Good evening students, staff, families and community,
As many of you are aware we have made the difficult decision to begin the 2020-2021 school year with all students in remote learning. I want to assure you this decision was not made lightly, and we are aware of its tremendous impact on our families and community. The school district is at the heart of this community, and we hear and feel the pain that a decision not to open school for face to face instruction to start the year causes for so many. It is not only our families feeling this pain but also those of us who work in education and look forward to the daily interaction with students as a key component of our profession.
As staff begin returning and preparing for the year, we are committed to following all safety protocols of the Department of Health as a way to show that we are committed to being a part of the solution to safely open schools and return students to the building. These are the same protocols you can expect your students to participate in when they return to the buildings, such as daily symptom screening, mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, and cleaning.
Our staff are laying the foundation for an improved virtual delivery this week in preparation for a return to learning in the virtual world. What we have heard from many families is the need for flexibility during the day to allow them to create a new schedule for their families that incorporates both student learning and parent/guardian responsibilities. For students in grades PK-5, we are working on finalizing details this week that would allow students to be marked in attendance by attending a virtual session or reviewing pre-recorded content and completing the assignments within a given day. This may involve families communicating with their teacher about the model that best meets their needs, so we can ensure consistency for both teachers and students. For students in grades 6-12 the live sessions, aligned with the content and schedule, are critical to student engagement and attendance and thus flexibility for those families would involve an independent self-paced option. This option would require a commitment from families to support the learning of their student for remaining on track with adequate progress. If one of these more flexible options is of interest to you please join us at 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2020 for our virtual Question and Answer session to hear more details.
Finally, tonight I want to thank all of you who have reached out to me with your challenges, stories of need and assistance, and your support during this difficult time. These are challenging times. I have been faced with making decisions I could never have imagined, but the support I have received only further strengthens my belief that this is where I am supposed to be. It is for a reason and purpose bigger than any one of us; to unite this community and the families we serve around a drive and passion to educate students to the best of our abilities, and to set the example in our county, state and nation of what can happen when strong leaders unite with strong communities and make a commitment to the greater good. I am so blessed to be here and look forward to what lies ahead, because I know we will rise above our current circumstances and succeed together. For every student, staff member, family and community represented in our district, may we find strength in our unity. It is a great night to be a Borderite, and as always, a great night to be your superintendent.
Dr. Christopher Granger, Superintendent
Every Student. Every Day. In a New Way!