Bobcat Connection

Learning. Growing. Collaborating & Achieving @KrumHighSchool

March 20, 2020

Dear Bobcat Families:


The past week has been surreal. The pandemic that we are currently facing is like nothing we have ever witnessed in our lifetime. It has been heartbreaking to witness opportunities denied to students as COVID-19 has affected our community. Some of our seniors had what was to be the pinnacle of their extracurricular experience extinguished with no further opportunity. As difficult as it is to witness such great disappointment, (and, for some - significant financial loss) nothing is as important as human life and our families. It is in times like this that we are most grateful for our loved ones and the blessings we do have.


I am proud to tell you that during all of the unknown, there is one thing that is clearly known. It is clear that our faculty and staff care about you and how you are doing during this situation. I have witnessed your teachers, with tears in their eyes, wondering about how you are doing. I have repeatedly heard, "I miss my kids." We have worried about your nourishment, your accessibility to technology, and most of all, your overall well being.


Krum High School has created a Continuous Learning Plan to assist with your online learning. We will begin this plan on Tuesday, March 24th. Teachers are currently setting up their Google Classrooms (if they didn't already have one) and making plans for your continued learning. This plan has been included below in both a pdf and jpg format. In addition, we've included some internet options that may be available to you if you do not have reliable wifi at your home.


In order to alleviate some stress, let me say that at this time we are still planning on having Prom and Graduation. We will be verifying GPA's and rank for our Senior Class the next couple of weeks, and we will notify those in the top ten percent. Mrs. Borchardt obtained a letter to share with our seniors. It was written by a teacher who was a senior during Hurricane Katrina.


As you are aware STAAR EOC's have been cancelled this year. We heard from College Board today in regards to AP testing. College Board is seeking options for an online test; however, they will not have a face-to-face AP test this year. Your AP teachers will communicate further details.


We have another administrator meeting planned on April 1st with leadership from surrounding districts. If anything changes our plan, an announcement will be released from Krum ISD on April 2nd.


Please adhere to the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control in order to stay healthy. You are an important member of the Bobcat Family and we need you to stay well. If we can do anything to help you; please don't hesitate to reach out. My email is michelle.pieniazek@krumisd.net.



Sincerely,

Michelle Pieniazek

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Estimadas familias de Bobcat:


La semana pasada ha sido surrealista. La pandemia que enfrentamos actualmente no se parece a nada que hayamos presenciado en nuestra vida. Ha sido desgarrador ser testigo de las oportunidades que se les niegan a los estudiantes, ya que COVID-19 ha afectado a nuestra comunidad. Algunos de nuestros mayores tenían lo que iba a ser el pináculo de su experiencia extracurricular extinguido sin más oportunidades. Tan difícil como es ser testigo de una gran decepción, (y, para algunos, una pérdida financiera significativa), nada es tan importante como la vida humana y nuestras familias. Es en momentos como este que estamos más agradecidos por nuestros seres queridos y las bendiciones que tenemos.


Me enorgullece decirles que durante todo lo desconocido, hay una cosa que se sabe claramente. Está claro que nuestra facultad y el personal se preocupan por usted y cómo le va durante esta situación. He sido testigo de tus maestros, con lágrimas en los ojos, preguntándome cómo te va. Repetidamente he escuchado: "Extraño a mis hijos". Nos preocupa su alimentación, su accesibilidad a la tecnología y, sobre todo, su bienestar general.


Krum High School ha creado un plan de aprendizaje continuo para ayudarlo con su aprendizaje en línea. Comenzaremos este plan el martes 24 de marzo. Los maestros actualmente están configurando sus Aulas de Google (si aún no tenían uno) y haciendo planes para su aprendizaje continuo. Este plan se ha incluido a continuación en formato pdf y jpg. Además, hemos incluido algunas opciones de Internet que pueden estar disponibles para usted si no tiene wifi confiable en su hogar.


Para aliviar el estrés, permítanme decir que en este momento todavía estamos planeando tener graduación y graduación. Verificaremos los GPA y el rango para nuestra Clase Senior las próximas dos semanas, y notificaremos a los que están en el diez por ciento más alto.


Como saben, los EOC de STAAR han sido cancelados este año. Nos enteramos hoy de College Board con respecto a las pruebas AP. College Board está buscando opciones para un examen en línea; sin embargo, no tendrán una prueba de AP presencial este año. Sus maestros de AP le comunicarán más detalles.


Tenemos otra reunión de administradores prevista para el 1 de abril con el liderazgo de los distritos vecinos. Si algo cambia nuestro plan, Krum ISD lanzará un anuncio el 2 de abril.


Siga las pautas establecidas por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades para mantenerse saludable. Usted es un miembro importante de la familia Bobcat y necesitamos que se mantenga bien. Si podemos hacer algo para ayudarlo; por favor no dudes en comunicarte. Mi correo electrónico es michelle.pieniazek@krumisd.net.


