I hope you are doing well. I cannot believe this is my April principal’s blog, but here we go. This entire experience falls into the unchartered water category. I appreciate all the support as the schools try to navigate this as best as we can. Dr. Sroufe is going to send out a video that details many of the pieces that I am about to share. Here is a high school specific break down:
All students are going to shift to teacher-created online module learning when we get back from spring break. There will be eight modules total and students will have an end-of-course product to complete. Like many of the surrounding localities and universities, we are shifting to a “pass” or “fail” model for the second semester. Work prior to March 13th, we are not going to worry about at this point. I wouldn’t be able to collect it and I am not sure how kids would make up tests and quizzes. The emphasis will be on essential knowledge. What do the kids need to know to be successful in the years that follow?
Students in grades 9-11 must work on the modules and complete the end-of- course product to earn a credit/pass in the class. We are starting to teach new material. I know many parents have reached out to me frustrated that their children are having a hard time with the enrichment and remediation learning piece. I place my own kids in this same category. Like me, please emphasize that we now need to get plugged in, if we have been tuned out. Grades 9-11 students will be reloaded into coursework from second semester again and will earn a “fail” in the class, if we do not do the work. Bad idea. Students need to check their email and Schoology accounts daily. If your student has individual questions or you have individual questions, please ask. We are still working daily. Our food service and transportation folks are rock stars and are still distributing food. There are gaggles of us making home material deliveries on Fridays to those without internet. If needed, I am always available for a “fireside chat” with the kids if they need some motivation. The only exception is during Spring Break. I have asked staff to try to pause. There have been a lot of behind the scenes pieces going on and people need a spring break. Our kids need a spring break. You need a spring break.
I have fielded many questions about prom and graduation for seniors. Seniors will earn diplomas. Please do not worry. Our seniors will be completing the eight modules and the end-of-course product like the 9th-11th graders. A piece that is different for seniors is that the state has been generous with waiving many of the requirements. There are time limitations for seniors because of the state-wide closing of school buildings. However, I cannot say for sure about prom or a commencement ceremony. I want both. My staff is planning for both; however, we need to wait to see where we are as a nation health wise. I cannot fathom not having our commencement ceremony. Herff Jones is mailing graduation material to our kids. We are planning on an event pending a declaration from the state that would hinder it. I do not know dates or time or specifics. We are going to stick to the date already given. I am trying to be patient and control facets that I can at this juncture. I hope you are doing this too. Otherwise, we would drive ourselves crazy.
Wrapping up, I have always appreciated our community. For instance, Mr. Carsley is helping me send some positive weekly mojo courtesy of our marquee. People in general are just so kind and helpful. This event has just reassured me that I am right where I need to be. I promise you that in the midst of all of this uneasiness that we are going to make the best out of this situation. Decisions that are made have always been and will continue to be student-driven. I miss the kids terribly. I love them bunches and cannot wait to see them again. Here’s to the Month of May blog and bluer skies. Stay well. As always, GO COLONIALS!