August 9, 2020
Message from the Superintendent
In an effort to further enhance and streamline communications during this crisis, my weekly message as well as division level updates/links will be integrated into school/principal newsletters. Understanding that frequent communication is needed, we also understand how the number of emails and combinations of updates can also be overwhelming. The division portion of the school-based communications will continue to be posted on our website and social media. Should communications be needed apart from these weekly updates, we will deploy additional communication strategies to ensure timeliness and engagement.
Teacher and Staff Planning
On July 30 and 31st, we welcomed 155 new teachers (70 are first year teachers) to the SPOTSY family. We are excited about the quality and potential of this diverse group of educators. Last week, beginning on August 3rd, all of our teachers and 10 month staff returned in-person or virtually to focus on a successful start to the school year. It is important to note that most, if not all, teachers engage in individual and collaborative planning/professional learning throughout the summer. This summer, over 440 teachers participated in professional learning activities related to increased efficacy with distance/virtual learning.
During this past week and continuing through the end of the upcoming week, all of our school level teachers, leaders, and support staff are engaging in high quality, relevant training in preparation for distance and hybrid learning. Our professional learning team has developed and are delivering over 170 interactive sessions! Based on feedback from the last quarter, recommendations from our Return to Learn Task Force, and in alignment with our division strategic plan, these individual sessions have included the following focus topics/themes:
Use of Google Meet/Classroom and Canvas
Social Emotional Learning and Relationships
Feedback to students and instructional assessment
Planning and Delivery - Best Practices in On-Line Learning
We understand how concerned many are with how schools can meet the many diverse learning needs of our students with a predominantly distant approach. I share this information with you so that you know how hard our division/schools will work to support you and our student(s).
Enrollment Verification Forms & Technology Support
To date, we have received almost 19,400 completed verification forms. This leaves about 4,000 that we still need. This information ensures that we can better support both short and long-term needs including technology devices, wifi access, transportation, etc. We are using the current data to plan for internet hubs as well as other distance learning supports. Each school will be coordinating orientation activities, including device distribution over the next two weeks.
Despite the frustration of the continuing and monumental challenges in front of us, we remain fully dedicated to our mission, vision, core values, and goals. I remain humbled by and grateful for your continued partnership, support, patience, and resolve. Though there are many concerns regarding the current limitations of both distance and hybrid learning models, I believe there are also many significant, positive opportunities that we can seize to better lead, teach, and serve all of our students and families.
All of our schools are eager to connect with you and start our school year off strong!
Have a great week!
Dr. Scott Baker
Superintendent of Schools
Summer Food Distribution Program Ends August 13
SCPS is distributing FREE breakfast and lunch grab and go bags to all children age 18 years and under as well as to any enrolled student who participates in SCPS support services programs, such as REACH. There is no income restriction to receive meals.
Summer Food Distribution will take place at 16 school sites will take place on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to Noon. Students will receive three days of food on Mondays and four days of food on Thursdays. For more details, visit the division's website at https://www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/Page/5001. The last distribution date for the summer program will be August 13, 2020.
RACSB 24-hour emergency mental health services: (540) 373-6876
The Fredericksburg Food Bank (540) 371-7666 is still providing food for families in addition to what we distribute at schools
The RACSB Spotsy office is able to offer virtual intake sessions and therapy appointments: 540-582-3980
Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Department non-emergency number: (540) 507-7200
Virginia 211 offers local information about services, food/rent support, etc.: dial 211
Suicide hotline: 800-273-TALK
Substance abuse hotline: 800-662-HELP
Child Care Resource - call 1-866-KIDSTLC to find available child care in your area.
Stay Safe - How to Make a Face Covering
As of April 3, the CDC recommends that wearing cloth face coverings in public areas may help slow the spread of COVID-19. Below is guidance that you can download on how to make a cloth face covering and how to wear and clean it.