March 20, 2020
With week one of the closure completed, I wanted to provide you with a few updates. First, the question that is on everyone’s mind- will the closure be extended? As you know, this is not a local decision, but one that will be directed from the state level. Maryland superintendents have been told that we can expect a decision on this early next week. We have received no indication of how long an extension could be if that is the case. In short, we are anxiously awaiting this information just like you. Many of you have asked about how this will all affect proms, graduations, grades, and more. It is my fervent hope that with next week’s directive, we will be able to move forward with plans to address each of these questions with a more concrete answer.
With that being said, we are not sitting still. We are continuing to plan as much as possible in the case that we are told that the closure will be extended. We are working on what this means for instruction- how to continue to provide quality content online, how to provide printed packets to families without connectivity, how grades/testing/certifications will be handled in the event of an extended closure. We are working on what this means for our meal distribution sites and how we can work with other agencies and organizations to continue to meet this growing need. We are working on plans for our employees and our internal processes going forward. As the saying goes, “plan for the worst, hope for the best.” We want to be ready and prepared for whatever direction we may be provided next week.
This week, 9,686 meals were distributed at our eight sites. I cannot say enough about our Food & Nutrition staff and the amazing volunteers who made all of this possible. I was with them throughout this week and witnessed first hand how hard they worked and the dedication that was so evident in each and every person involved. Thank you to each one of you!
I would also like to thank our families, employees, and community members who have been so understanding, patient, and supportive during this time. I know that the word “unprecedented” has become somewhat cliche in describing this crisis, but I do have to say, these unprecedented times have brought forth a spirit of community in Cecil County which is nothing short of amazing. I am so humbled and so fortunate to have the opportunity to lead this school system and be a part of its greater community.
Stay tuned next week when we can hopefully share additional information with you on the path forward. At this point, I don’t anticipate pushing out any communications over the weekend unless something significant occurs. As soon as we learn something, you will know!
Jeffrey A. Lawson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools