TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE!
The 2020-2021 school year brings about many unknowns and will most definitely present numerous challenges for our school community. However, as Albert Einstein once said, “In the Midst of Every Crisis, Lies Great Opportunity!” I encourage our schools to rise above the challenges we face by focusing on solutions and not the problem. This will require all of us to work together as a collective team, united to do the very best for the students we serve. Our sense of mission cannot be the opening of school but doing all that we can to stay in school.
Indicative of how our school community functions and the standards we operate from, we are setting the bar very high. Our district Reentry to School Operational Plan puts forth the necessary precautions and supports to maintain the health and safety of our students and employees. We have also developed a model reflective of the varied levels of concern and provides options to parents and students. Our plan is structured, and expectations are clearly defined but we also realize at any point in time we may need to pivot and adjust our strategies. As your Superintendent, please know my primary focus and guiding principles will always be the health and safety of students. In collaboration with our Board of Education, I will not hesitate to make the difficult decisions when it comes to the health and safety of our students.
Currently, over seventy percent of our students will be returning for in-person learning. Having students physically present in school in the healthiest manner possible requires us to accept the premise that school will not look the same for the foreseeable future. The protocols outlined in our plan are practical, feasible, and appropriate for child and adolescent developmental stages given the challenges of operating school in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Understand, the opportunity to implement in-person learning is contingent on our ability to minimize exposure to our students and employees, and the strategies we have put in place gives us the best hope to accomplish that goal. With that said, we all must do our part in adhering to the protocols.
Equally important, we have approximately thirty percent of our students opting for distance learning. Based on lessons learned during the school closure this past Spring, our distance learning model will be much improved and incorporate a learning process that is more consistent across classrooms, grade levels and schools. The model incorporates effective strategies to provide direct instruction, a more efficient method of accessing instructional lessons as well as the submission of assignments. However, this model requires a true commitment from our students, parents, and teachers to function as a partnership between home and school. This process will also provide an avenue for students to seamlessly transition back to school for in-person learning as the risks associated with this pandemic lessen.
Our success this year will be measured by how well our school community comes together and functions as a TEAM. I truly believe as a collective body of ordinary people committed to the mission of serving our students we can and will have an extraordinary school year!
Jim Brown, Superintendent of Schools