Sinceramente,


Michelle Pieniazek

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Teacher of the Year: An Open Letter to High School Seniors During Coronavirus Crisis

Chris Dier is Louisiana’s 2020 Teacher of the Year. He teaches social studies in St. Bernard, LA.

Dear High School Senior,


On Friday afternoon a few seniors came into my classroom after the last bell rang. They were concerned about prom and their senior trip. It broke my teacher heart to listen. As you’re reading this, you most likely have similar concerns.


This is supposed to be your year. The year for your senior prom, sporting events, cheer competitions, senior trips, clubs, and the rest of what senior year has to offer. You were supposed to be the captain of that team, the officer of that club, or that student who wanted to be with their friends one last year before venturing into the unknown. This was THE year that your entire schooling was building up to. But it was robbed from you because of this global pandemic.


Let’s be abundantly clear – you were robbed, and it’s unfair. If you’re upset, then you should embrace those feelings. Commiserate with one another. Some folks will downplay the situation because they won’t know what it feels like to have their senior year stripped at the last moment.


I, for one, will not downplay it as it happened to me. Hurricane Katrina devastated my community when I was a high school senior. I remember leaving my school on a Friday afternoon with my buddies only to never return to that school. I was supposed to be the captain of my soccer team, go to prom with my longtime crush, and finish the year with my lifelong friends. But it was all canceled. Instead, I stayed in a shelter and finished my high school in a different state. It was tough, and I had to find solace in places I never envisioned. It was hard, but we made it through. And I’m reliving that pain as I think of your disruption to your senior year.


Most do not need to experience Katrina to know that this is tough on you. Those of us who work in schools do so because we care above all else. That caring does not stop once you leave those school walls. In situations like these, we worry more about you. There is a lot of uncertainty, but rest assured, districts across the nation are working in creative ways, from potentially abbreviated school years to organizing social events when this subsides, to make this situation the best they possibly can for you. Some educators are working endlessly to transfer to virtual learning and accompany those without the internet. Administrators are working to get those meals together for those who need them. We are all in crisis mode but know that we are all doing everything we can to help during this tumultuous time. You are not forgotten. We are thinking about you. We are here for you. We care.


There’s nothing I, or anyone, can say to make up for that time you are losing in what is supposed to be one of the best years of your life.


But I can offer some encouragement. Right now, you have the power to make the most out of this unfortunate situation. If a decade of teaching has taught me anything, it’s that people your age are resilient and innovative.


Your generation can navigate multiple worlds and bounce between physical and digital spaces with ease. You are part of the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, and you embrace those differences in ways adults seem to struggle. You courageously put yourselves out there for the world to see and criticize. You push boundaries and challenge norms. You find ingenious ways to compensate for any gaps you may have accrued without the help of educators, whether it’s through Khan Academy or a sibling. It’s a small wonder why “post-Millennials are on track to become the most well-educated generation yet.”


I can also offer some advice. Help one another and your family. They need you. Do your grandparents or your eldery neighbors need groceries? Offer support. Some teachers may even need your help as many try to transition to online learning. We need you. Utilize your tech savvy ways to bring yourselves closer together. Practice “social distancing,” or physical distancing, but stay as social as ever. FaceTime. Text. Tweet. Snapchat. Make Tik Tok videos (I don’t know if that’s still a thing so don’t laugh if I’m already out of date). Use these platforms to connect and uplift.


Binge Netflix and Disney+. Make memes. Exercise. Read books – maybe even those boring ones your English teachers were stoked for you to read. Or just read manga. Read something! Reach out to those friends you know don’t have internet access. Call and check up on ‘em. Listen to podcasts. Make a podcast. Start a hobby. Journal for posterity. You’re living through history. Your bold reaction to this is going to make history.


Lastly, I can offer some support. You may not know me, but I feel your pain; it stings. We as educators mourn with you. Again, you are not forgotten. We see your hard work. We value your unique perspectives. We hear your audacious voices. We cherish all of it, and we will continue to do so even from afar.


I am sad for you; truly, I am. I feel deeply for you; truly, I do. It makes my heart hurt as I write. But if there is any group that can plow through this in creative ways, it is your group. There is no pandemic strong enough to silence you or dent the passion of your generation. Keep your head up and keep fighting. Our country needs you because you provide hope for our future. This year may not be what you envisioned, but I’m eager to see what you do with it.

After all, it is still very much your year.


Stay healthy,

Chris Dier, a high school teacher

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Krum High School

Krum ISD’s mission is to create a collaborative atmosphere with parents, students and members of the community in order to ensure students will reach their full potential by providing every child with an exceptional education. We will strive to prepare our students academically and socially to embrace their future challenges, as well as ignite the desire to be lifelong learners, by providing a safe, respectful and positive learning environment.


Michelle Pieniazek, Principal

Kenneth Anderson, Assistant Principal (A-K)

Shanna Orsi, Assistant Principal (L-Z)

Kristi Chambliss, Counselor (A-K)

Angela Borchardt, Counselor (L-Z)