I hope your summer has been healthy and safe. I have wanted to send this email for some time but also wanted to have as much information as possible before I sent it. As you can imagine, the information we receive from the State of Texas regarding the opening of schools is changing rapidly. A couple of housekeeping items is that the summer mailer will be going out in early August. This will contain award certificates your child may have received from the end of last year. It will also include things such as order forms for grade level t-shirts, important upcoming dates, etc.
This week all of our teachers and staff are participating in our annual professional development, Learning in Lovejoy. With the delivery of instruction going online for all students over the first three weeks of school, all of our teachers will be taking a certification course for online teaching. This will allow us to take the great instruction that is delivered in the classrooms and provide an equally impactful learning experience for the students online. With that being said, instruction over these three weeks, and longer if you choose for your child to continue online learning, will look much different from the Spring. "Face time" with the teacher and direct instruction will be increased greatly.
I have been meeting with teachers, both individually and in their grade level teams over the summer, and there are a few things that have become abundantly clear: 1) they cannot wait to be back on campus with their students doing what they love to do in an environment that is safe for everyone and 2) no matter the environment in which they are teaching, online or in person, they won't accept anything less than extraordinary work from themselves.
It goes without saying, when we have students back on campus this year, it is going to be different. The procedures we put in place will be with the goal in mind of getting 100% of our students back on campus as soon as we possibly can so we can do what we do best, offer a great school experience for our kids. With that being said, until we are all back together, I can assure you we will work diligently to also offer an online experience that is second to none. Your standards should not be any less of us.
So, what can you do right now to help us prepare for the school year, you ask?
Please go into your child's Powerschool account and select whether you would like for them to continue online learning after the first three weeks of school or if you plan for your children to attend classes on campus. Having these numbers as soon as possible will allow us to make any needed changes to the schedule, classrooms, etc. for us to provide the safest environment we possibly can. If you do decide to send your children to us on September 8
, I can assure you we will have left no stone unturned to ensure we have created the safest possible school we can. Over the next few weeks, I will be able to lay out these safety precautions to you.
I cannot stress enough how important I feel it is for your children and the Willow Springs staff to be on campus together again. It has been well communicated the benefits the children received from having this face to face social interaction. I believe we underestimate the value our staff gets from that same interaction.
I can't wait to stop kids in the hall for running, to be standing out in the heat directing traffic, and responding to a teacher's question with, "That was in the weekly email I sent out. You didn't read it?". I'll never appreciate these things more than when we get to "do school" again.
Anticipating your return,