COVID-19 Gating Criteria Committee Update: November 5
On Thursday, NKC Schools hosted our gating criteria committee to answer questions and provide information the group felt most necessary to consider as we work towards increasing face-to-face time with secondary students, when safe to do so. It was another great meeting and we certainly appreciate the feedback and perspective this committee has provided us. Some highlights of our findings included:
- 37% of all staff who have been asked to stay home due to being a close contact, positive or probable case have been teachers.
- 93% of the teachers who have been asked to stay at home (positive case or quarantine) have continued to work from home during this time.
- We can still efficiently operate our classrooms and maintain adequate class sizes with approximately 5-10% of core teachers out on quarantine with no substitutes to fill these positions. This figure is dependent on the building size.
- Our substitute fill rate is improving.
In terms of class sizes, if all virtual and face-to-face enrollment stayed the same for the second semester as it is today, the numbers below represent the approximate average class sizes for each secondary school if we provided a four/five day a week face-to-face option. The higher ranges of class size are typically encore classrooms. We would definitely have some encore classes we would need to provide more space for in order to allow for greater physical distancing. With the average class sizes below, most classrooms would be able to follow the Children’s Mercy Hospital guidance of three feet separation. Physical distancing becomes more of a challenge at our northern tier schools, as there are fewer virtual students. If we were to increase face-to-face time, we would want to examine options for larger spaces to accommodate larger class sizes in these schools.
High School Average Class Size
Oak Park: 11-21
Middle School Average Class Size
Our next step includes asking parents to declare their child’s learning option for the second semester. In order to adequately prepare and support our teachers, we are asking that parents make a full semester commitment. Data representing family selections will be available at the end of November. NKC Schools also understands the need for flexibility and a willingness to adjust based on the needs of students and their families. We will continue discussing the most important measures for school closure and opening moving forward.