A Message From Our Superintendent

September 10, 2021

Dear RASD Students, Parents/Guardians and Community,

     Thank you for a great week. We knew it was going to be a challenge with the Mask Order going into effect on Tuesday.   I want to take a moment to thank our students, staff, parents and community members. Thank you for not threatening school administrators or school board members; for understanding that the fight is not with the District but rather Harrisburg and your representation there. Thank you for valuing our teachers and students by not creating substantial disruptions in the school environments. Your actions have set an example for future generations and it shows other communities in the state how to handle such controversy with class and respect. As you will see in the attached health and safety update, our school based covid transmission is low.

      We are seeing very few positive people in our school buildings. People are vigilant about staying home if they do not feel well. Students and staff are taking great care to practice social distancing of 3-6 ft and hand washing. Nearly 98% of our students are complying with the face covering order. As a reminder to help protect our student athletes, guests will be required to wear face coverings at indoor athletic events. If you choose no t to, you are more than welcome to watch the event via a live stream feed. Athletes do not have to wear face coverings while participating on the courts and fields but they do have to wear them on the bench or in the bleachers indoors. We want to keep our students and staff safe! We have some traditional fun activities planned for our students, families, and community: in person instruction, field trips, extra-curriculars, athletics, homecoming, spirit week, a bonfire, pep assemblies and open house to name just a few.  We look forward to holding them as planned.

      Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me about the order. I have listened to many of your frustrations, points of view and positions. I know that there is much about the mitigation strategies throughout this pandemic that has not made sense. But I truly believe that we can all agree, we do not want to lose a student, staff member, or community member to COVID and we want our schools to stay open for in person instruction. While I am very concerned about the fact that the social fiber of our small rural community could be torn apart at any moment, as a result of the division that is being created by government and legislators regarding a public health matter, I take comfort in knowing that WE are a community of class and respect. Please visit our FB page, website and your school email for an update Friday afternoon. If anyone would like to be added to a community email update, please email me at mcmahonheather@rasd.us with your email. If you would like to share your perspective with me or you have any questions about the order, please email me or call me at 814-773-3146. Be Well Elkers!

The link to this week’s RASD Health and Safety update regarding COVID can be found here.

Heather A. McMahon-Vargas, Superintendent