Merritt Academy Latest News

Merritt News 05-27-2020

It is my hope that this update continues to find your family safe and healthy. Since my last communication, the Governor has begun to act on the phased approach to relaxing the stay home order reopening different businesses and industry to restart our economy. Just last week we have seen portions of the northern part of the state reopen before the holiday weekend with strict social distancing guidelines. This is a step in the right direction. Our top priority, besides graduating our seniors, right now is discussing the best way to tackle what next fall looks like. Make no mistake that our desire is to resume in the fall with our normal school routine but we will work to have alternate plans as necessary. Every option we are discussing involves keeping our students as safe as possible with a thorough cleaning of our schools occurring daily and a deep cleaning happening twice weekly being one of our main focuses. Additionally, we are consulting with school leaders from across the state and reviewing plans that are being put in place both nationally and internationally as we look to implement the best practices possible while also being able to allow for some local control.

If you are following the media in recent days you have certainly heard of the estimates of the drastic shortfall in the state’s economy and its specific impact on the School Aid Fund. The recent revenue estimates are projecting a shortfall of 1.25 Billion in FY20 (the current budget year we are in). This equates to a loss of approximately $700 per student ($3.6 million) at a point where we are only five weeks from the end of the fiscal year for our district and reductions are near impossible. Additionally, the projections show a shortfall of 1.1 Billion in the School Aid Fund for next year FY21. This equates to a loss of approximately $650 per student ($3.3 million). We are certain, like every other district in the state, that we will be facing a significant loss in state aid but remain hopeful that there will be additional aid from the Federal Government to backfill some of these shortfalls. As we await more definite budget information in the coming weeks, we are working to plan for reductions across our system. Our prioritization efforts will work to keep reductions as far from the classroom as possible. As those efforts continue our building leadership is finalizing their plans for staffing, scheduling, and the placement of students. Publishing official school times and establishing the school calendar for next year have been delayed by the pandemic. We will be taking the necessary steps to finalize and share this important information with you as soon as possible. I will certainly keep you informed as this work continues.

Here are a couple other news and notes to share:
1. The last day of school this year is June 12th. Our remote learning program will continue over the final couple weeks of this school year and you should expect final activities and assignments will be wrapping up the week of June 8th.
2. We are planning some days soon where all students will be able to come up to school and get any personal belongings, drop chrome books off, and to return other school materials that they might have. Please look for this information and schedule to come out very soon.
3. Starting June 1st and for the entire month of June our office hours and call hours will be Monday-Thursday 9:00-12:00. Office staff will be available to assist families via phone during these days and times, but the building will remain closed to the public.