April 29, 2020
The word unprecedented is often used to describe the current circumstances related to education and just about every other aspect of society. We have never seen a disruption to our daily lives like that caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Schools look much different than they ever have before, and although educators and families have made the very best of the situation, we all recognize a need to look forward, to something better.
We will most certainly face incredible challenges in the weeks and months ahead, as we work together in our local communities to safely re-establish our way of life. As educators, we recognize the incredible role our school systems play in this process. We know there are many questions and concerns on the minds of parents, students, staff, and every person impacted by the closure of our schools. Our commitment is to tackle each of these questions and concerns and to thoughtfully and diligently navigate new challenges in a way that makes safety the top priority for all.
Soon, we will close out this school year and transition to summer. Closure includes recognizing the successes of our students, particularly those of the graduating class of 2020. In an effort to determine the very best way to honor our graduates, Mr. Rhodes has worked with a group of students and staff to develop several different plans, each depending on the options we will have according to state and local health officials. These plans will be shared soon and will undoubtedly represent the very best ideas available to us. In addition, Mr. Heinrichs and a middle school team are working to create similar plans for 8th grade promotion.
We so appreciate everyone's patience, flexibility, and the grace you have extended and continue to extend as we close out this school year. Our administrative team is gearing up to plan for August and a return to school. We know there will be adjustments based on our response to the pandemic, but we are optimistic that we will have students and staff back in our buildings in August. In order to safely return to an in-person educational model, there is much to be considered, and it will require a great deal of collaboration and feedback with our families, staff, and the entire school community. Opportunities for this type of collaboration will be presented soon, and we look forward to meeting our new challenges head-on and with the collective wisdom and unique experiences of the people of Hesston.
There is a lot we do not currently know, but we are optimistic that the picture of what the next few months will look like will become clearer as we move into May. We will use the very best information available to us and rely on health and educational experts to plan accordingly. As we work through that planning process, we will remain committed to communication with our entire school community and committed to receiving feedback on how our plans are evolving.
Thank you for all you do to support our kids in Hesston. This is an incredible community, and we will become better because of the way we meet this challenge together. Please do not hesitate to call or email anytime you have questions or concerns, and we look forward to better days ahead.