Last Day of School 2020

Last Day of School 2020
Posted on 06/18/2020
Last Day of School!

Dear Grade 9, 10, and 11 L-S Students,

We are at the last day of school! It has not been just a challenging spring but a WHOLE year of things to overcome that we had no idea we would be coming until they did. We started the fall with EEE and you were deprived of being able to fully enjoy outdoor athletics, activities and just being outside. We lost our beloved Ando at the start of December. Over February School Vacation we started hearing about COVID-19 as it was appearing in parts of Europe. Only a few weeks later we went to full closure of school buildings. Today marks our 14th week of remote learning and not having been able to see you in-person.

All of this disruption has been really hard. It has been an amazing year and you have been truly amazing! For some of us it has been extremely challenging. I know that. One of the reasons we were such sticklers about attendance was so we could be sure that you were all accounted for and doing ok. And whether we could offer extra support. You can expect more of that this coming fall!

Addressing COVID-19 has been compared to being a marathon, requiring endurance for the long haul. But it is a marathon we didn’t get to train for. No wonder we are exhausted!

And, yes, this is still not over. I know you are wondering about what school will look like this fall. Our Commissioner of the Massachusetts department of education Jeff Riley is expected to release state guidance that will be largely mandatory for all of us by the end of this week. Once it is released I will share regular updates with all of you as we plan over the summer on how we will meet the guidance for the fall.

While the guidance is not yet released there is significant hope that if trends of rates of infection continue to decrease as they have been that we will be able to have school in-person. However, until a vaccine and/or other highly effective preventative medicines become widely available for use we will not likely be able to be 100% in-person. This may be our situation for some time. I am anticipating that we will be planning for a hybrid model that will include a mixture of in-person and remote learning.

The remote learning that will happen in the fall will look different than what you’ve just experienced. What we had in the spring we didn’t have any time to plan for before it needed to be implemented. We had to learn in the moment and have learned from this experience. I hope that was obvious to you as teachers got more used to the platform and gained more experience. It was very challenging for them and I am proud of all that they did to adjust. They did what they could to do their best for you. Thank you for the beautiful and wonderful thank you videos you made. It has made us really happy to see your smiling faces!

Also, very importantly we were able to collect feedback from you in week 11 of remote learning. Your responses were shared with all the staff and will help guide our planning. Based on your feedback all teachers will be using Google Classroom this fall. Please know how much we value your input!

I wish you all a wonderful summer of being outside as much as you can and hopefully being able to see more of the people you’ve missed and who have missed seeing you! I also ask that you check you school email from time to time to read what the updates are. I also may be seeking input from you over the summer. When I do I hope you will be able to respond!

Additionally, I would like to create a Student Advisory group to use as a sounding board for the plans we will be thinking of over the summer. We will be sending an invitation through the Associate Principals to see who among you might be interested in being a part of this group. We will need to keep the size manageable and representative of our student body. Yes, you will need to be available this summer to be able to participate.

Thank you to all of your parents and guardians for their support of you and of us during this past school year. Because you were at home it was harder for us to support you as we could. A lot more was needed of them to be sure you were all safe, well and learning!

Congratulations to all of you! Next time I write to you it will be as Grade 10, 11 and 12th graders! Good job everyone and happy summer!

Sincerely

Ms. Wong