Moving Forward

Posted by Charles Sampson on 4/3/2020

Thank you for another successful week of remote learning. Although no one could have foreseen our current circumstance, we have transitioned to this new paradigm as thoughtfully as possible to meet the needs of all students. This is a dynamic and evolving time. Educators across the country have been called upon to maintain a sense of normalcy for our children during a uniquely abnormal situation. We are feeding hundreds of students, have significant numbers of students who have parents who have lost their jobs or had their pay reduced as the news is plastered with images of portable morgues and a relentless focus on how many individuals have passed away due to COVID-19. During this crisis, we are doing what we can to maintain a sense of normalcy for our own families while working with our students.

Our communities are in flux.

It is critical we err on the side of our students during this time. As we close marking period 3, which consisted of mostly learning in the schoolhouse, we have been guided by two simple goals: Do no harm to any student and provide as much support as possible to our students, faculty and staff. In order to do this, we must break from many of our traditional approaches to accountability.

No child’s “grade” should be negatively impacted as a result of a global pandemic. We are implementing procedures for our grading system founded upon that belief and ask that we all internalize that premise moving forward. We are being called upon to be the best versions of ourselves as educators during an incredibly difficult time. I have a deep faith in this school community to meet that call for all children. 

Guidance for marking period 4 will be forthcoming. It will look nothing like our normal grading procedures. Nothing about this pandemic is normal for any of us. We will do the very best to do all that we can for students. Please remember that student who hasn’t worked to capacity or hasn’t engaged in remote learning fully may be stuck at home in a terrible family situation.

They may have had parents or guardians or family members who are sick or have lost their jobs.

They may be worried about where their next meal is coming from.

They may have no adult in the household capable of assisting them with schoolwork.

They may be helping younger siblings to manage their days.

They may have 1 device or a borrowed device for a large family.

They may be traumatized by what they see on television and social media each day.

We will continue to adapt and continually improve our processes to manage this unique situation and provide the best possible experience for our students. Thank you for all that you have already done and for all that I know you will do to help all students. 

Take care of yourself. Take care of your families.