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Important Continuity of Learning Updates, April 9, 2020

April 9th, 2020

The following update was sent to the HCPSS community by Superintendent Michael Martirano on April 9, 2020:

Over the past four weeks, the HCPSS has been working to develop a continuity of learning plan that builds a bridge between expectations in the traditional school setting and learning during a national state of emergency. This pandemic has greatly interrupted our lives and created a great deal of unease. We realize that uncertainty about school operations and learning has been an additional source of anxiety, and we have not lost sight of the many open questions on how this unprecedented period of school closure will affect our educational program. Find the latest updates on issues such as GT placements and mitigation of learning gaps, and the status of our work in addressing other matters including grading and attendance.

Today we completed device distribution to high school families who requested a device through our student technology survey. Despite following health guidelines, we have experienced challenges in maintaining social distancing during in-person device distribution. Moving forward, we will use a revised procedure where devices will either be mailed or delivered directly to middle and elementary families, and to high school families who requested devices but were unable to pick them up. More information is provided online and specifics will be shared with each applicable family.

Parents of children receiving special education services are encouraged to visit our new Continuity of Learning – Special Education webpage. Because a countywide plan for special education continuity of learning would not serve every child’s unique needs, each child receiving special education services will have an individualized plan. Parents have several options for collaborating with staff to best support their child.

We continue to expand our meal services during school closure, and I am pleased to announce that beginning Tuesday, April 14, meals will be distributed at Hollifield Station Elementary, in addition to the existing 13 meal distribution sites. HCPSS already has served more than 250,000 meals since meal distribution began on March 17.

As we begin the shift to distance learning, I know that families may feel overwhelmed by the quantity of messages you are receiving from our system and schools. It is important that we ensure you have all of the necessary information to allow learning to proceed as seamlessly as possible, and I appreciate your patience and support as we work quickly to adapt to and refine an entirely new instructional model.

Best wishes to you and your family for peace and well-being during the long holiday weekend.