Cape Henlopen schools will move to remote instruction Friday

LEWES — Cape Henlopen district schools will pause hybrid instruction for three days due to “operational challenges.”

“Unfortunately, the number of necessary quarantines for the positive cases have increased over the last few days,” Superintendent Bob Fulton wrote in a letter to families. “This increase in quarantines, along with a lack of substitute teacher coverage in the classrooms, has caused operational challenges for our schools.”

The district will move to remote learning Friday through Tuesday, Dec. 22. Hybrid instruction is slated to resume Jan. 4, following the district’s winter break.

The decision comes after the district heard from several educators who cited concerns during a Dec. 10 school board meeting. At the time, Mr. Fulton said the district wasn’t facing operational difficulties that warranted shutting down in-person education, but acknowledged that could change.

Earlier this month, Gov. John Carney recommended that districts shift to remote instruction for the period of Dec. 14 through Jan. 11, but that came with a caveat: if leadership felt the schools weren’t facing operational strain, hybrid instruction could continue.

Many districts opted to follow that recommendation and moved to remote learning, but others — like Cape — have intentions to offer hybrid instruction as much as possible in that month-long window.

In the letter Monday, Mr. Fulton said that the district will continue to monitor its COVID-19 and staffing data, but the intention was to reopen the first week of January.

“We want you to know that these decisions are never made lightly, and that we will continue to do everything we can to keep our students and staff safe and in school as much as possible,” he wrote.

Monday marked the second week that Delaware had been all red in its school opening criteria, showing significant spread of COVID-19 statewide. The state tracks three metrics — new cases per 100,000 people; percent of positive tests and average daily hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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