March 20, 2020
SCUC ISD Parents/Guardians:
Thanks to each of you for the continued understanding and support as SCUC ISD addresses the many challenges of keeping our students, staff and community healthy while still fulfilling our mission to educate all children.
This week has been challenging for our families. Many parents are caring for their children while transitioning to remote or teleworking situations. Some parents are facing reduced hours and potential loss of employment. Our SCUC family understands this is a difficult time for many in our community. We are working to support you through continued meal service for your students, sharing of supplemental digital resources for those who would like them, the development of a more robust remote learning plan to begin on Wednesday, March 25th, and the providing of technology devices to help those without access participate in remote learning. I would like to highlight a few important things for you as we head into the weekend.
Remote Learning Plan
As you may know, SCUC ISD curriculum and campus leaders have met this week to develop a system to facilitate learning in this new remote environment. First, I want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our student and academic services team, campus administrators, campus instructional leadership teams and all of our classroom teachers for the roles that each played in the development of this initial learning plan. Modifying classroom instruction to fit into online and paper/pencil formats is not easy, and it will not be the same learning experience for our students. As educators, we had many crucial conversations about what learning standards to include, how to monitor student progress, how to differentiate for our students based on their individual needs, how to provide the resources necessary to participate in this learning and more. Please keep these great people in your thoughts as they continue to navigate uncharted waters with your child’s needs at the forefront of their minds.
Beginning Wednesday, March 25th, SCUC students will begin interacting with their classroom teachers to receive instruction and complete assignments through both electronic and low tech solutions. Our team has put together this remote learning plan for parents (English, Spanish) to explain how learning will proceed during school closure. If you have not already been contacted, your child’s teacher(s) will be reaching out to you over the next few days to explain how remote learning will work for your child’s various classes when we start on Wednesday.
Designing a remote learning program for families with varying degrees of internet and technology access, differing student abilities, and differing numbers of children at home was daunting. We purposefully reduced the number of activities and time needed to complete the work provided, and we are not taking grades in the initial phase of the plan. As we progress, student expectations will increase. Parents, if you feel your student needs additional work to do, you still have these digital resources available on our website to use as enrichment options.
This Covid 19 situation is ever evolving, and our remote learning plan will also evolve. We know that over the past week SCUC ISD has made literally thousands of decisions. Many of them are great decisions. Some will end up not being so great. We just don’t know which decisions aren’t good ones, yet. When we identify ways to improve our plan, we will.
Distributing Student Devices
Earlier this week SCUC ISD shared this Student Device Home Survey to help us determine how many electronic devices the district would need to provide our students. Based on those results, early next week our technology department will begin distributing Chromebooks or iPads to families that completed the survey. Parents, if you completed the survey, please be looking for an email or a phone call early next week from the SCUC ISD technology department for a date, time and location to pick up and sign for a device.
The district’s executive leadership team is meeting daily in a virtual environment to work through issues as they are identified. Our entire leadership team meets remotely at the end of every week to report on progress and help problem solve. Next week, we will turn our attention to key decisions and timelines related to seniors and all other high school students, including options for graduation, awarding credit, calculating grade point averages, and using grades from remote learning in these calculations. Our goal is to have more information by the end of next week. Since we are unsure as to whether we will return to class on April 6 or be out of school for an extended period, many of these decisions will not be final.
Once more, I would like to thank our parents, staff and community for your flexibility and for pulling together as a team in SCUC. By continuing to work together, we will get through this public health crisis and disruption to our daily lives. Our faculty and staff miss your kids, and we can’t wait to reconnect with them even if it is virtually.
Clark C. Ealy, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools