September 18, 2020
I hope this message and update finds each of you doing well and taking care of your physical and mental well-being. We continue to live in interesting and challenging times. Circumstances related to COVID-19 are changing daily, and our school community continues to work diligently to keep our schools clean, safe and secure while providing education opportunities for all: whether it be in-person or virtually.
Our educators and support-staff are thrilled to be back in our buildings and interacting with our students! Today we are completing our 18th day of instruction, and I wanted to give you an update regarding our COVID-19 reported cases and reopening processes. Currently, we have three (3) employees and five (5) students who have contracted the virus since we started school on August 25, 2020. It is important to note that these individuals did not contract the virus at school or while participating in school activities.
As I visit our schools, it is evident, in every case, that all are working collaboratively to continue to serve our students positively and professionally. The interactions I’ve seen between staff, staff and students, and students with their peers, have been inspirational. We love our students! While visiting a kindergarten class last week, I helped a student tie his shoe. Just that simple interaction, his masked smile and sweet “thank you” was enough to make me a little teary-eyed and so grateful to be doing what I do. I have seen dozens of social media posts from our educators and parents recounting experiences like mine, and I am inspired by and appreciative of them all. The following posts are examples of just two of these experiences:
“We have officially made it through the first two weeks of school! Woo Hoo! I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back in the classroom surrounded by the sweetest class doing what I love! I want to give a shout out to the best team ever who have worked tirelessly by my side to get 2nd grade…back up and running smoothly and safely. They are the best, I love each of them so much and feel lucky to work with them.” ~Melanie Harris, 2nd grade, Iron Springs Elementary
“Dear Parents, Your kiddos are just absolutely the best. Seriously. My classes are like having a bucket full of glitter every day. So much sparkle. And then, even after they leave, I find little sparkles everywhere. Sometimes in the notes they leave, sometimes in their kind words, sometimes in their laughter and their smiles, sometimes in their excitement over the cute boy who asked them to HOCO (or the cute girl who said yes), etc. If you have never had a dancer in your home or crafted with glitter, you might not understand how glitter works. And if you have, you know that even when you try to get rid of it, the sparkle always remains. I don’t care what awesome sparkle-sucking trick you try to do, the magic, the shimmer, the absolute sparkle persists. So, thank you a gazillion times for filling their buckets so they are willing to help fill mine. I know I’m going to have the best year ever despite COVID, because I have glitter all around me.” – Joy Coates, CHS, Mathematics
We have awesome educators and support staff serving our community youth! Of course, given all that we are working to do and the changing dynamics of that work, there will be needed reflection and adjustments: this is happening daily. We are grateful for our families: their patience, help and understanding as well as willingness to communicate. This communication has been invaluable and our hope and intent is that it will continue.
Please stay safe and healthy, and THANK YOU all!