Special PopulationsOctober 15, 2020 Elementary: 5 days per week (9:50 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.)
Phase 2:Second Grade, Third GradeNovember 2, 20205 days per week (9:50 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.)
Phase 3:All ARPS StudentsNovember 30, 2020Grades 4-6: either 2 days per week or 5 days per week*(9:50 am – 3:10 pm) Grades 7-12: 1 day per week (expanded to two days in February) (9:00 am – 2:20 pm) 

*Depending on transportation and space; to be determined once binding family surveys are sent and results are analyzed (October)

As our community deals with the current uptick in Covid-19 cases, we will keep you informed of any impacts on the Amherst Regional Public Schools.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael Morris, Superintendent

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