Professional Development Day April 3 and More

April 1, 2020

Dear Families:

I don’t think we can enter April without acknowledging the two different worlds we experienced in March.  Although it seems an eternity ago, it has been just a few short weeks since we were all running from one activity to another, trying to keep up with the hecticness that we all called normal.  Now, we have learned to balance the challenges and benefits of found time: to do things we do not usually do, to have true quality time with our immediate family, and to be creative and satisfied with that. I wonder what incredible gifts we roll forward from this new normal to the previous one.  I wonder too what we realize was not healthy and we do not put back into our daily worlds.

There are growing daily reminders of why we are not in school and the impact.  We are slowly learning of illness either in homes within the school community or in the homes of those people love and care about.   The expectation is for that to increase over the next few weeks.  We must remember that this is why we are not together.  We are also more and more aware of families in need of financial help.  For many, the loss of jobs is real and having an immediate implication.  For yet others, the conditions at home now include two working parents and young children. I can go on since there are so many variations on what people are experiencing.  All of us are wrestling with the constant sense of crisis, loss, change and worry about what could happen.  Things are not normal.  The goals and expectations of education cannot be the same.

We are actively preparing for what we are calling “Phase 2” of our virtual learning efforts given the extended school closure.  The details of this plan will be shared at the end of the week with implementation scheduled for Monday, April 6.  In order for teachers to plan, collaborate, and organize for this, Friday, April 3, 2020, will be a professional development day.

Daily assignments will be postponed until Monday as will regular feedback or check-ins.  We encourage families to explore the vast set of resources posted on the Supplemental Resource list at this link if you want to be academically oriented on Friday:  There is rich, robust content on this list.  We are also exploring creative ideas for engagement and connection to be shared on Friday morning.  Thank you so much for the ongoing support as we reinvent every educational practice and process.

Other reminders and information:

A reminder that CMS is hosting a student assembly at 1 pm on Friday.  Information is found here:

The Massachusetts Health Council is sponsoring a COVID-19 Video Contest for Middle and High School Students.  The request is for a 20-60 second video on the importance of social distancing and other MPDH guidelines. There is a $500 prize for the winning video!

We will have another Virtual Coffee with the Superintendent on Friday at 3 p.m.  The Zoom information is posted here:

It was rewarding to see WCVB Channel 5’s Eyeopener highlight the school districts’ donations to Emerson Hospital this morning.  Congratulations too to Concord mom Anna Travias who also organized a donation to Emerson!

Among the positives to the situation is the sense of community and efforts to take care of one another.  Thanks to everyone who furthers those efforts each day.