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Dorchester County Public Schools

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Superintendent's Press Release

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An Open Letter to the Dorchester County Public Schools Community 3-3-2021

03 March 2021

An Open Letter to the Dorchester County Public Schools Community

Good afternoon Dorchester County Public Schools Community,

We have entered our 4th week of hybrid learning, with a safe proportional number of students in buildings four days each week. The number of COVID cases among students and staff remains small, and the contact tracing conducted by the Health Department indicates no transmission through school attendance. My own observations while in school buildings is that youngsters have been doing well at adhering to safety protocols while in school buildings, with the same occasional “cover your nose” mask reminders we all need from time to time. Thank you to our custodial staff who have remained diligent with cleaning and disinfecting areas to keep everyone safe.

While we have been able to keep COVID attacks at bay, we have not been so fortunate with attacks on our system-wide internet. Virtual learning means that our system now supports over 5,500 DCPS devices, and any one of those devices can unknowingly pick up a virus or other destructive code through an app accessed by the user and spread it throughout our system. Obviously, we already have significant guards against such attacks, but the attacks over the last week were at such a high and unremitting level it could have caused critical failures to our instruction provided to students if left unchecked. We thank our partners at Bay Country Communications (BCC) and Inacom who worked with DCPS staff into the night and throughout the weekend to address the issues caused by attacks on our system from around the world. We hope that the steps we have taken in conjunction with BCC and Inacom will offer further protection; the trick is trying to stay one step ahead of those who wish to do harm to the instruction of students.

Individual schools are constantly reviewing and reassessing the situation regarding numbers of students in the building and the all-important safety protocols. Several schools have decided they are able to accommodate more children safely, allowing them to have the entire A group and the entire B group attend two days per week. While this is a short-term goal for all our schools, please be assured that it is only allowed when the increase in numbers on any given day can be managed safely.

For next week, DCPS will stay the course on with our present status of our re-opening plan.

Stay safe and healthy,

W. David Bromwell

Superintendent

Dorchester County Public Schools