Update from Dr. Fisher

Hi Gibbon Nation.

Wow.  These past several weeks have been interesting and panic associated with COVID-19 challenged a sense of normalcy for the entire world.  What was considered normal a few weeks ago is no longer normal today.  That is especially true for educators and public schools. (Read More by clicking the title of this post)

Students, families, educators, and support staff left for spring break and the world was somewhat normal.  I venture to say no one thought March 12th would be the last day school would operate in the traditional sense.   On March 16th, the COVID-19 Pandemic immediately threw the school district into a new normal, “alternate learning environments,” without an opportunity to adequately prepare for this experience.  As a result, students, parents, families, educators and entire communities were thrown into a world where folks were asked to stay home and education would occur … “differently.”

Overall, I am extremely proud of the way parents, students and the school district has responded to this challenge.  With a focus on helping students, supporting each other, and concentrating on continuous growth, we have been able to continue instruction through alternate methods.  Our goal has always been to do what is best for students while ensuring they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to be ready for their next level of learning.  Whether that is the next grade or for graduation.

The charge given by the Commissioner of Education and the Governor was this … keep students on track for graduation and that all students successfully complete their coursework.  A daunting task given teaching and learning would typically occur online.  In Gibbon Public Schools, our strategy is to identify those standards that are absolutely essential for students to be successful, clarify the level of performance expected for proficient work, and collect a body of evidence on each child’s performance to determine a grade.  This strategy would have happened in a traditional learning environment … now it is just taking place in an alternate learning environment.  Our strategy brings predictability and consistency in the approach to teaching and learning.

I am truly proud of our entire education family.  Teachers have been asked to provide instruction with little time to prepare for an “alternate learning environment,” and their lessons are delivered through exceptional practice.  Para-educators, custodians, and bus drivers helped to disseminate technology, instructional packets, and personal belongings to every student.  Administrative assistants provide translation services, connect families to resources, and answer questions posed by patrons.  We are a FAMILY and FAMILY is there for each other.

Parents, we are proud of you as well.  Talk about no time to prepare!!  We applaud how you have taken on this challenge and recognize you are doing your very best to support your child’s education.  Please know we realize you are doing this while working, caring for other children, and attending to personal tasks.  We will do whatever we can to support you, work around your schedules, answer questions, and share accurate information about each child’s performance.  Please do not hesitate to reach out to a teacher or the school district whenever you have questions, concerns, or solutions.

We will be in an alternate learning environment for the remainder of this school year.  Students need to continue learning, teachers will continue teaching, and instruction will continue to take place online.  Please go to the district website, look under the “Alternate Learning” tab found at the top right corner of the website, to find more information about the school district’s efforts to keep students on track for graduation and that all students successfully complete their coursework.

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2VgdStO