Superintendent's Update- June 5, 2020

Superintendents Update- June 5, 2020


Good Evening,

Unfortunately, my weekly communication follows a week of social unrest, uncertainty, and frustration for many Americans. Amid this already challenging time dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to acknowledge the senseless murder of an unarmed African American man: George Floyd. As an educational institution, Pembroke Public schools stands firmly against overt and institutional racism that persists in our society. I know that our Pembroke community will confront these issues, both academically and in practice. Many of our students undoubtedly have questions about the unjust acts, protests, unrest, and violence they are witnessing. Discussing issues of race, white privilege, the history of oppression, protest, and power is culturally responsive teaching and happens organically while we are in our educational environments. However, in our remote learning environments, these can be difficult topics to address. To support those conversations, be that at home or online, our mental health staff has compiled a list of resources for both teachers and the community to access on our website under Remote Learning.

Please know that our mental health staff is also available as a resource to your students.

Remote Learning Feedback:

Next week parents, students (grades 5-12), and teachers will be asked to complete brief surveys about their experience with remote learning. Students in grades 7-12 will receive the survey in their emails, and we will ask teachers to share the link as well. Parents will also receive the survey through their building email “blast,” and links will be shared on social media sites. The survey data will be used to identify areas where we can improve remote instruction and how to support students and families better. As we begin to think about next year, we know we will need three plans for a return to school: a plan for students returning to the building, a plan for a return to remote teaching, and a hybrid plan that includes both at school and home learning.

Professional Development Day – Afternoon of June 11th:

Next Thursday, June 11th, teachers will be participating in professional development from 11:30-2:30 PM for grades 7-12 and from noon until 3 PM for PreK-6 teachers.  Teachers will take some time to reflect on their remote teaching experience and identify best practices as well as communicate and collaborate on their curriculum progress and a starting point for next year.  Any real-time meetings scheduled for next Thursday during those times will not meet.

Retrieval of Student Belongings and Return of School Materials:

Building principals have shared information about collecting student belongings left at school following the shutdown in March. Following strict protocols from the Pembroke Department of Public Health (masks on, one-way traffic flow, small groups at a time), students in grades 7-12 will have an opportunity to retrieve items in their lockers. For students in grades PreK-6, we will be cleaning out student desks, bagging those items, and providing a time for families to pick up the bags. A Chromebook return process will also be shared for June 17th, 18th, and 19th.

On the eve of what would have been our graduation for the Class of 2020, we are beginning the closeout process of this school year, one we undoubtedly will never forget.  We are starting to plan for what our new normal will be for the 20-21 school year.  As information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as other state agencies become available over the next few weeks, we will share our planning process with you and include staff and families in our discussions as we talk about the details of our return to school in September.  Though many things are uncertain currently there is one thing I am sure of, and that is the strength of this community.  Please join me in congratulating our Class of 2020 and we look forward to welcoming our class of 2033 into kindergarten this fall.

Stay well!