Posted: March 29, 2020
Hello Shortreed Families.
Because I won’t be seeing all of you tomorrow, I wanted to send a video version of the Week Ahead newsletter that typically comes out on Sunday nights.
I know we often try to put out some funny or interesting videos for the community… this one is a more serious one. As we start to figure out this new situation in the weeks ahead, we will try to send out some way better videos – especially for the kids.
I want to start out by first acknowledging the many essential service workers in the Shortreed community – we have a number of parents and caregivers working at hospitals, care homes, emergency services, grocery stores, pharmacies, dollar stores, transportation, various municipalities, and many more – thank you for all you continue to do to keep us safe and healthy during this time.
I want to also say that our hearts go out those who have been laid off or reduced in hours, or who have lost income. And to all those who have loved ones who have been ill, we are sending positive thoughts and thinking of you at this difficult time.
This is not the spring break anybody had planned and this version of the week ahead is not what I would have ever imagined having to send out.
As was shared in the letter from the district a few days ago, this week is all about connection and care.
Our staff will be connecting with each other over the phone and via online conferencing on Mon and Tues. Then, during mid-week, teachers and support staff will reach out to each one of our families to check in with you – to find out how you are all doing and if there is anything we can do to help. Please note that some staff will call from the school while others may choose to call from their personal devices. So if you see a blocked call in the middle of the week, please answer.
We hope that these calls will allow you to be able to provide us with some important information and ideas to best meet your family where you are at now and in the weeks ahead.
Each of your families will be in a different place when it comes to this emergency learning at home. Some of you might be ready to do some more formal learning at home. Others will prefer to spend some more time as a family with the freedom to create, play, and explore. And others may still be working full time and have older siblings looking after younger ones or have children at daycare.
We want you to know that wherever your family is at right now, that is where you need to be and we will support you from there.
Please don’t feel that you will need to “homeschool” your child. Whatever you feel is working for your family… continue to do this. You didn’t choose this situation… nobody Chose this… we are experiencing a global pandemic so we are not sure what this emergency learning will look like at home… so this week is about our staff taking the time to reach out to every Shortreed family to connect and find out how you are doing and how we can help support you with any of your needs.
A reminder that the school is closed for students and families at this time. Later this week, I will send out an email to you all to determine if there are urgent items (for example, medications) that need to be picked up from the school. To ensure physical and social distancing, You will then be able to schedule a time to come and pick these items up.
Next week, you will be able to schedule a time to pick up clothing and other items that have been left at the school. For school supplies, we are trying to find out a way to help with the collection of these as many classrooms share the supplies. Stay tuned as we work to come up with a solution.
For those families with children who require extra supports, we will also be reaching out to you to discuss ways we can best support your child and your family.
For those families in need of food, we will be reaching out to you to find out how we can support you with gift cards and/or store credit to local grocery stores.
We want to walk alongside you on this journey and we want to do this well. We don’t want to overwhelm you and we want to meet you where you are at in the weeks ahead. This will take time so we appreciate your patience with all of this.
Later this week and through next week, Teachers and support staff will be collecting resources, collaborating digitally, and planning based on the conversations they have with all of you.
We expect to be ready to support you with the school learning aspect in week 3, which falls after Easter.
These are unprecedented times. We have no template to follow as families. We don’t have a template to follow a school system. We do know that we will get through this and we will get through this together.
As educators, the best part of our jobs is the kids. We are going to miss them so much but we hope we can find a way to effectively stay connected.
I will do my best to keep you regularly informed through the week
Thank you for doing your best to stay home and flatten this curve. We miss you
Stay safe, stay home, and stay healthy.
Talk to you soon.