Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:
During this time of school closure, I have read many articles concerning the Coronavirus, especially as it related to education. I would like to share a few issues that parents/guardians have shared with the newspapers.
One grandmother, the guardian of a 6 and 9-year-old, was unsure how to help her grandchildren with their “online curriculum”. She stated that she could not explain many of the concepts the students were being asked to complete. Another parent, a single mom, felt overwhelmed at the task of working all day then staying up most of the night to ensure her kids completed the massive amount of work their school was sending home.
- · I understand the concerns, but we have to finish this year academically. There is NO REPLACEMENT for face to face interaction between a student and a teacher, so to follow the language used by the Georgia Department of Education, we will mostly provide “Supplemental Learning” approach. What we need from the parents/guardians is STRUCTURE. That is, you provide a set time and place for your child to learn each day (Monday – Friday). Along with you, we will provide the guidance. Teachers will have a designated time to be available for you or the student.
· We will not overwhelm the student with work. However, the Georgia Department of Education does require each student grades 4 – 12 to receive a numerical grade. They have waived many requirements (I.e. testing, etc.) but they do still require a final grade. Grade levels up to 4th can use letter grades or pass/fail.
· As a parent, to make this work, provide STRUCTURE and support, and stay in contact with your teacher. We will not overwhelm you with demands.
From my reading I would also like to share a third parent’s concern with you. Her daughter is a senior. The parent was extremely frustrated that her daughter was missing out on “her senior year” with no Spring sports/activities, no prom, and graduation ceremonies questionable. The parent went on to explain that her daughter decided not to go to prom her junior year in order to make her senior prom more special. Now she was faced with having no prom. The frustrated mother closed by giving a piece of advice: “The lesson in this is to live now … for tomorrow is definitely uncertain.”
- · In all likelihood, there will be no Spring sports. Our prom is being rescheduled in May, as are many other activities. But, with the seriousness of this outbreak, activities are becoming less likely by the day. Graduation remains scheduled for Saturday May 23rd. If safety concerns cause us to make a change, WE WILL MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT to have a ceremony when it is deemed safe. THE SAFETY OF STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF IS OUR FIRST PRIORITY.
- · I’m sure the mother’s advice wasn’t meant the way I took it. There will be a tomorrow. We must use today to prepare for that tomorrow. Seniors (as well as everyone else), even though you are losing a great deal of your year, you must take the final steps to be ready for tomorrow.
In closing, let me leave you with two final points. We will more specifically address some questions/concerns as well as provide specific directions in our upcoming post from principals, counselors, and board office personnel. Finally, I would like to provide you with one of the quotes I try to follow in my life (as an alternate to the mother’s quote from above). “THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE; LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.” In others words, this is the situation that we have, and we must make the most of it. Enjoy your family today. Grow stronger as a family through activities that you might not have done otherwise. At the end of the day, isn’t life really about family …. not school?