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In-Person Update

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Good morning Seahawk Nation,

Much has happened since last week related to athletes returning to play. Last Wednesday, DIAA reversed their decision and has brought forward their recommendation to the State Board of Education to return to play on September 28th. The State Board of Education will make their decision on the recommendation this Thursday, September 17th at 5:00pm. If in fact, the Board
approves the recommendation (which many believe they will), it will create significant challenges for not only DMA but all schools – on how to safely and effectively manage the 44-page policy on “Return to Play” and how to enforce the strict guidelines to which the athletes are to abide by. Furthermore, as educators, we are deeply concerned as to what message we are sending, by allowing athletes back to play, but not providing in-person academic instruction.

DMA has a hybrid type model to slowly return cadets back to the building, but we have also just gotten online instruction underway and we are acclimating our cadets to this new system. To pivot again so quickly is a burden on everyone and the logistics behind safely returning cadets to the classroom is a tall order.

We all want our cadets back for in-person instruction and back to playing the sports they love, involved in our clubs and interacting with one another, but we also want them to be safe and healthy. In the event, DMA changes course and returns for in-person instruction, it will be done in a staged manner. We will provide you with that plan well in advance. We are also well aware that approximately 50% of our families indicated that they are not comfortable with their cadet returning for in-person instruction, so determining how to educate cadets virtually and in-person makes our job that much more difficult and costly! As a charter school, we do not receive funds like traditional public schools, so the resources to provide both in-person and virtual becomes a whole other animal.

All that being said, you can be guaranteed DMA will make whatever scenario we adopt to work and work well! Minus one incident that I am aware of, occurring on a Zoom for a class last week, our cadets have epitomized professionalism, adaptability, and flexibility and are handling the online classes in a mature manner. As a reminder, any cadet found to be sharing Zoom ID’s
will be dealt with in a swift and severe manner. Our staff has been readily available and working their hardest to ensure all of our cadets know how to navigate the systems, where to find their work, and ensure it is being submitted. The Admin team has been communicating every step of the way via Band, through Schoology, or email, and while there is a lot of information, it is necessary that we are all doing our part to make this work effectively.

Also, if your cadet becomes sick and receives a diagnosis of COVID-19, please email Paige Dolan immediately. If you receive any documentation when they have been cleared, please send that also to keep on record. Nurse Dolan’s email is paige.dolan@dma.k12.de.us

We understand and empathize with all of you that these are trying times and there is not necessarily a right answer to this situation. Politics have gotten involved and truly knowing who to listen to or what information is accurate has become an exercise in futility. We will continue to collaborate with the Red Clay Consolidated School District and the Delaware Charter School Network to do what we feel is in the very best interest of our DMA family.

Have a wonderful week and stay healthy!

Commandant

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