March 25, 2020

Dear Parents, Students and Staff, 

Earlier this year and with help from a number of community stakeholders, a new strategic plan for the district was created.  With COVID-19 disrupting our lives, it has also interrupted the rollout of this new plan.  The new tagline for the Granite Falls School District is “We Expect Success!”  What I love about this statement is it doesn’t define who and what Granite Falls schools, students or teachers are in the past, present or future but rather it is evolving.  It allows us to improve continuously day after day.

Between now and April 27th, we expect success in addressing the needs of our students.

  1. We are providing almost 700 meals a day to youth in our community.  The District is also partnering with the Food Bank and Community Coalition to families that need support during this unsettled time.  We hope that your children will take advantage of the meal program.
  2. 12th Graders on track for graduation:  The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has provided us with clearer guidance on getting our seniors to graduation. There are still a number of questions up in the air, but if you have a senior, anticipate communication from your child’s teachers and administration in the next day or two.  The goal is to help as many seniors earn diplomas with lots of flexibility.  Our 12th grade teachers are excited to re-engage with your senior!
  3. Resources for PK-11th grade students.  Our teachers have continued to develop resources and activities that meet our state standards for the purpose of reviewing and refreshing student skills.  We are also mindful of our special needs students and providing appropriate activities/resources both online and in packets.  These resources are being put online today and tomorrow to be available to your student.  Unfortunately, due to the social distancing expectations and “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation by the Governor, we will not have paper packets ready for distribution this week but will the week of April 6th.  If you have access to a phone or device, please find the resources on the website, and certainly, you too will be hearing from your teacher(s).

I think right now one of the more important factors is our kids are scared. They hear our conversations and sense the stress and anxiety that we express or display. They may think being away from school is “summer like” except they really can’t go anywhere or do anything.  They miss school.  Let me tell you, their teachers, principals and staff miss them!!

In the weeks to come our kids may act out more.  The events in the country and world are new to all of us, but above all our children need to hear that they are loved and feel comfortable.  They need to hear the message that it is all going to be okay.  Here’s the real truth.  Use the resources that we are providing to our students, but don’t get hung up about them regressing in school.  Every kid in the nation is in the same boat.  When we return to school, we will adjust.  Our teachers are the experts!  We will be prepared to meet kids where they are at.

This might mean that you let go of that perfect home school schedule and love on your kids and spend more time with them. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of a zoo or museum. Look up at the stars.  Find a book that you can read aloud to the entire family.     And when you and your student are inclined, review the resources and activities we are providing and engage your student with them.

During this school hiatus, your kids’ emotional well-being supersedes their academic well-being.  With academics, we can recalibrate and get caught up, but emotionally, they need to know they are loved and have a sense of security.  The GFSD Teachers and Staff do love and miss your kids and can’t wait to see them again.  They want to support you and will be checking in.  In the meantime, be well, be safe.  Come get meals at bus stops or at the multi-purpose room, and look for educational resources online this week and in paper form the week of April 6th.

We Expect Success!  We will get through this.

 

Dr. M

 

 



Read more about Dr. M HERE>

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