Dear Peck Pirates and their Captains:
I have been trying to keep correspondence at a minimum as I know that distance learning can be overwhelming and Mr. Kerr has been keeping us updated through the shut down regularly. This has been an incredibly emotional time for all of us. I am grieving for the teachers and staff who didn't get to say goodbye to their kids the way they wanted. I am grieving for my students because a chapter of their life was cut short without closure and it is so very hard. I am grieving for the parents at home who are trying to just keep it all together. I hope that you know that my family and I are in every single one of these boats-the only word that comes to mind regarding this whole situation for all of us is HEARTBREAKING.
I am missing "normal" most terribly. No amount of zoom meetings or distance learning lesson plans can take the place of our school and being with our Pirate family. Keeping all of this in mind, we are trying to wear all of these hats whenever we make decisions about the rest of the school year and the health and safety of our students and staff. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out and express them to me directly. I am always open to suggestions and I try to be as flexible as is permitted during these unprecedented times. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 810-378-5200 x 3188 and leave me a voicemail and I will get back with you as soon as possible.
I do have some specific ELEMENTARY issues and items about which I wanted to share information. Please stay safe, tell your Pirates that I miss them, and I hope we see everyone VERY soon!
Photography and printing is not essential, so the Spring Pictures that were taken on 3/11/20 have not been sent to the school yet. Some parents were granted online access by happy accident, but not all of us. I have been in touch with the Lifetouch representative and as soon as they are able, they will send them to the school. When I receive them and the Stay At Home Order lifts, I will make them available for pick up on selected dates and times which will be posted and communicated. Furthermore, the company has agreed to discount the packages to $20 out the door, so if you'd like the pictures, you can take the whole package home by paying $20 cash or check and we will send the payment to Lifetouch.
END OF YEAR AWARDS and CELEBRATIONS
Obviously, these events such as Awards Night, Citizenship, Kindergarten Readiness, Kindergarten Graduation, and Little Pirate Roundup are of utmost importance to us and our families. We are unable to do those things in person due to restrictions beyond our control. The staff and I have been brainstorming creative solutions and alternatives for these events and will keep you posted. If you have any ideas, thoughts, or questions, I welcome you to email me at email@example.com or call the office at 810-378-5200x 3188 and leave me a voicemail and I will contact you back.
As I have voiced very regularly to my staff and to anyone who will listen, Distance Learning is not Homeschooling. Distance Learning is not Online School. Distance Learning is a strategy to manage the crisis that we are in during this time. If getting on the computer and doing things online is too much or you don't have internet or a printer, remember that paper packets are available at the school during meal distribution. No one believes this is ideal. We are doing the very best we can with what we have, just like you are at home. While the students will just be receiving CREDIT for their work, not a letter grade, I strongly encourage and advise you to please do as much of it as you can. What the teachers are sending home for a full week is roughly equivalent to what they would do in ONE DAY in the classroom. So, I have asked the teachers to pare down their lessons and needs to about 1/5 of what they would have usually done before the school year ends. We know that you are not teachers and we don't expect you to be. We are just trying to get as much practice to students as much as possible so that we can pick up where we left off next fall. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please reach out to me or your child's teacher. We are here to help!
Many parents and teachers and/or myself had conversations before the shut down regarding retention. No matter what, retention is a parental choice and is only a suggestion by a school district. However, as a mom, I can say that I also can understand if parents want to retain their child(ren) and do the same grade level next year due to missing out on the two months of the traditional school environment, especially if your child was struggling. If you feel that this might be an option you'd like to explore, please contact me or your child's teacher.
As you already realize, teachers and staff are still working, just in a very different way. I think they would agree with me when I say that working remotely is a huge challenge for a variety of reasons. I have asked them to be available during regular school hours. If you have a question or concern, that is the optimal time to contact them to ensure a response back the same day. After the school day is done, if you have a question or concern, feel free to reach out, but know that they may not be be able to get back with you until the following day. Some teachers may have specific "after school" hours that the make themselves available and that is up to them. Again, this varies teacher by teacher.
MEAL DISTRIBUTION AND MATERIALS
Meals are available for pickup Tuesday and Thursday every week from 10:00 am-12:00 noon and again from 5:00-7:00 pm. You may also pick up paper packets or check out a chromebook at this time.
PERSONAL ITEMS AND LOCKER CLEAN OUT
We know children left items behind. Obviously, you will be allowed to get those when it is SAFE to do so. Once we are able, we will open the building for you to get your child's belongings, workbooks, instruments, etc.
REGISTRATION for 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR
We are still deciding how registration will occur for next school year. We will keep families posted regarding how we plan to do this. Thank you for your patience.