Dear Brewer Schools' Community,
I know many people are watching events unfolding on the national stage, especially in Washington DC following the attack on the U.S. Capitol building.
The Brewer School Department's job is to give our students a sense of security and normalcy, and that is what our staff has dedicated their time to over the past week. It's hard, with COVID-19 also causing disruption and raising anxiety for students, their families, and staff.
All I can say is that there is a dedicated team essentially working 24/7 to keep everyone safe at all times and in all senses of the word.
You will get more communication tomorrow on the rest of our week, and while every family is constantly assessing safety for their home please know that when we open school for in-person learning that we are being conservative and doing so means every indicator points to being able to have our students at school. No place is safer, in a COVID-19 world, that Brewer Community and High Schools, and our 9-12 Alpha program. All our buildings are sprayed, in every classroom and learning area, with approved disinfectant every night of the week and our air filtration is top notch and able to screen virus out of the air constantly all day long. So far there is no evidence that any virus has been passed between people in our school settings. With masking and distancing our people have been safe. The cases we've had have, it appears, been contracted outside of school buildings. It's true that with community spread there can't be any final conclusions here, but every shred of evidence indicates the above is true.
We expected the need to be open and then remote, based on cases, during the winter months. Yet overall we have been, and I think will continue to be, open most days this year. I am also hopefully that spring will see more vaccinations and a chance to be more open still.
As far as national events go, our students and staff are physically safe in our buildings from any social unrest. We have excellent school resource officers who have positive relationships with the students, in a community policing model, and our doors remained locked throughout the day with wonderful, attentive staff monitoring them. I trust our community only wants the best for our schools, but we take full precautions and do not let the community into the buildings during the educational day. Everyone is very cooperative, which we appreciate, but these safety steps are non-negotiable and in place at all times.
It remains an honor to serve our families and students, and to watch staff and the great, dedicated work they do on a daily basis.
We will get past COVID-19 in time, and I am confident our country will come together, using civil discourse and respectful disagreement to find better ways forward. This is and remains true within the Brewer School Department.
Gregg Palmer, Superintendent of Schools