Charles Dickens began his book “A Tale of Two Cities” by observing: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ….” That certainly describes our world in this time of COVID-19 and our global pandemic.
Over 120 Casa Grande Elementary School District teachers, principals, nurses, administrators and other staff members worked throughout the summer to help plan for the new school year. Each team member has wanted nothing short of a full and safe return. Declining rates of infection and hospitalizations along with on-demand testing and quick returns on test results are necessary to ensure this safety. We recognize that at this point we have neither. This is disappointing — we cherish and miss our students and want to help them grow, learn and reach their potential. These teams are still pursuing solutions, options and providing Dr. Gonzales and the board with choices and recommendations.
Because our community deserves better than week-by-week decisions related to when we will resume in-person learning, the decision has been made to start school remotely on Aug. 17 and continue through to fall break at the earliest so our families, teachers and community in general can more effectively plan.
At this point in time, we think we know a bit more about COVID-19 and how to implement measures to minimize its contagion. But the path forward for education, businesses, industries and society in general is a lot less clear. The mission of the district is: “Success for Every One, the Responsibility is Yours and Mine.” We are all absolutely committed to the twin imperatives of keeping students and school personnel safe while delivering the best possible education to our children.
During the next few weeks, CGESD families will receive an invitation to participate in an individual conference with their child’s teacher. The priority will be building relationships to support continued learning and success. Families will also receive information on computer device and material pickup at each school site and how to access technology support.
Here is some important benchmark information as we move toward the Aug. 17 first day of school:
- Family-teacher-student conferences will take place from Aug. 3 through Aug. 13
- The 2020-21 school year will get underway via distance learning on Aug. 17
- Teachers will be engaging in ongoing professional learning in distance education methods to better meet the needs of students
- Students will engage in lessons at the start of the year to help them become successful distance learners
- Additional online supports for students and families will be made available
- Principals and teachers will be continuing to plan for the safest possible reopening this fall
- Parents and families wanting more information about the start of school should send their questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 520-836-2111.
- Los padres y las familias que deseen mas informacion sobre el comienzo de la escuela deben enviar sus preguntas a email@example.com o al 520-836-2111.
Our present circumstances with the pandemic remind us all what we as a governing body have long understood: that educators are invaluable in the lives of children and we all miss our students tremendously! We thank you for your understanding and continued support as we work together to keep our students and staff safe.
Casa Grande Elementary School District Governing Board members
Judee Jackson, Rachel Hernandez, Gilberto Mendez, Jerry Stabley and David Snider
CGESD Superintendent Dr. JoEtta Gonzales