End of the Year Update

Posted by Leighangela Brady on 5/20/2020 9:15:00 PM

When schools suddenly closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no one imagined that we would still be in shelter-in-place status. Our hearts are saddened as the end of the year approaches, and the reality sets in that we will not be able to reopen even to close out the year with our students. Sadder, are the milestones of end-of-year activities and promotions that we must now reimagine.

For our sixth graders, we are so proud of their accomplishments! In addition to a keepsake video, we are planning to hold drive through promotions at each of our schools to wave to our students and celebrate within the health parameters. Should health restrictions be lifted by the County Health Department in the next two weeks, we may also invite students into the school to “walk the stage” and take those cherished remembrance photos. Preschool and kindergarten teachers are also planning something special for their anticipated promotions specific to each school site. Your site principal will be reaching out soon with more details on these events for those of you with children in these grades.

While these last few months have been difficult for all, I want to thank you for your support during this time. Our staff worked hard to provide our students with devices, materials, and meals; and our teachers applied their expertise to teaching in virtual classrooms through distance learning. Your partnership and support at home made all of this possible. We are happy to report high levels of engagement by students; despite lots of obstacles to navigate. Because this was an unplanned closure, we felt strongly that student grades be held harmless during this time. Hopefully you received and reviewed our grading policy through one of our many communication tools such as School Messenger, Class Dojo, PeachJar, or on our COVID-19 updates page on our website at www.nsd.us.

Finally, with so many things still uncertain, we have created a taskforce to review steps needed to reopen school; and will be carefully considering our calendar to determine the best date to open school with the confidence that we can do so safely. Please look for a parent survey that will be coming out shortly and be sure to provide us with feedback to help inform our decisions. Arrangements will be made for students that commit to returning in the fall (on this survey) to keep their student devices for the summer; and will be given summer access to continue learning using our suite of online programs. Also, if you will be returning to National School District for the 2020-21 school year, we will be asking for you to fill out intent to return paperwork in June. If your family will not be returning, please contact your principal to arrange a date and time to turn in your device as it will no longer work after June 3, 2020.

Again, we thank you for your partnership to provide the best education for your children. These are dynamic times, and we are here to support you and your families through them.