Dear RPS Students, Families and Staff,
As anticipated, positive cases of COVID-19 spiked in our community during the holidays. Family gatherings and group celebrations led to one of the highest increases in infection rates in over a year. During winter break, we received reports of 110 positive cases of COVID-19 from families and staff.
Below are this week’s positive cases across our District. These numbers are also on our COVID-19 web page. Since returning to school, there have been 55 reported cases of COVID-19. This is a 50% decrease in the infection rate compared to when school was closed over break.
- Centennial Elementary - 2
- Central Education Center - 3
- District Office - 2
- Richfield College Experience Program - 0
- Richfield Dual Language School - 8
- Richfield High School - 29
- Richfield Middle School - 3
- Richfield STEM Elementary - 5
- Sheridan Hills Elementary - 3
- South Education Center - 0
While you may have heard that some schools in the state are transitioning to distance learning, we remain committed to keeping our schools open for in-person learning as long as we feel we can safely do so.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have done everything we can to ensure our school buildings are safe. We have top-rated HVAC systems for purifying the air, we have increased our cleaning protocols, we require and provide masks and hand sanitizer, we promote social distancing whenever possible, we have hosted on-site vaccination clinics and provide COVID-19 testing for symptomatic individuals, and we have ordered home test kits for every staff member and student in the district (arriving soon).
Furthermore, we know that shifting to distance learning would be disruptive for many of our families. In addition to providing education, meals and critical student support services, schools provide a safe place for students during the day when many families are working.
In the end, eliminating COVID-19 comes down to each and every one of us. Are we vaccinated? Wearing a mask? Maintaining social distancing? Testing regularly (even if we don’t have symptoms)? Staying home when sick?
Our safety as a school district and community requires that we work together and follow the recommendations of public health experts. We will continue to use the tools we have and keep the wellbeing of students at the center of our decisions.
Superintendent Steven Unowsky