HOPE – The pivot to all virtual instruction on four of the six campuses of the Hope Public Schools drew discussion Monday night from the Hope Public Schools Board of Education.

HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart explained the move from the district’s on-site and virtual instruction mix to all virtual instruction at Clinton Primary School, Beryl Henry Elementary School, Hope Academy of Public Service and Yerger Middle School was the result of COVID-19 concerns among faculty and staff.

“The process of making the decision is gut-wrenching for everybody involved,” Dr. Hart said. “It’s too early in the pivot to know how well it has worked.”

He said the key question for building principals has been one of sustainability.

“Are we quitting or is it necessary?” Hart posed. “We have tried to quantify our decisions; not out of emotion but from data.”

He said typically any time a campus has more than 30 percent of its certified faculty absent it becomes almost impossible to provide continuing instruction. Hart said the four campuses which have pivoted to all-virtual instruction showed almost 40 percent of certified staff affected and 35 percent of support staff affected by quarantine factors.

“We’re having to make decisions, not because of student positivity, but faculty positivity,” Hart said.

Hart issued a districtwide memo on Monday which addresses guidance on COVID-19 best practices and the need to raise awareness during the pivot period and coming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday breaks.

He said only Hope High School and the Creative Action Team School remain in on-site status, in part because of campus-wide awareness of best practices.

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