I begin this message by expressing gratitude: thank you to the School Board for its unanimous approval tonight of our CCSD Reopening of School Plan, thank you to the citizens who attended to share their opinions and thank you to those who, instead of attending, emailed or called to share their thoughts. You can read a recap of tonight’s meeting online at https://bit.ly/CCSDbbb7920.
Thank you to the parents, teachers and staff and partners who served on my advisory committees for this planning. Thank you to every parent who responded to our questionnaire last month and provided us with useful data to prepare our plan. Thank you to everyone in our community who has provided us with invaluable feedback regarding the coming school year.
Thank you to my staff, who have worked long hours to prepare our plan, which is posted online at https://bit.ly/CCSDplan20. They know, just as I know and our School Board knows, that it isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t please everyone – that is an impossible task. But it is our approved plan, and we now must take the next steps as we together prepare for the new school year.
My staff and I will spend the next month readying our campuses and our Digital Learning plans and continuing to answer your questions and updating our Reopening of Schools FAQs webpage online at https://bit.ly/CCSDfaqs20. We need you to make your decision:
- If you plan to send your child back to our campuses for Traditional In-Person learning, you don’t need to do anything further. You will receive an email on July 29 asking you to complete our usual Back-to-School Gateway process to confirm emergency contacts and update other data.
- If you plan to keep your child home and participate in our Digital Learning program, then you must by 5 p.m. Friday, July 17, complete the commitment form online at https://bit.ly/CCSDdlcommit20. There will be no exceptions. We are asking you to make a commitment to Digital Learning: for elementary school – for the first nine weeks (Aug. 3-Oct. 9); for middle and high school - for the entire first semester (Aug. 3-Dec. 18). This commitment is needed in order to have adequate staffing in place. After the July 17 deadline, our elementary schools will build class rosters; our middle and high schools will build classes and schedules, and school staff will contact these students to finalize their course selections. You also will receive an email on July 29 asking you to complete our usual Back-to-School Gateway process.
- If you plan to withdraw your child from CCSD, you need to call or email your child’s school to advise them and arrange for records to be forwarded appropriately. Our school front office staff is answering calls from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Four months ago, we gave you one day’s notice that our schools would close. Our students, families, teachers and staff all showed flexibility as we transitioned to digital learning with little notice. As I’ve shared before, I am deeply grateful for all of the patience and grace everyone showed each other during that challenging time.
As we prepare to begin our new school year, I’d ask you to please continue to keep those words in mind: flexibility, patience, grace. The virus doesn’t care about our plans, and we may find ourselves in situations where our plans must change, again with only one day’s notice.
Together, we will get through this next school year, which I imagine will be unlike any other any of us have ever experienced. We are stronger together. We are better together!
Dr. Brian V. Hightower
Superintendent of Schools