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    UPDATE-Humboldt Unified School District

    John Pothast
    Superintendent, Humboldt Unified School District

    Dear HUSD Families, December 1, 2020
    Our priority has always been to balance the health and safety of our students, staff, families,
    and community while still maintaining a high level of education for our students. However, the
    health and safety of our staff and students is paramount, and that is what our ultimate decisions
    have been, and will continue to be, based on. It is with that focus on the wellbeing of our staff
    and students that we are announcing that beginning Monday, December 7, 2020, all HUSD
    schools will move to Remote Learning for the remainder of the semester. Although we
    know that students learn best in-person and in front of highly qualified teachers, the health and
    safety of our students, staff, and families are also a priority. Please be looking for specific
    information from your child’s school about successfully transitioning to our Remote Learning
    environment.
    While we have been closely monitoring a variety of health and safety data since July, including
    state and county numbers. In addition, we have been watching “ZIP code” numbers, which are
    COVID cases in just HUSD’s attendance area, which includes Prescott Valley, Dewey and
    Humboldt, as well as school based numbers, which we publicly shared last week on our new
    COVID-19 Dashboard. Finally, as asked by the state and local health agencies, we have been
    tracking data from the three health metrics school districts are expected to use to guide
    conversations around potentially moving from one learning model to another.
    In tracking all of that information over the past months, we have been steadfast in our focus on
    following science, the factual data, and guidance from state and local health officials in each
    and every decision we make. Those metrics and data are now telling us that, in order to ensure
    everyone’s safety and wellbeing, HUSD needs to shift its instructional model. As I’ve said
    before, we cannot keep COVID out of our buildings. However, as the numbers in the greater
    community surge, it is inevitable that more and more cases will find themselves in our schools.
    Additionally, of the three health metrics school districts are tracking on the ADHS website,
    Yavapai County had its second metric turn Red yesterday. When looking at those metrics in
    “real time”, which is what the YCCHS website tracks, all three are now in Red. After
    consultation with the Yavapai County Health Department, it is recommended that we return to
    our Remote Learning model, and this transition also follows HUSD’s board-approved
    Roadmap to Reopening Schools and recommendations from AZDHS.
    I know this is challenging for staff, students, and parents alike. As I have stated, my hope was
    to be able to continue with in-person learning through the semester, but our data is now telling

    us, as well as guidance from health officials, that moving to Remote Learning is the best for the
    safety and wellbeing of not only our staff and students, but our greater community as well. I
    am confident that our teachers will continue to provide the highest quality learning experience
    for each and every one of our students during our Remote Learning time.
    We are hopeful that we will be able to return to in-person learning at some point after winter
    break, but as we have been experiencing, COVID is making things extremely unpredictable and
    fluid. We will continue to monitor all of our community health metric closely over the coming
    weeks and will remain in communication with staff and families.
    We care deeply about our HUSD family and want to make sure that we do our very best to
    keep everyone safe. Although it has been said many times, these continue to be challenging
    times. We truly appreciate your understanding, patience, and flexibility as we continue to
    provide a quality educational opportunity for our students, while also ensuring the safety and
    wellbeing of our staff and students.
    Best wishes from your HUSD family.

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