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Dear Blue Ridge Community:

2020 may best be described as a crucible experience. Such occurrences include trials that test our determination and resolve to keep moving forward, despite suffering real and perceived disappointments and losses. With extraordinary medical developments recently announced, better days are ahead, but our struggles are not yet over.

As superintendent, I'm responsible for anticipating potential threats to our student's and staff's safety and taking appropriate actions accordingly. In all such efforts, I remain committed to exercising precaution and prudence. Even so, we all anxiously await a return to regular school activities and schedules.

Please note, my decisions impacting students and staff incorporate thorough research, data gathering, application of past experiences, and prayer. Like meteorologists trying to predict the weather, the facts may shift, sometimes without warning, making it impossible always to get it right. Inevitability; therefore, decisions may require moving forward despite some uncertainty. It follows that in such instances, there's usually disagreement and differing opinions. That's understandable. Nonetheless, when it comes to determining the method and timing of student instruction, somebody must decide. In this case, that duty falls to me.

Unfortunately, the COVID virus is multiplying rapidly throughout our nation, statewide, in Navajo County, and our community. Jeff Lee (Director of the Navajo County Health Department) had this to say regarding the 'second wave' we're now experiencing:

"I anticipate that the second wave of the virus will have a significantly greater impact on our communities and remain within our county for a longer duration."

Given the "Significant Spread" in our area defined by the Arizona Department of Health in two of the three metrics measured, our schools may return to online-only learning on November 30, 2020.

To enable families time to plan accordingly, we are providing advanced notification. The final determination will happen on or before November 29, 2020. Notice to all stakeholders of any school-schedule changes will occur by the deadline indicated.

Furthermore, according to recent Arizona Interscholastic Activities (AIA) guidance, all high school winter extracurricular activities, including athletics, music, and clubs, have been suspended until January 5, 2021. However, the football season is permitted to continue. Our junior high school also follows the AIA's direction.

Finally, consistent with the Governor's Executive Order 2020-50 students residing in foster home settings and those receiving special education services will continue to attend school in-person.

Parents/guardians unable to secure daycare for students in (grades K-6) are encouraged to make arrangements with their respective schools for supervision during regular school hours Monday-Thursday.

Students in need of counseling support are also invited on campus individually and in small groups. Onsite meals and communitywide food distribution will continue during online-only instruction and complete school closures to ensure a stable food source for students in need. Thank you for your consideration.





Mike Wright