Deanne Meadows, Superintendent
910-642-5168 x 24049
As we begin yet another school year in the shadow of the pandemic, we must remember that great strides were made towards returning to normal during the second half of last school year. And while we know there will be issues, we hope this year will be a return to a more normal educational experience for our children.
We respect parent’s wishes and have approved a policy of optional masks inside schools, although masks are still required for buses. But it is important for everyone to understand that if we want to stay in school, and take part in athletics for an entire season, or have large audiences gather safely for performances or ceremonies, then students should wear masks and students should be vaccinated if possible. Currently, any student exposed to COVID-19 who is not wearing a mask or not vaccinated will be quarantined for 14 days. In-person instruction is vital for keeping students on track. Synchronous instruction and in-person instruction is not possible during a quarantine, which may result in students falling behind. It is very important that students wear masks if they are able so they can maintain in-person instruction. We will also provide opportunities for students, with parent permission, to get vaccinated on campus. If you want your child to have a normal school year, and be able to go to school and participate in activities as in years past, then masks and vaccines are the best way to ensure that we keep schools open and running normally.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with an ongoing pandemic and so many other issues that affect our everyday lives. We are concerned about student safety, and are taking every reasonable step to make sure that our schools are clean and virus-free. Our staff is doing this while keeping our primary focus on your child’s education. Therefore, we have before us a great challenge and a great opportunity.
Our students have spent the last year and half in isolation, and every student has suffered academically, socially, emotionally, or all of the above. We know our biggest challenge is to get students engaged and excited about learning in a classroom after so much time away, while providing opportunities for social and emotional learning. We can’t teach the same way we did two years ago, because the pandemic has forever changed our students. But we have an incredible OPPORTUNITY before us as well. Every student and every adult has gained understanding and proficiency in technology, and every student in our district now has a device. We are ready to show students that school is relevant, engaging and exciting and technology can help broaden student learning instead of isolate. Technology will allow students and teachers to make connections in meaningful ways with each other and the outside world by blending online resources with great face-to-face instruction.
This school year will pose some obstacles, but what GREAT opportunities we have to forever change the lives of our students. I ask for your support as we use all tools and resources we have available to make this school year one of renewal and rejuvenation for our schools.
Dr. Deanne Meadows