April 7, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians, Staff, and Community members,
As we begin our third full week of school closure, I would like to reiterate my appreciation for our entire staff who have been working tirelessly to serve our students and families even as we face the new challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thank you to our food service and transportation staff who are currently delivering over 700 meals per day. Thank you to our support staff who are ensuring weekly instructional packets are printed, collated, and delivered to households each week. Thank you to our teachers who are adapting their entire curriculum to online learning while learning new technology strategies with support from our technology integrationists. Thank you to our information technology staff who are getting devices into the hands of students and supporting our technology infrastructure to keep us connected. Thank you to our human resources and financial departments for making sure our employees’ pay & benefits continue, even as we work to get our school budget approved. Thank you to our dedicated custodial and facilities staff who safeguard the health of our essential employees and maintain our grounds and facilities. Thank you to our front office staff and Administrators who continue to answer questions and find help for our families, staff, and community members both through telework and by continuing to come into the office. Thank you to our School’s Out childcare workers who are tending to the children of SB’s Essential Workers. Sincere thanks to all of our staff who have risen to the challenge and continue to serve our families and students during this crisis.
Of course, I would also like to thank our families who are supporting their children and each other and have sent so many positive messages to our staff in recent days. Your support has given us strength as we work hard to continue our educational mission, despite the significant challenges we face. And thank you to our community members who support our schools by volunteering, mentoring, and providing us with constructive feedback during our budget adoption this spring. We also draw strength from our wider community and the support they provide to our public schools.
We continue to follow the state and federal guidance closely and will keep our community updated with developments as we adapt to a rapidly changing environment this spring. As much as possible we will observe our district school calendar and will communicate to you any changes required by the current circumstances. Some important notices follow here:
We will take a well-deserved break from online learning during our spring vacation the week of April 20-24.
We expect that there will be no statewide testing this spring since Vermont has received a waiver to forego it from the U.S. Department of Education.
With regular check-ins scheduled to take place from our elementary teachers, there will be no traditional parent/teacher conferences for Grades PreK-5 this year. We are looking into a suitable format for PLP conferences to take place for students in Grades 6-12 through video-conference, hopefully to be scheduled in late April or early May.
We are following COVID-19 developments closely and will provide updates regarding SBHS Graduation in the weeks to come based on the best information we have at that time. By April 13th, we will have structures in place at each school to take daily attendance remotely for the remainder of the school year to ensure continuity of learning for all students in line with state requirements.
Our second vote date of the South Burlington School District budget for the 2020-21 school year is not yet determined. The School Board and City officials are seeking guidance from Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos to review a process and ensure that safe voting procedures can be in place. On April 13th the School Board will vote on the budget and share information publicly, which will include the date for the next vote.
It continues to be an honor to serve our South Burlington school community, especially right now. Thank you for your support. Please do not hesitate to contact us to share what is going well for you and how we can serve you better during this crisis.
David Young, Superintendent