covid update

Good afternoon, I wanted to share with you some important end of the year information.  

There are some exciting events quickly approaching. On Friday, May 29 our senior class will parade through the 53 square miles of our district as a farewell to the community that has so strongly supported them.  The parade route can be found here, Facebook and Twitter.  This Sunday afternoon we will broadcast the virtual graduation of our senior class.  Look for the links to the ceremony to be sent tomorrow. On Thursday, June 4th our staff assembled a parade route to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and community. This parade route will be posted early next week.

First, I would like to thank all of our staff members.  What they have learned and how they have supported our kids over the past 11 weeks has been remarkable.  During a very difficult time they were able to bring stability, comfort and joy to homes.

Second, I would like to thank all of our families. During this same time you were right there with us, learning and persevering.  Without your support we would not have made it through this pandemic.  The good news is, we seem to have made it through the most difficult times.

Next, I want to address a question so many have been asking, and that is, “What will school look like this fall?”  While as of today the answer to that question may still be unclear it WILL become more clear over the next 3-4 weeks.  Since data on the virus lags behind by about two weeks, we will know the impact of Ohio’s nearly full reopening by mid to late June. 

The news today is much more positive than it was just 3 weeks ago, and we anticipate that trend will continue.  How positive will the forecast look in 3 more weeks?  Only time will tell. While I understand that we are all eager to make a decision right now, patience is required to make the right decision for our kids.   

I can assure you that I want nothing more than to open schools safely this fall for all students full time and face to face.  To determine if we will be able to do this, we must look carefully at the data and adhere to guidelines from State and local officials. While there are many unknowns, it is certain that this guidance will come at some point, and when they do, we will communicate them to you immediately. I do not anticipate these to come until mid to late June.

Finally, our teachers and administrators have worked to provide some voluntary summer learning activities for families to help prevent what is known as the “Summer Slide” and keep our kids’ minds engaged.  These are grade-band specific and focus primarily on math and reading.  They will not be submitted or graded.  Rather, they are meant to be another support we can provide families who wish to remain engaged in learning.

There is a saying that it’s hard to see the entire picture while you are still inside the frame. That is where we are right now...inside the frame, but I can say with 100% confidence that when the time comes that we can step outside that frame, the entire Garfield community will be proud of the picture we have created.  

Thank you. Have a great summer, and Go G-Men!