January 5, 2022
Dear Rush-Henrietta Families,
While we remain committed to in-person learning, increasing staffing shortages have the potential to force Rush-Henrietta to transition temporarily to remote learning for students. Such a shift is not certain, but the potential grows each day as more employees become sick, care for an ill family member, or quarantine following possible COVID-19 exposure.
Many employees have gone above and beyond in accepting additional responsibilities in recent months, but we are running out of creative ways to manage this situation. It also is difficult to find substitutes, despite the fact that R-H offers subs the highest pay rate in Monroe County.
As you know, we have experienced a significant shortage of bus drivers in recent years, and the pandemic made that problem worse. Because of increasing demands on our transportation department, all after-school bus runs (excluding sports shuttles) for Burger, Roth, Sherman, and Vollmer are canceled through January 21.
Don’t Panic. Just Prepare.
This is NOT March 2020 all over again. We are facing a different situation, one where it is safe to be in school, but where we may not have enough staff members and substitutes available to provide necessary services and appropriate supervision. If we must move to remote learning, we believe it will be for the short term.
It is our strong preference to remain open for in-person learning. If that becomes impossible, we will try to minimize the impact. The district may have to cancel or delay specific bus runs by an hour or two, or ask certain grade levels - such as grades 7-12 - to learn remotely. Private and parochial school bus runs may be affected. How we respond depends on how many employees are unable to come to work and what role they have in the district. As a last resort, we temporarily may need to go fully remote for all students in grades K-12. While we will try to avoid this, such an announcement could occur suddenly with a same-day morning phone call.
Should the district transition to remote learning, we anticipate sports practices and games would continue, as would musical rehearsals and performances at Burger, Roth, and the Senior High School. Continuing Education classes, including Driver’s Education and swimming lessons, would continue. All other activities before and after school would be canceled.
You may wonder why some activities could continue if students are learning remotely. The reason is that a brief shift to remote learning most likely would occur because we don’t have appropriate staffing levels, not because our schools are suddenly unsafe.
Cub Care for Those Enrolled
We are making arrangements to provide care for those enrolled in Cub Care. Unfortunately, we do not have the staff necessary to accommodate additional students. If your child is a Cub Care participant, we will do our best to make full-day care available - at an additional cost - should grades K-6 be impacted in this way. Children will be able to participate in their remote classes while at Cub Care. More information will be sent to Cub Care participants via email.
We continue to monitor our staffing situation closely and will provide an update when we have one. That update could occur with little notice. Thank you for taking the time to consider how your family would respond in the event of a temporary transition to remote learning.