DISTRICT UPDATE 9-23-2020
MARYVILLE CITY SCHOOLS
From the Director of Schools
As you know, our goal is to connect with MCS families on a bi-weekly basis. Our next two week period starts on September 28 and ends during fall break ... so with the break, the next time you will hear from us (barring any unforeseen circumstances) will be on October 14th. The intent of this message is to inform you that we have no plans to change the current instructional model in the next two week period.
There is, however, one very important calendar change to communicate. Based on our 2020-2021 academic calendar, students were originally scheduled to return from fall break on October 14. To accommodate a much needed professional development day, all students will now return to school on Thursday, October 15. This gives students an additional day for their break and gives teachers a day to work on greater collaboration and instructional strategies. Using one Inclement Weather Day in the school calendar allows the district to provide the added professional development day. The district will still have seven inclement weather days banked for the winter season to be used as needed. NOTE: Adventure club will be available on the 14th.
Please mark this change on your calendar: The first day of fall break for MCS students will be October 5, and the last day will now be October 14. Students will return to school on October 15.
A Personal Request
The district and school administrators are requesting your help! As you might imagine, these unprecedented times have increased the burden on our teaching staff in almost every area of their jobs. Our district has high expectations for family engagement, responsiveness, and support. All of our COVID plans prioritized a responsive culture to the needs of our students and families. In recent years, our administrators and teachers have reported an increase in the number and frequency of parent emails to teachers, inquiring about homework, behaviors, interventions, and processes. The demand on teachers has significantly increased this school year. While we never want to set barriers or limit conversations through email, texting, and phone messages, we do want to set some guidelines and ask families to be extra sensitive and mindful of both the frequency and the length of communication through email, texts, and phone calls. This request is to help teachers prioritize and protect their instructional planning and instructional delivery time for an increased focus on students. Here are a few strategies that would be helpful:
- It is reasonable to expect a response from teachers within 48 hours, not immediately. The 48-hour response time does not include the weekends. If contacting teachers on a Friday afternoon, a reasonable response from the teacher would be before Tuesday afternoon. We want our teachers to enjoy the weekend and rejuvenate for the following week.
- Make note of the centralized communication sources to find information as designated by your teachers. Most teachers are posting calendars, updates, and answers to questions on Canvas, Showbie, or SeeSaw. Check those areas first in hopes of finding the answers or details posted by the teacher.
- Take advantage of the Technology Support Desk.
- Save communication bulletins, emails, and updates for later reference.
- Compile communication for a few days to wait and see if the answers are provided or if communication is still necessary.
As an employer, we support a work/life balance and we all know that feeling tethered to one's email 24/7 is not healthy or sustainable. While an immediate response to a simple email is sometimes possible, please join me in celebrating quick responses and understanding when it takes a day or two.
As always, we appreciate your kindness in this regard.
DEADLINE TO SWITCH INSTRUCTION
The next opportunity to switch instructional options will be September 30 (with the new instructional option beginning after fall break, starting on October 15).
As shared in July, the district is requesting that families limit changing instructional options to one switch for the entire school year in K-9 and once per semester at MHS.
To request a switch, please contact call your child's school.