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Principal's Message: 3/16/20

Dear OHS families,

It has certainly been a wild few weeks.  I hope you and all your loved ones are safe and healthy.  We are about to embark on a new adventure together into Distance Learning. I am so proud of our staff for all the extra work and effort they put into these last days and weeks.

Mr. