Friday April 3 Letter From AOS 91 Superintendent Dr. Marc Gousse
Dear Students, Families and Friends,
I wish to start by thanking each of you for the patience and strong support you have displayed for our staff as we work to the best of our ability during such an uncertain time in our lives.
The flexibility and cooperation you have provided in our response to this health crisis is important and a key to the success of our work. Our teachers, nurses, counselors, support staff, partners and administrators have all risen to the occasion and provided a positive pathway to support for our students and I am very proud of their work. We appreciate, and want you to know how much they are valued, respected and needed.
Where do we go from here?
The next days and weeks will undoubtedly bring obstacles and more uncertainly to our lives. With that in mind, please know our foremost priority remains on health, safety and providing support and resources for essential needs. Our work in teaching and learning will continue however, we must collectively strive to continue to navigate any obstacles with open minds and hearts.
Given Governor Mills' "stay at home order" and directive to maintain closure of schools through Friday, May 01st, the MDIRSS AOS # 91 is amending the closure time line to coincide with this date. All MDIRSS AOS # 91 will remain closed and utilize remote learning through Friday, May 01st 2020. Additionally, I will be providing an update on plans for the April break following consultation with MDIRSS AOS # 91 school board chairs early next week.
Although we remain optimistic, and will continue to plan for our imminent return to our schools, we must also remain cautious and mindful that our return date will ultimately be determined by the course of this virus. Our school district will continue to base recommendations, decisions and actions using scientific data, research and multiple, credible sources (CDC, MDOE, etc..) in vetting any considerations involving the safety and well being of our students, staff and communities.
In support of remote teaching and learning, please find the following information:
We value your partnership in ensuring our students are
- connected to school,
- engaged in learning, and
- able to maintain skills.
We know that students will benefit from engaging with academic materials daily in order to maintain skills. We aim to provide a balance of online and offline activities with built-in support, challenge and choice.
We also want students to have the opportunity to connect with teachers and classmates. We will use Google Meets to have virtual class meetings. Check teacher web pages for information on when these will take place. You will need student emails and passwords to help them log in. NOTE: Students should be dressed, in a quiet place and ready to “attend” class. Please set up a work space for your student.
Teachers will be reaching out to students and parents by email. Please check your email frequently and help your child(ren) to check theirs.
- We recognize the value of structures and routines. The proposed schedules are offered as a way to structure students’ and families’ time to include opportunities to engage in learning and frequent breaks. We recognize that not all students will be able to keep up the proposed schedule every day. Any effort to maintain skills is appreciated.
- Set goals: setting daily goals for what your child will accomplish can help to make tasks meaningful and build confidence for students. Customizing and then turning the proposed schedule into a checklist can help keep students focused.
- Students do not need to complete all of the activities and we recognize that not every activity is appropriate for every child. Teachers will make suggestions and directions. Encourage your child to choose something else if frustration level is high and let their teacher know. NOTE: We are NOT trying to replicate an exact school day. Please modify the schedule as appropriate for your family.
- Reading books, magazines, etc. offline/playing board games/making art offline are important ways to keep brains active and give eyes a rest from reading/working online. Set up “no screen” times for your children.
Please contact teachers if you have any questions. We are hoping that the transition to full remote learning goes smoothly but we appreciate your patience as we work out any issues that arise. Thank you for being champions for learning!
I wish to close by sharing how much I relish, and miss, personally seeing, and engaging our students and staff; we can all acknowledge the irony of how this unanticipated isolation has provided the unique opportunity to bring us together...
Thank you for your continued comments, feedback and support. Please take care my friends - Stay home - stay safe , be healthy, safe, assume good intent and remember, above all be kind and support those closest to you.
As a reminder, information and resources for food and remote learning may be found on our district website (mdirss.org) and on school pages as well. Please stay tuned for further updates and communications soon.
Marc Edward Gousse, Ed.D.
MDIRSS AOS # 91Superintendent of Schools