Posted March 19, 2020 • 1:30 PM
We appreciate the patience and support you have shown as we navigate these uncharted waters. Several weeks ago, we began planning for a possible school closure. While we didn’t expect this to be a simple effort, I’m not sure anyone could have predicted just how monumental the task would be.
Our entire faculty and staff have come together and are doing an extraordinary job putting plans and processes in place to continue to support your children in the new environment we are currently experiencing. Their commitment is awe-inspiring.
Our food service and transportation teams quickly rallied and are providing meals to children throughout the community. Our buildings and grounds staff are keeping our schools and offices sparkling clean and sanitized. Our technology team is mobilizing to support the significantly increased needs of our instructional staff as they move more work to online platforms. Our teachers are transforming their classroom lessons, which were designed to be face-to-face, into alternative forms of delivery that are still meaningful to your children. And our administrative team and support staff are both leading and supporting these efforts every step of the way. I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am.
As you know from my automated call, this Friday teachers will be preparing work for students to complete at home beginning next week. This work will be ready by 9 AM on Monday, March 23, and will be accessible on teachers’ websites and/or Schoology accounts (used by older students, in Grades 6-12). In most cases, this work is designed to keep the students engaged in learning and prevent an academic slide over the lengthy closure. Although the week of March 23-27 is officially noted on the calendar as Spring Break, we encourage students to complete this work. Keeping engaged in learning, and retaining some sort of structure and connection to their academics during this closure, is important to their long-term academic success.
Should the school closure be extended by the State, teachers will be moving instruction online as of March 31st. At this time, we would like to know if your family is in need of a device that would allow your child to participate in online learning. Please contact your child’s principal if you need a device to access the internet. We will be sending out further information and instructions for accessing the online environment early next week.
If you do not have internet access at home, please be aware that two companies are offering free internet services (with some conditions) to help families during the current situation. Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Comcast is offering free internet for 60 days to help low-income families who do have access to internet at home through its Internet Essentials program. To see if you qualify, click on https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19 or call 1-855-846-8376. Since enrolling in these services may take several days, we hope that families that are interested in obtaining internet service will start the process soon.
In the meantime, if your family needs “hard” copies of any assignments, please let us know so we can provide you with a learning packet. Please contact a building administrator, preferably by e-mail, or leave your child’s principal a voicemail if you need this support. Administrators will be in their school building on Friday, March 20, but may not be in their buildings after that for some time.
If you need to retrieve medications or your child’s health apparatus from the school, you can stop by the health office in your child’s school on Friday, March 20, between 8:30 AM and 1 PM. School nurses or administrators will be on hand to assist you. After that time, the buildings will not be open. If you need to arrange a different time, please contact your building administrator, who will try to accommodate you (though we cannot guarantee this will be possible). [PLEASE NOTE THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED]
As you all know, this is a highly fluid situation that continues to change at warp speed. We understand that the uncertainty is difficult for everyone, and we want to thank you for your support, adaptability, and the commitment you have shown to your children during this incredibly challenging time. Although none of us can predict what the coming weeks will bring, with certainty we know that our children are best supported when we all work together. Thank you for being our partners in this journey.