Thanks for a wonderful opening to our school year. While not seamless, we were able to overcome the immediate challenges and set our students up for success. We thank our parents for supporting our efforts, and we thank our teachers and support staff for working through all of the obstacles to get our students into classrooms, to work through transitions, to manage meals, and to encourage everyone with smiles.
As we continue to build relationships with your children, we will begin to address curricular and academic objectives as we expect students to attend to instruction and engage with their learning experiences. Thank you for continuing to encourage your child to participate, to ask questions, to wrestle with problems, to collaborate & cooperate, and to work independently & with others when directed. Our teachers have high expectations for our students; please support us and your children as you talk about school and as you connect with our professionals.
This week, we provided each student with a water bottle that will need to be cleaned before use. Our facilities partners are working on installing bottle fillers in our hallways to supplement the “bubblers” that traditionally have been installed. We suggest that you send your child to school with a full bottle of water; over the course of the day, under the direction of their teachers, students will have an opportunity to refill these bottles from the current bubblers and as they are installed, the new devices. Wash them out overnight and refill in the morning to do it all over again the next day.
Next week we will send students’ computers home with them under the direction of classroom teachers. As students receive these machines, and as they assume responsibility for them, be aware that there are significant costs associated with breakage, loss and theft. There is an implicit agreement that students and families are responsible for these costs; we recommend that families take extra care with these machines to ensure that we do not have to assign and collect fines and charges for repair or replacement. As your child takes home a computer that must be returned daily, do not send the charging cord back and forth. You may keep the cord at home until we finally collect computers in the spring at the end of our school year.
We continue to encourage families to get connected through an Internet provider as we will require some connectivity when students have to access learning experiences from home. Please explore your options since our district will not provide hotspots or other connectivity options for families, unless under very special circumstances. Please understand that the minimal services provided by an Internet service provider are far superior to any hotspot that we can provide.
Please look out for, complete and return to school the Student Health Questionnaire, COVID Testing Authorization, and Student Information forms that we will send home early next week. Please ensure that you provide the latest information on these forms, and if your circumstances change, connect with school to ensure that our records reflect those changes.
Finally, if you are dropping off and picking up students through our car rider queue, thank you for your patience and understanding. Unfortunately, we have exceeded our capacity to manage all of you in our travel lanes and arrival & dismissal areas, requiring vehicles to overflow onto Main Street, blocking travel & creating a significant safety issue. While we understand that families may have to deliver students to school by personal vehicle, we remind all of you that school buses remain a very safe method of transportation and a reasonable option. Please consider sending your child to school on the bus, if possible, to relieve congestion out front and help us keep families, students and our staff safe.