BR DISTRICT UPDATE - 12/16/2020
Dear students, parents, and employees:
Information received from the Navajo County Director of Health Department regarding the spread of COVID locally, including hospitalization, demonstrates conditions continue to deteriorate. The following was offered by Mr. Lee this morning: "For Blue Ridge, I have a case rate for the week of Dec 8th – 15th of 1,050/100,000, our hospitals are running 98 to 99% full". This level is over 10X considered "Significant Spread." During the Winter break, I'll continue to monitor local conditions, providing another update before December's end.
Our teachers are preparing to receive students in-person upon our Winter Break return if conditions permit. We're also ready to return to hybrid-learning or remain online-only if necessary, with the determination announced by January 1, 2022.
Please note, the District recently made several critical hires in support of our elementary school, Career and Technology programs, and high school athletics. These additions include; Ryan Grace joining our elementary in a student support capacity, allowing us to reach out to more families and students needing assistance.
Further, with next year's retirement of Bonnie Sorenson, Mark Vest, former President of Northland Pioneer College, joins Blue Ridge as a teacher and coordinator of our CTE programs. Mark will work closely with Director Bonnie Sorenson, a longstanding teacher, supervisor, and contributor, in making BR CTE programs among the best in the state. Thank you, Miss Bonnie, for decades of service to thousands of BR students.
Moreover, we sincerely extend appreciation to Coach Bob London for almost three decades of dedicated service to our student-athletes and community. Bob has been a mainstay and foundational contributor to Blue Ridge athletics' ongoing success and tradition. More than all that, Coach London is a very good man, whose daily presence we will miss sorely. We thank Bob and his wife Denise for many years of dedicated service invested in our schools, programs, and community, wishing the entire London family Godspeed!
Next, with the retirement of Coach Bob London at the end of this School Year, it's with pleasure I announce the return of Coach Jeremy Hathcock to Blue Ridge in 2021 as its Director of Athletics/Dean of Students & Head Football Coach. Jeremy has proven preeminent among Arizona high school football coaches and is a graduate of BRHS. Welcome home, Jeremy!
Lastly, I plead for your continued patience and faith in working through this health crisis together. As I've mentioned repeatedly, I want nothing more than a safe return to normalcy for our kids and community. Therefore, I'll continue to prioritize the health and welfare of people above all. Even so, I recognize some disagree with my decisions. To all such, given all at stake, I hope we can disagree without becoming disagreeable or indifferent.
I pray everyone enjoys a safe holiday season, and I look forward to brighter days in 2021. Thank you for your consideration and kindness.