Superintendent's Letter - October 23, 2020
Dear Dock Parents and Students,
Today we complete the first marking period of our school year! We are so grateful as we reach this milestone in a year with much uncertainty:
- For each day we can have students on campus
- For social interactions of teachers and students on campus and remotely
- For amazing teachers who are navigating a challenging year
- For academic learning and creative thinking
- For each student who is a part of our school family this year
- For patient, flexible parents who are encouraging and supporting their students
- For the Montgomery County Office of Public Health and other health professionals for guiding us through this year and helping keep everyone safe.
- For our faith in a God who drives out fear and allows us to embrace this year with hope!
We want to hear from you regarding your experience this first marking period. Next week you will receive a link to a survey. Please complete this survey so we can continue to improve!
We keep our dashboard up to date on our website, so any time you want to know how many active COVID-19 cases we have, you may check here. While at the time we are sending this letter there are 0 active cases, we are pleased to note that through one full quarter we have only had a total of 2 staff members, 1 teacher, and 1 EC-8 student who have tested positive for COVID-19. We have needed to quarantine students and a few teachers but most of them are back on campus or will be back on campus soon.
As we have reminded you previously, anyone who is a close contact with someone at Dock who tested positive will be notified by the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH). They have been quick to respond and identify close contacts in any positive case. In some cases, they have recommended a class or person move to remote learning for a few days out of an abundance of caution, so one cannot assume that everyone who is away from school is quarantining or has tested positive. The MCOPH has noted that at present, they are not observing the virus spreading through schools so are hopeful they will not need to ask an entire school to go to remote learning. They will, however, continue to be diligent in mitigating the spread any time it shows up in a school.
The MCOPH has affirmed the effectiveness of our distancing and wearing of face coverings in keeping our Dock school community safe. While we have welcomed 20 new students on campus since the beginning of the school year, we continue to have 6-foot distancing for desks and lunch tables. Thanks for encouraging your students to follow these practices. Thank you for screening your student for symptoms each morning. We hope to continue gathering on campus throughout the next marking period!
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber
Read all of the Superintendent's Letters:
"I just want to take a moment to say thank you. It is obvious that Dock has spent time and prepared a plan that takes into account the many different thoughts, opinions, concerns, and frustrations of all families during this pandemic. While it is impossible to please everyone, it is clear the two options you have outlined have the biggest probability of satisfying the majority of your families. Providing two options is so refreshing and I realize this will be much extra work for your staff and teachers…thank you! This will be our oldest child's first year at the school, and we could not be more pleased with our choice of Dock!"
Dock Elementary Family
"I am confident in the decisions made by the administration, board and pandemic team. There are two options, on-campus learning or remote learning, for Early Childhood through 12th grade. Thank you, Dock administrators, for spending your summer planning for the fall. I know many families from other schools are concerned about the options available to them. Dock has a large facility with a smaller number of students, so safety, academics, and social interactions will not be compromised!"