October 4, 2020 Edition

Message from the Superintendent

“The best way to find out if it will work is to do it.”

Simon Sinek

Division Highlights

  • On Monday, September 28th, our division leadership team provided updates to the school board regarding our planning for Hybrid In-person learning. During this special board meeting, we emphasized the monumental efforts of our staff, at the school and division level, in moving this process forward despite significant challenges and complexity. To see and hear this presentation, as well as board feedback and questions, you can click here.

  • As we are now a week from beginning in-person learning, there continue to be more specific questions regarding exactly how in-person learning will be operationalized with the multitude of safety mitigation strategies required. This past Monday, we also shared that we were completing a Hybrid Learning Addendum to compliment and further clarify the Return to Learn Plan and process. Though each school must customize and adjust based on unique building dynamics and staffing constraints, this guide lays out more specific procedures and practices that will be in place system-wide. You will also note that updates have been made to our Return to Learn Plan based on new and evolving guidance from federal and state health agencies. Below is the link for the addendum.

  • One of the most challenging aspects of providing in-person learning involves Student Transportation. Our team at transportation has been working hard to support the routing and safe bus transportation covering over 410 square miles. On Monday, October 5th, Bus Routes will be accessible on ParentVUE and StudentVUE. The Call Center will also open.

  • You can view the updated COVID-19 Dashboard here SCPS COVID-19 Dashboard. The purpose of the dashboard is to provide our families and staff with an accurate summary of COVID-19 cases. In addition to including the summary of positive cases, we are also including the impact on students and staff in terms of required quarantining.

  • Instructional Technology has received ALL 900 hotspots! The instructional technology team will be working through the weekend to ensure we are ready on Monday for the vendor to add the required internet filters. We anticipate that this will take a week or two. We are hoping the hotspots will be available before we begin our in-person learning.

  • October is Principal Appreciation Month and I could not be prouder of the heroic efforts of our building principals and administrative teams. For the past seven months, they have served from the heart and with great consistency. Daily and around the clock, they are problem-solving, being active and empathetic listeners, and simultaneously executing distance learning plans AND planning for in-person learning.Thank you to the many in our community who have acknowledged the profound impact their leadership is making during this time of great challenge.

  • This week we also celebrated our Maintenance and Custodial workers! These hard working folks have always been critical to ensuring our school facilities are clean and operational to support learning. Over the past seven months, they have had to individually and collectively work even harder to help us ensure that our schools and buildings are safe for teaching, serving, and learning. I am extremely proud of the quality and caliber of our maintenance and custodial team! Thank you again for acknowledging their importance and impact.

  • As a follow up to a previous announcement, please check out our media release about the SCPS designation as one of the state and nations top employers.

Over the next week, our school system will be working diligently to prepare for our next transition. Though we know the hybrid model is not ideal and the adjustments are inconvenient for some, I am confident in our people and their ability to provide the support our students and families need. Our success with distance learning for so many only validates that “together, we” can do it.

I hope you and your families have enjoyed the beautiful fall weekend!

Thank you for your continued support!

Dr. S. Scott Baker