SPS Staff and Families,
First and foremost, I know many of you are wondering about a Graduation ceremony, especially the members of the Class of 2020 and their families. Please know that we are contemplating options that are in line with Governor Lamont’s Executive Orders, recommendations from the Connecticut Department of Education (CSDE), feedback and suggestions from students and families as well as building staff and administrators, and guidance from the state and city health departments. We will find a creative solution to this complicated yearning to celebrate an important milestone for the Class of 2020.
We also want to take an opportunity to share a new idea we have to continue to find ways to connect as a school community. As educators, one of our goals is to continue to grow especially when we are implementing something new like identifying creative ways to communicate with and engage our students remotely. Therefore, it should be no surprise that I am hearing from families, teachers and administrators numerous examples of how we continue to challenge, inspire and prepare our students from a distance. The COVID-19 restrictions feel very isolating and we are unable to connect as we have in ordinary times. Our hope is that by sharing stories, ideas, and experiences we will feel connected as a school community.
Our plan is to regularly highlight examples of innovative ideas, lessons, and initiatives through our weekly updates, on our district website, and social media posts. We encourage you to share these stories as we all find unique ways to remain connected during this unfortunate time apart.
Mind~ Last week we had unprecedented participation in voluntary Professional Development, with more than 500 of our staff members participating in training webinars focused on a variety of digital platforms available to teachers. Currently, nearly every teacher is providing synchronous or asynchronous Distance Teaching and Learning for students. Teachers and administrators continue to reach out to families to ensure students are engaged.
Body~ Our teachers and coaches continue to share with and learn from one another. At Northeast, the physical education teachers posted a dance workout video that was received enthusiastically by students and families, Stillmeadow is preparing to host a school wide virtual Field Day, and Stamford High’s athletic department launched a Google Site offering workout and training guidance to help students stay in shape and relieve stress.
Heart~ Of course, we have many examples but our highlights this week are our Westhill students (Westhill Angels) who raised money for health care workers, meals for child care providers and a book give-away. Students in our 18-21 year old Individuals Achieving Independence program made signs to show their appreciation for firefighters with whom they regularly partner with on community projects, and Newfield families held a Teacher Appreciation Car parade.
Finally, in an effort to engage our school community further, we will be hosting a virtual Community Conversation to understand and discuss the aspects of Mind, Body and Heart as they relate to Distance Teaching and Learning. Please look for additional details in a district e-mail and website posting, as we finalize the details.
Thank you for all for your continued effort, support, and your willingness to be part of our team as we continue to navigate this unmatched time together!
Stay safe and healthy,
Dr. Tamu Lucero