March 19, 2020
I’ve struggled to wrangle together words that express my thoughts and feelings about our recent school dismissal. Like you, I am stunned that we’re not together. Though convinced of our need to take steps to protect the health of all, the staff and I are incredibly heavy hearted about being separated from our students. Families are undoubtedly in the same boat with additional responsibilities and financial burdens. And yet, here we are. As a community, we share a burden and also an opportunity.
Though these are unchartered waters, we are clear about our purpose. First and foremost, our goal is to support one another as we weather this together. As a staff, we are committed to staying connected with students and families, and so many students and family members are taking action to do the same. We are developing a variety of pathways to do this, starting simple but making sure we are deliberate in providing regularly scheduled opportunities to communicate and connect. Already, some parents have arranged reading time with classmates using Zoom. Students have shared Flipgrid responses and pictures of their at-home workspace with teachers and peers. These are unique methods for connecting, and fantastic alternative vehicles for sharing what is in our students’ heads and hearts.
Ongoing learning is a priority. This week, our staff has begun to create a model for distance learning. I believe they are doing an absolutely phenomenal job! We know we can’t replicate a school day. We can provide simple learning plans with scheduled access to the staff’s ongoing communication and support. There is a flood of information out there. None of us are without ideas and resources, to be sure! Teachers are being measured about expectations and what they are sharing with families. As always with learning, we want to make it meaningful and enjoyable. Where there are challenges, feel free to ask for assistance. You have access to your teacher, myself, our Teacher on Special Assignment, our Interventionist and a myriad of District staff. We expect some level of confusion and error both from staff and in homes. We’ll move forward with grace, gusto and flexibility! We’ll be taking risks, trying new things and dusting ourselves off from time to time.
We are also committed to self-care. You’ll notice your teachers are suggesting at-home schedules with mindfulness breaks, plenty of exercise, and integration between learning and the day to day tasks that continue for us all. Make sure you and your children build in time for the kinds of activities that restore and calm. Don’t miss out on the gift of having real face time together. Set boundaries for work, play and rest to preserve a healthy balance while you’re at home. I’m asking our teachers to do the same.
This is yet another time when Sycamore honors both “all” and “one.” It is our community that brings us strength, and we draw upon those strengths to ensure the needs of each one are met. As you have questions and needs, please let us know. As we have updates, you'll receive messages from District staff or myself. As things change, and I’m sure they will, know that we will adjust. I look forward to doing that together.
Links to key resources
Information on continuing to access school lunches: https://www.cusd.claremont.edu/pf4/cms2/news_themed_display?id=1584090092363
Links to Enrichment Resources and Student Technology Support
Link to student tech support during the day
Please email your child's teacher or Mrs. Stanger for any other questions or needs.
Friday, March 20: Ms. Talia Bowman. email@example.com
Sunday, March 22: Ms. Susan Headley. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, March 25: Ms. Norma Perez. email@example.com