We know many of you are anxious for information about returning to school. Some of you are eager for that day to come, and some are waiting for assurances on what will change and what will remain the same.
We’ve been busy working on plans for your child’s return. Today we want to share some of that information with you and ask for your help in making some critical decisions.
Please be assured that as we begin to make these important decisions, the health and well-being of every member of our community is at the forefront of our minds.
Know that we will base all decisions on health guidance from trusted sources – the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Wake County Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Our dedication to our academic mission and our commitment to challenging and engaging students in relevant, rigorous and meaningful learning won’t change.
But many other things will.
Students will learn new ways to navigate campuses to accommodate social distancing practices. Schools will spend more time teaching healthy hygiene behaviors.
And while we don’t know what the final guidance will be from the state on face coverings, health guidance has been consistent on this topic. We will need to create a culture where students and staff who may choose or need to wear face coverings are simply part of a normal day for as long as it’s deemed necessary. We might all become experts at “smiling with our eyes” and we welcome that challenge because we know it’s an important step to reconnecting with the students who we miss dearly.
To help inform this important planning for the new year, we ask all families to join us in a virtual conversation about reopening schools.
You can participate here: www.wcpss.net/thoughtexchange
You’ll be asked to respond to one open-ended question, consider and assign stars to some of the ideas shared by others and learn what’s important to the group.
Your thoughts and stars are confidential. You can come back as often as you’d like to participate and rate ideas. We’ll use these ratings along with results from last month’s Remote Learning survey to help us understand the most important areas to focus on as we work on plans for the new school year.
Participation will be open until June 19, 2020.
We know that many of your children are excited to get back to their school communities. But we have to be meticulous about the process of reopening school so we can promote the safest environment possible for all the members of our community. And, even more importantly, we have to be open to changing directions if and when the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 change.
We are cautiously optimistic that we will have enough information to share initial plans with you in the coming weeks.
For now, we thank each of you for your support and input as we embark on this journey together. We have all grown in these challenging times, and we are hopeful that our new resilience will help us build a brighter and better future for our community’s children.
With warm regards,
Cathy Q. Moore,