The Viking Vision - A Message from the Superintendent
Welcome Home Vikings!
Posted by Marcus C. Robinson on 8/24/2021
Dear Normandy Families and Staff,
We are excited to welcome all our new and returning students and staff back into our classrooms when school begins on Wednesday, August 25. Over the summer months, we have been monitoring local conditions related to COVID-19 and developing plans with two priorities in mind:
Keeping everyone healthy and safe; and
Providing in-person learning, five days a week, without interruption.
Masks: All students, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks over their nose and mouth while indoors at school and on the bus. Infectious disease experts at the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the county health department strongly recommend masks for all students and staff at school, regardless of vaccination status. All along, we have relied on the guidance of health experts in making decisions about our health and safety strategies related to COVID, as this will help maintain a stable, consistent learning approach throughout the year.
Continuing successful mitigation strategies: We will continue to follow physical distancing strategies to the greatest extent possible. We’ll emphasize good handwashing hygiene practices and continue to ask students and staff to monitor their health and to stay home if they develop symptoms.
Quarantines: We will follow DPH’s guidelines on isolation for positive cases and quarantining of close contacts. The good news is that people who are fully vaccinated and show no symptoms may not be required to quarantine after an exposure if they meet certain criteria outlined by the health department.The wearing of masks at school increases the chances that your child can remain in school if they are identified as a close contact at school.
Vaccines: We encourage everyone eligible (ages 12 and up) to get vaccinated. Health officials emphasize that COVID-19 vaccines are the main strategy to end the pandemic. While no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing severe disease or hospitalization. The Delta variant of the illness is the prevalent version in our region and is much more contagious than the variants seen over the last year, making the need for vaccines that much more urgent. To find out where to get a vaccine, visit Normandy’s COVID Return to Learn section at https://www.normandysc.org/Page/1750.
Contact tracing and vaccine records: In an effort to assist us with contact tracing, we are asking parents/guardians to inform us if their child has been vaccinated, and we are asking the same of our staff members. This is strictly voluntary, but it will save us - and you - valuable time in the contact tracing efforts.
Our parents, teachers and staff did a phenomenal job last year being there for our students, families and each other through the most difficult circumstances. While we, as a nation and a region, are not where we hoped we would be with regard to COVID-19 at this time, the district remains strong in our mission to serve and support our students. Because we know in-person learning is best for students, we will continue to stress the importance of being safe and implementation of the recommended safety measures.
We look forward to seeing everyone in-person on Wednesday, August 25. Thank you for your support. Here’s to a great school year!
Our community has spoken and the message is that our children matter!
The voters have approved Proposition V, a $26 million no-tax-rate bond issue to make necessary improvements and renovations to our beloved Normandy High School. Your vote is appreciated. Your support of our students is appreciated.
I want to thank the volunteers, families, staff and others in the community who worked so tirelessly to help make this possible. Your support has been invaluable!
The work will begin immediately with renovation and construction in West Hall which will include a new Cafeteria and Food Court, updated classrooms (including a commercial teaching kitchen), a new focus on career education, and an open connector between Central Hall and West Hall. Construction of the new secured connector will begin in the Fall of 2021, with a projected date of completion in Summer of 2022. Next summer, we will begin the process of renovating Central Hall and East Hall, to include updated science and humanities spaces, in addition to a new library and student commons.
The last year has been challenging for all of us in the midst of both an economic and a health crisis, but your support for Proposition V speaks to the true nature of this community. Your support of our children will help propel Normandy upward and lays the foundation for a school district known for high academic achievement -- the type of school district this community deserves.
And while we are disappointed that our second bond issue did not pass, we are not defeated. We will be convening a broad continuum of community voices to talk about a shared vision for an improved high school campus. We will continue to do the work and make strides so, when the time is right, we can work together to secure additional funding to continue the improvements at Viking Hall, West Gymnasium, Viking Stadium, and the construction of a new community auditorium.
On behalf of the Normandy students, families, and staff, thank you for your support of this critical initiative. Stay tuned for what is Next in Normandy.