Phase 3 is Here!
When we return from break, the big day will finally be upon us, when students will see many of their classmates in person for the first time! As we return, you will not hear me talking about gaps, learning loss, or deficits. There will be funding for learning supports, but the “catching up” our students need to do first is with each other, and with their new community, one that will be whole for the first time this year. Our teachers have done an AMAZING job in this challenging and complicated year for all involved, shifting now to their third learning model of the school year. Our teams will continue to plan together to focus on the essential standards, to make the best use of time until the end of the year, but I am encouraging them to focus first on connections, allowing time and space for the conversations, for getting outdoors for the laughing and playing together that has been postponed while our lives have been on pause. Our new T.R.A.C. teacher Maddie Howells started this week, and she will play an important role as well, working with each classroom and supporting the Social-Emotional Learning needs of all of our students.
We won’t be disregarding any mitigation measures during the community-building , of course, and I have had to pull aside an increasing number of students daily for “pep talks” to support behaviors that keep us open (masking and distancing). But our students deserve a standing ovation this year, for they have risen to every challenge at school. We know it’s been a difficult road with the learning at home for some of our families, and we are happy to now bring all students back daily. Please continue to keep up the safe behaviors with students at home, for positive tests will still require the entire class to move to distance learning. We are by no means out of the woods of the pandemic, but Phase 3 sure feels like a mighty good next step on that road. We have so much to look forward to when we return from break that I almost wish it could start right away… almost! But I can’t wait to spend this time with my own littles, and I wish for the same quality time for you and your family during your spring break.