Today Governor Raimondo announced that RI schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. This is in no way to suggest that school is over, but rather that we will be putting all of our efforts into finishing out the year strong through Distance Learning.
This means that TAPA’s entire fourth quarter will occur via Distance Learning, which will continue through the last day of our updated school calendar: June 18th.
We understand that this announcement brings uncertainty and disappointment. We are heartbroken and as much as any of you, want to be back at TAPA with our students. Acting on this desire, however, must be delayed for the health of our Ensemble and greater community. We simply can’t risk lives; we must make the best of this situation.
Therefore, we will continue to provide the best TAPA experience possible, while being aware that Distance Learning creates hardships for students, families, and educators. We will also keep in the forefront of our mind how many of our TAPA families have been directly impacted by COVID-19, and continue to approach teaching and learning through a lens of empathy and mutual support. Our top priority needs to be supporting our community through a trauma-informed lens in every aspect of Teaching and Learning.
Distance Learning at TAPA will continue much as it has for the past month, with all artists and educators providing new grade-level content for students every week. We will focus on the academic material that is most essential to prepare students for next grade level. We will adapt our final exams for an online venue, and all exams will be open notes/resources. Learning will be flexible, creative, culturally responsive, rigorous, and personalized to the needs of each student and our community as a whole.
As part of extending Distance Learning to the end of this school year, we are working to reimagine those end-of-year events that are so meaningful to our community. Currently, our academic and arts teams are working on maintaining the spirit of these events, such as senior awards night, prom, graduation, senior shows, and ArtsFest, by re-envisioning them in creative ways. More information about those events will come your way soon.
I am confident that we will rise to meet this challenge, and that as an Ensemble, we will do so with honesty, empathy, and unity.