Return to Headlines

Superintendent's Jan. 8 Message: Grades 7-12 Moving to Remote Instruction

Today, January 8, 2021, the District was notified by the Ontario County Department of Health that one Midlakes Middle/High School student and one Midlakes Middle/High School staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. 

These cases are not related to each other. The student was last on campus on December 22. The staff member was last on campus on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Per privacy guidelines, no additional identifying information can be shared.

Since the student was last on campus prior to the holiday break, the Ontario County Department of Health determined there was no exposure on campus during the contagious period. Therefore, while the student is in isolation as directed by the Department of Health, there is no further action required by the District relating to that case.

However, because of the staff member testing positive, two additional Midlakes Middle/High School staff members have been ordered to quarantine by the Department of Health. As a result, we do not have enough key staff members to safely support in-person instruction for grades 7-12. Therefore, Midlakes Middle/High School will transition to fully remote instruction beginning on Monday, Jan. 11 and extending at least through and including Friday, Jan. 15.  

The District will continue to work with the Department of Health to support continued contact tracing related to any positive cases. Any individual who is determined to have been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 at school will be notified by the District and/or the Department of Health.

We hope to resume the hybrid model for grades 7-12 on Tuesday, Jan. 19. That will include grades 10 and 11, which were originally scheduled to begin the hybrid model on January 11. However, we will wait for updated information from the Department of Health before confirming the January 19 return date.

While grades 7-12 are in fully remote instruction, beginning on January 11:

  • No students in grades 7-12 will report to campus, including those students who normally attend four days per week and those who attend in-person instruction on Wednesdays. All learning will be remote until we are able to safely staff the Middle/High school. All Middle/High School staff will report to campus and teachers will provide remote instruction from their classrooms.
  • The District will continue to transport students to out-of-district placements and half-day CTE programs at FLTCC.
  • The District will continue to deliver meals to designated students as currently scheduled. If you need to add meal delivery, please contact our Food Service Department at foodservice@midlakes.org.
  • Since the switch to remote learning is the result of a specific staffing shortage, winter athletics and sport-specific strength and conditioning programs will continue as scheduled.
  • Grades UPK -6 will continue to attend in-person instruction as scheduled according to the hybrid model.

We appreciate your continued patience during these difficult times. While we regret any inconvenience caused by this temporary shift to remote learning for grades 7-12, we are committed to protecting the safety of our students and staff. We will return to in-person instruction in the hybrid model as soon as we can appropriately staff the building.

We encourage all members of the Midlakes community to continue following our health and safety protocols. The cooperation of our students, staff, and families helps limit the secondary exposure associated with positive cases. In addition to wearing face coverings, observing social distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, and completing the daily health screening, we especially appreciate students and staff staying home when feeling ill.

As we continue in-person instruction at the Elementary School and send students to FLTCC, anyone with concerns regarding symptoms or potential exposure should consult with one of our school nurses prior to sending your children to school. By working together and taking extra precautions, we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 at school and avoid any further disruptions to our hybrid model of instruction.

We will continue to work closely with the Department of Health, monitor suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19, and communicate with families and staff in a timely manner. As always, our ability to continue the hybrid model will depend upon our ability to maintain appropriate staffing, manage positive cases, and provide a safe environment for students and staff.  

Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Sincerely, 

Matt Sickles, Superintendent