April 2, 2020
Dear families, students and staff,
I wanted to reach out to all of you regarding the recent COVID-19 update and information that has continued to evolve. I know that you are all working extremely hard trying to balance school work, structures, and parenting, while in the midst of balancing your own work, health, and life demands caused by this pandemic. My hope is that we will be able to strike a balance and take a few deep breaths during spring break.
This is an unprecedented moment in our world’s history; one of the most important things we can do is to grant one another grace. While we have several families who are ready and able to highly engage in remote learning, many of our families are struggling with the balance of parenting, schooling-at-home, and their own employment uncertainty. We have families who are losing jobs, losing homes, have basic food needs, and needing help now more than ever. Striking a balance with academic enrichment can be challenging. Public education was not equipped to transform the traditional learning model into an entirely different institution overnight, but our staff continues to rise to the challenge: delivering meals, providing child care for essential workers, and preparing continuous learning opportunities for students. Our teachers have taken teachable moments to a whole new level; demonstrating integrity, creativity, and innovation when it comes to academic enrichment and outreach. In turn, we ask for your patience with our teachers and staff, who are doing their absolute best to take care of our students, in the midst of the challenges caused for them and their families by COVID-19.
Our staff have created and delivered at-home academic enrichment opportunities for continued learning with their families and have made it a focus to remain socially connected to each and every family. Middle and high school students should be checking their school email for messages from their teachers, guiding them toward where their learning activities are found. For access to your child’s at-home engagement activities, you can visit our web site by clicking here. If your child has not heard from his or her teacher, please email that teacher directly.
Although we are working to provide families and staff with technology assistance, we are mindful of the educational opportunity gaps that persist when we rely solely on technology. If you are in need of technology support, and have not already submitted a request to your child’s teacher or building principal, please email our technology department at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have partnered with several local businesses to identify free drive-up Wi-Fi hotspots. For more information, click here.
For our seniors, we know this has been a difficult time for you. We will do our very best to get you the most updated information. Right now, know that we care about you and miss you.
As the weeks progress and all the kinks are worked out, learning from home will become more natural for you, our staff, and your family. I wanted to share a powerful line in Paul Parker's book, The Courage to Teach. He writes, "The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts, the place where intellect and emotion and spirit will converge in the human self." Give yourself and your children time to adjust and time to decompress. Last week, Superintendent Chris Reykdal gave a compelling message about grace and hope; click here to listen to his powerful message.
Many families have asked about our services over spring break. Childcare and Meal services (breakfast and lunch) continue to be available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at our “drop zones” strategically located throughout the district. For times and location, click here. When you visit our food drop zones, it’s important to remember to socially distance yourself from other families. This will keep you, our staff, and our volunteers healthy so that we can continue providing these services. We will continue with both childcare and meal services over spring break, April 6-10th. In addition, we will continue to partner with COAL and Roslyn Grocery to distribute Friday Weekend Nutrition Food Bags at drop zones. If you are interested in receiving these services, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For families, we ask that you take “COVID-cation” from academic learning. This is a great opportunity to virtually visit a museum, zoo, national park, or tropical destination, with your children. It’s also a wonderful and well deserved opportunity for all of us to take a collective deep breath. Everyone needs a rest and we hope that you are able to rejuvenate.
In closing, I wanted to leave you with this. Last week, I was reminded of the importance of the work we are doing. A parent reached out and shared her deep appreciation for the lunch service we were continuing to provide, "Seeing our children flock to receive breakfast, lunches and weekend nutrition delivery brought tears to my eyes." She made a point to thank our school volunteers for “being a bright light in our community” in a time of uncertainty. We miss our students and know they, too, miss our staff. We hope that this next week you are able to put a little sunshine in your pocket and just dance (click for a smile)!
Thank you for being our bright light.
With deep appreciation,