Dear Metcalf Families,
I write to you today to provide as many updates and reassurances as I possibly can while we wait for the governor’s announcement on Monday. As Superintendent Erinakes shared at the last parent forum, reopening plans are being adjusted minute by minute to reflect our community’s needs and the most up-to-date guidelines available. I thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this together.
First and foremost, we miss our students and families very much! We can’t wait to start the school year even though we know it will look and feel different. We are focused on the health, safety, and hearty welcome of all our students, faculty and staff under whatever reopening plan the governor announces on Monday. While the current circumstances present challenges we have never before faced in public education, I believe that creative minds and the can-do spirit of our entire school community will continue to lift us up during this time. We will implement the reopening plan as designed, adjust where necessary based on current information, and work to ensure all students, faculty and staff stay healthy, safe, and fully engaged in learning. Through open communication and strategic planning we will meet the needs of our students together.
Metcalf’s teachers have been absolutely amazing as they have transformed their classrooms to get ready for opening day. Our maintenance crew has worked non-stop to ensure we have the proper cleaning protocols and safety measures in place as well. Additionally, we have spent the summer reflecting back on our time distance teaching/learning last spring to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. Based on what we learned and your input, we will spend the next few weeks engaged in valuable Professional Development (PD). The focus of some of this PD will be: the social/emotional needs of students and adults upon our return, identifying curriculum adjustments that may be necessary, health & safety protocols, and learning the online platform, Seesaw Remote, which is being implemented by all PK-6 teachers to provide consistency within our school community.
Additionally, we are finalizing faculty and staff changes, In-person and Distance Learning (DL) class lists, transportation routes, and some details of our day-to-day logistics. Grade level supply lists have been updated and can be found under the “Parent Resources” tab on our website. Specific In-person and DL teachers may have additional requests as well. I will be sending out teacher assignments as soon as I possibly can in the form of an email to families. Please understand that with roughly 600 Metcalf students and still many moving pieces, placement is a very time consuming process. I expect teacher assignment emails will be sent to families on or about September 9th but we may need until that Friday to ensure everything is accurate in Aspen, our Student Information System. Again, I thank you for your patience and understanding.
Some frequently asked questions and answers that you might find helpful:
-Are lunchboxes and backpacks permitted? Yes, these will be kept in classrooms instead of lockers.
-Will the parent drop off and pick up routines change? Yes, this information will be sent out to all families before the first day of school.
-Will children have “mask breaks” built into their day? Yes, we are working out those details.
-Are gaiters allowed or do children need to wear specific masks? We are not recommending a specific face covering. We do ask that at least one spare be sent with your child in a ziplock bag and that all face coverings be labeled with your child’s name.
-Will children share materials? Students will use their own materials.
I hope to be able to see you all in person before too long. In the meantime we will partner together to ensure our students have an exciting and successful school year.
Mrs. Ratigan :)