I trust you and your family are having a wonderful summer!
The purpose of this midsummer message is to give you an update of the many activities that are happening in the Ray-Pec School District.
We had our largest Summer School enrollment in the history of the school district. Over 2,700 students attended school in June or are attending in July, either in an in-person format or through virtual education. A big thank you to all of our teachers, support staff and building/district leadership for making these summer school sessions possible for our students!
Proposition S Bond Implementation
Thank you once again for your support of Proposition S! As you know, Proposition S is the bond election that voters overwhelmingly approved in April. There are four major aspects of Proposition S.
- Conversion of the building at 58 Highway and Foxridge Drive into the LEAD Center. The LEAD Center, which stands for Learning, Experiences, And Discovery, will be an exciting place for students to explore career paths, to gain employable skills and competencies, to participate in new styles of learning, or to explore their interests in a variety of technology opportunities. At full build-out, we envision the LEAD Center to be a place where elementary and middle school students will also have opportunities to learn and explore through summer enrichment programs.
- Construction of a Ninth Grade Center (NGC) which will eventually become Ray-Pec’s second high school at some point in the future.
- Construction of a Performing Arts Center, which will allow students to showcase talents and skills in a facility that will allow additional learning experiences that our current facility does not.
- Stewardship of our existing facilities. With over 1.2 million square feet of facility space, a sustained building re-investment and facility upkeep program is needed to continue to provide safe and efficient learning opportunities for students.
I invite you to look at our Proposition S website for continued updates and timelines about the implementation of these exciting projects!
Planning for the 21-22 School Year
Our teams are hard at work planning and preparing for a full in-person 5-day mode of school at both elementary and secondary levels. Additionally, teams have also been hard at work on the Virtual Instruction Program of Ray-Pec (VIPR), which will continue to be an option for elementary and secondary students who want a virtual instruction experience.
We also know that for many students there was a learning disruption because of COVID-19 during the 20-21 school year. We will address this interruption by providing additional academic support as well as social and emotional support for our students. Several teams have been working diligently on this issue. We will be as prepared as we can be to start the school year in a way that will provide the foundation for an outstanding learning experience for all students.
School Safety Measures
As you know, our world’s experience with COVID-19 is not yet over. However, we are hopeful that this coming school year will look different than last year. Vaccines are currently available for those 12 years old and older. There has been a nationwide reduction in the number of positive cases when compared to six months ago. Both of those items serve as a reason for hope as we prepare for the coming school year. I want you to know that we will continue to be vigilant this school year with our safety measures because of the continued potential of the virus. I will have more on our COVID-19 protocols in another Message From Mike in the first part of August.
One question that I have received this summer is what our approach will be for the use of face coverings in schools this fall. At the current time and based on our experiences with summer school, face coverings for all unvaccinated persons will be highly recommended in all indoor environments when consistent physical distancing between people is not possible. However, face coverings will not be a requirement for school attendance unless we are given that requirement by our local health department or county officials. In the meantime, I highly encourage you to talk to your healthcare provider about vaccinations for those who are eligible to receive a vaccine. The more protection we can provide ourselves will go a long way towards having a successful in-person school year.
Another Year of Patience and Grace, with A Fresh Start
As I wrote in a recent email to you, the words with which we framed this past school year were Plan and Adjust, Patience and Grace, and Embrace the Ambiguity. While those words will still be much needed, I also want us to focus on the following words to frame the 21-22 school year:
Hope. Growth. A Fresh Start.
With your support of the recent bond issue and the opportunities that it holds for our students, along with the intended return to full in-person classes at all levels and commitment to our VIPR program, there is every reason to be excited for the 21-22 school year.
Thank you for entrusting your children to the Ray-Pec School District.
I am passionately driven by the belief that Everyone Is Created To Flourish