Superintendent's Message, May 20, 2020

  • Dr. Ian Saltzman Dear Friends,

    In a letter to the community last month I stated in these challenging times we stand with you, and we will get through this together. I still believe that. But as this crisis continues to disrupt what we all thought of as our normal life, I have been thinking even though we are in this together, we are all experiencing it very differently which compels us to a greater measure of empathy.

    Our students are having school at home, learning in ways they never really had to before. Even though there are suggested schedules for every grade band and expectations for teachers to connect and engage students, the way each student experiences that is very different.

    Some students have parents working at home and balancing their work while trying to support student learning at the same time. Some students may have parents/guardians who are essential workers and still leave the house every day for work, so their student needs to manage their own school commitments. Some students have parents who do not have English as a first language, which gives them an extra barrier to overcome. We also know of students who are working extra hours right now in family businesses so their time to engage in school is very limited.

    Some families are making an adventure out of learning from home and enjoying the challenge, while other families are more focused on how to keep engaged in school while taking care of a sick family member, or figuring out how to put meals on the table.

    While most students are missing interaction with their friends, some students may have lost a family member during this time and the ache is much deeper.

    But my original statement still stands. Even though our entire world looks different right now, we will get through this together. And we will be here for you any way we can. We continue to provide meals, technology, and learning guidance, but also want to encourage people to reach out to those who may be struggling. Teachers, school counselors and principals are reaching out to students to make sure everyone has a connection. We also have some extra social and emotional resources on our web page in the COVID-19 section that gives supportive resources for times when people are feeling overwhelmed or disconnected.

    These times weigh on all of us, and we all are experiencing it differently, but we all will get through this. Be kind. Reach out to a friend and a neighbor. Be empathetic and supportive of those you around you and check in with people you haven’t in a while.

    We stand with you and support you.

    Dr. Ian B. Saltzman, Superintendent