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COVID-19 Update

Dear CSD Parents/Guardians:

I want to provide a few updates as we end this school week, head into an upcoming short week, the Winter Break, and the start of 2021.

We will no longer provide schoolwide letters when we have a positive COVID case:

Due to the frequency and volume of positive cases involving our students and staff, we will no longer issue schoolwide letters on a daily basis when we learn of one or more positive cases among students and/or staff at a specific school. Rather, we ask all stakeholders to stay abreast of trends in positive cases via our CSD COVID Dashboard which will provide case numbers by school. 

However, please know that we will continue to issue classroom-specific letters where contact tracing is/was needed so that families are informed of situations that directly impact them.

On January 4th, we will return to the Hybrid schedule K-12. At that time, we will also begin to provide school specific numbers on our CSD COVID-19 Dashboard counts:

The following list details some of the main points:

  • The number for each school’s COVID cases on the dashboard reflects the number of cases reported to us that day by the Bucks County Department of Health. It is meant to give a picture of the trends in cases. It does not reflect the number of cases that were in school that day, nor is it a reflection of an individual being infectious on that day. If we are aware of a positive case, a symptomatic individual, or a close contact, that individual is not permitted to attend school. Of the individuals making up the number on any given day, in almost every case, the individual was not in the building that day.    

  • When a case is reported to us, the individual may have tested positive days prior and/or had been feeling ill days prior to that. As such, the individual may not have been in school for quite a few days or longer. The risk of them exposing someone in school is minimal. At times, we get reports that are several days old. As such, there is always a backwards look at data reflecting individuals who have tested positive, and their infectious period is often days in the past. The data is meant to, and can only be used to, look at trends in the number of cases over a period of time. It cannot be an indicator of the relative “health” of a given building on a given day. 

  • Some of the parents/guardians have chosen to have their students be 100% virtual learners while others will continue to participate in the hybrid model. Due to the hybrid schedule, the students may not have been in school for several days even if they attended on their scheduled days. Some may have chosen not to attend school on their scheduled days, and this has increasingly become the case at times which limits the close contact. Additionally, some of the 100% virtual students may participate in in-person extracurricular activities. 

  • Also worthy of note is that the District, in an effort to protect staff and student privacy, will intentionally not distinguish between staff and students when providing the numbers on the dashboard. This is especially important in the case of individuals being notified of a positive case within the classroom. If the District indicated that the individual was a staff member, then the identity of the positive staff member would likely be easily revealed, given that many classrooms typically only have one or two staff members. Additionally, the District will not provide any information (e.g., cohort, virtual status) that lends itself to distinguishing whether or not the individual is a staff member or a student.

School/classroom specific versus school specific closure:

As presented at the last public school board meeting and shared via the most recent Superintendent’s Update, CSD, like all other PA school districts, will now be using the new state recommendations for school/classroom specific closure guidelines when addressing COVID cases as required by the Attestation Process.

Additionally, CSD has developed staffing/operational guidelines that will be used to determine our capacity to safely operate our schools and effectively implement our Health and Safety Plans.  This information will be shared at the next school board meeting on January 12, 2021 and then sent out to our CSD community.

Thank you, as always, for your support of our students, our staff, and our schools!

Dana T. Bedden, Ed.D., CAA
Superintendent of Schools
Centennial School District