From the Superintendent's Desk
Mark Tucker, M.A. - Caledonia Central Supervisory Union
What About April Vacation? What about Graduation?
What is New
As I look out the window from my home office, it looks like spring. It could be a little warmer for my tastes, but nonetheless last week's 14" snowfall has left no trace, the Red-wing Blackbirds are screeching in the trees, and we have Robins in the yard.
The Most-Asked Questions
Two frequently asked questions have to do with April Vacation and Graduations. Regarding April vacation, I have just been advised by the Secretary of Education to "Follow your local calendar(s) for April vacation." Therefore, we will be having April vacation as planned - the week of April 16th for the five schools in Caledonia County, the week of April 20th for Cabot and Twinfield. (Next year, we will all be on the same calendar.)
Since we are following our school calendar, and we do not normally assign school work over a vacation, we will not be sending new assignments for completion over your child's vacation week. I do, however, encourage any of our high school students who are behind on their work and need to complete it to meet graduation proficiencies, to consider trying to catch up on your work. It doesn't appear like any of us have anywhere to go this vacation week; I know I have a lot of work piled up that I hope to get through.
The second question has to do with our 6th/8th grade and high school graduations this year. My currently-unofficial response is "yes, we will have graduation, but I don't know when." Following are my speculative ruminations about graduation in the age of COVID-19.
Graduation is an event where people travel from near and far to congregate in clusters small and large to celebrate. Almost everything about that - except the sentiment behind it - is currently banned. We cannot have clusters of more than ten, and the State is continuing to clamp down more and more on travel of any sort. We will not be able to host a graduation ceremony in any practical sense of the word until we are allowed to gather people together in large groups to celebrate the success of their children. So, at this point we are hoping for a rapid end to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent relief from travel and gathering restrictions that have resulted. And just in case anyone is wondering, I considered - for about 30 seconds - the feasibility of doing remote graduations. My short answer to my own question is "Yuck!"
Graduations traditionally occur in early June. If we are still under pandemic restrictions at that time, we will look ahead to holding graduation ceremonies later in the summer or early fall. I know the longer this drags out, the harder it will be to get some of our high school seniors together, as many may have moved on to the next phase of their lives. All I can do about that is to cross fingers and hope for the best.
For the high school students - we are looking at how to adapt proficiency grading in this altered instructional model, and at what effect any adaptations might have on you meeting your graduation requirements. We will have more to say about this soon - please know that this issue is at the top of the minds for our high school Principals, your teachers, and me.
Much more to follow.
Mark Tucker, M.A.
Superintendent, Caledonia Central SU
Note: This is the tenth in a series of newsletters as we learn about and respond to the the impact of Coronavirus in our schools and communities.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this newsletter is meant to substitute for medical advice from your family practitioner