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COVID Update - One Year Later 3/19/2021
It has been one year almost to the day where we departed from what we knew as “normal” into a completely unknown world. Throughout the past 365 days, there have been tumultuous ups and downs and we have all had to adapt to a new normal. Part of that new normal is the fact that we must be prepared to adjust and make changes in a moment’s notice.
As you recall, last year as we entered into Distance Learning, the entire state was under a “hold harmless” clause where no student was to be held responsible for academic performance. However, as has been communicated, this year, students are being held accountable for their academic performance. That being said, we all recognize that we have experienced anything but a “normal” year. However, our teachers and staff have put together the best educational opportunities for all students. We are now at that point of the year where we need to look forward as to what next year will look like. Should your student repeat their current grade? Or, where are the gaps in each student’s learning? We will have a summer school program this year that will hopefully draw many students that need assistance in closing the learning gap.
We are just starting the 3rd Trimester. This is the final push for all of us to hopefully end our year on a high note. Please encourage your student to do their absolute best on each and everything they do. This starts with attending school every day and completing ALL assignments. Staff have and will continue to be available to provide assistance to any student that needs that assistance.
8Th GRADERS ONLY….we are planning on having a ceremony of a sort for those 8th graders that have met the requirements to participate in this ceremony. The graduation ceremony will be for those students that have earned the privilege of participating. For those students that have not met those requirements, they may still work to satisfy the requirements to promote to the 9th grade.
Our principals are working with our teachers to identify which students need the most help. We are well aware that every student has most likely experienced learning loss. Therefore, we are going to make a concerted effort to identify which standards students have mastered and which students have NOT met those grade level standards. From that point, we will analyze the number of students that are a bit behind and those that are significantly below grade level standard. With this data, we will be able to make better decisions on the plans for next year as a school and district, as well as an individualized plan for each student
Currently, we are looking at ways to end the year strong. We are wanting to finalize plans for Open House soon, so we all can plan for that event. We are all eagerly anticipating the start of youth sports in our community. We are eager for Spring Break! We are pushing to get school back to a full day! Each of these goals is attainable on a timeline and through a process! We all would love the return to be as instantaneous as the shut down was last year, but that is not a reality. All we can do is to continue to practice the mitigation strategies of distancing, healthy hygiene practices and wearing a mask. IF you are traveling for spring break, please adhere to the most up-to-date travel guidelines established by the state. This may require a period of quarantine upon your return from your travels. Continue to stay home if you are feeling sick. We are very close to getting this all under control, but too, that balance is fragile, as we are always an outbreak away from having to make more restrictions.
You all should give yourselves and each other a pat on the back and an (air) high five! I am greatly proud of what our school community has been able to accomplish thus far. It has been a trying year to say the least, but we have learned so much and hopefully will come out better than we were before.
There is much discussion centered around the state testing (CAASPP). While the state continues to sort out options for each district, we are opting to push forward and have testing for our students. Students in grades 3 through 8 will take the ELA and Math tests. Students in grades 5 and 8 most likely will take the state test in science. In addition to the state testing, we will be using local measures to ascertain the level in which each student achieves. We believe that any assessment where we can gauge student progress, or to identify areas of need for each student, is a great opportunity to address and overcome student learning loss.
We are currently evaluating student achievement (and learning loss), developing a plan for Summer School/August Bootcamp and then what the start of the school year will look like in August. You are always welcome to provide your input and insight on such matters. You can contact your site administrator or Superintendent Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, it is incredibly important to hear from you when we send out surveys.
Thank you! Congratulations on making it through one of the most trying years in history! Continue to practice sound hygiene practices and follow mitigation measures and we will continue to push forward toward a more “normal” environment. Thank you for all you have done and we look forward to continuing to work together to see this through. Stay Strong, Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!
Committed to Excellence in Education,
Chris Harris, Superintendent
Thank you for visiting our COVID updates page. This will be the official page for all things COVID for Yreka Union School District.