October 16, 2020
Dear Drew Parents/Guardians,
We wanted to announce an important change to Drew’s reopening plan. Please be advised that Charles R. Drew Charter School has postponed its previously planned October 26th shift to a Hybrid Model, with in-person learning, for grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, and first grade. Under a newly revised plan, we will continue implementing the full virtual model for all grades through December 18th, the end of the second quarter. All grades are expected to transition to a Hybrid Model in January 2021.
Drew’s decision to delay starting the Hybrid Model is based on Atlanta Public Schools’ announcement earlier today to postpone in-person learning for the district until January 2021. As an APS-authorized charter school, Drew is required to implement a learning model that is at least as restrictive as the district. APS noted an increase in local COVID-19 cases as reasoning for its postponement. The district’s leading health indicator, which is the local “incidence rate,” or average number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period, has recently spiked above the established target. APS previously set a target for reopening school buildings at 100 or fewer cases per 100,000 residents.
As a school committed to keeping the health and safety of our students, staff, and families as a top priority, we support the district’s decision. We will continue deliberately planning for a shift to the Hybrid Model in January.
As we continue in a full virtual model, we are preparing for the following:
More information is forthcoming regarding these changes and will be communicated via Principal newsletters and teacher communication.
We extend our ongoing appreciation for your patience, understanding and flexibility as we continue navigating this pandemic. We realize that each time our plans change, there are tremendous implications for your family. If you have questions or need assistance due to a hardship you may be experiencing, please feel free to contact me or your academy principal. We stand ready to assist or connect you with available resources.
For the Love of Drew,
Head of School
Dear Drew Parents/Guardians:
I hope you are well. I am following up our commitment to provide you with an update on Charles R. Drew Charter School’s Reopening Plan. I wanted to inform you that Drew Charter School is planning to transition to a Hybrid Learning model for Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students starting Monday, October 26, 2020. The current plan is for the remaining grades to shift to a Hybrid Model in January 2021. (Please note that this plan requires approval by Atlanta Public Schools prior to implementation. If approved, we will proceed with the plan understanding that changes in public health data or other factors could require potential updates.)
Our transition plan decision is based on the determination that, as a whole, Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade students experience some of the most significant barriers to engaging fully in virtual learning and would benefit significantly from in-person instruction, particularly on skills like literacy. Other factors included instructional models, scheduling and survey responses by parents and staff which identified students intending to return and teacher availability. This has been an incredibly difficult decision, informed by countless discussions, evaluations, scenario analyses, survey responses and ongoing review of public health data and guidelines.
Under Drew’s Hybrid Model for Pre-K through first grade, the weekly schedule for students in these grades will consist of two days of in-person learning on campus and three days of virtual learning. To share more information and answer questions about the Hybrid Model, we are scheduling Town Hall sessions with Pre-K, Kindergarten and first grade families on tomorrow evening, October 7th. Details about the Town Hall are forthcoming later today from the homeroom teachers of students in those grades. Recognizing that this is short notice, these Town Halls will also be recorded.
If your child is in Pre-K, Kindergarten or first grade and you responded to the Family Reopening Survey sent in September, please note the following:
Note: You are expected to adhere to the guidelines and processes of your selected return model (virtual or hybrid) until the end of Quarter 2, which ends on December 18th. Prior to the end of Quarter 2, you will have an opportunity to update your model preference, if desired, for the start of Quarter 3, which begins on January 5. (Families with students in grades 2 through 12 will also receive a survey prior to the end of Quarter 2 regarding Quarter 3 plans.)
All survey updates and all survey responses should be submitted no later than Friday, October 9th, at noon.
If your child is in Pre-K through first grade and you do not submit a survey by October 9th, we will consider you to have opted-out of the Hybrid Model, and your student will remain in the full Virtual Model for the duration of Quarter 2.
We know that families with students in grades transitioning to the Hybrid Model have many questions. We hope this Frequently Asked Questions document, available here, and our M.A.S.K Exposure Response Protocols document will be helpful in answering initial questions. We are continually adding questions to the document and will provide an updated version on Wednesday in advance of the Pre-K through first grade Town Halls. We look forward to addressing many of your frequently asked questions during these events. More information will also be available on Drew’s website in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your patience and support as we prepare for our initial transition to a Hybrid Model. We will continue to keep you informed of any Drew updates. As we move toward a shift in our learning model, know that our commitment to the safety, health and well-being of all of our students, families and staff is unwavering and at the forefront of our minds.
For the Love of Drew,
Head of School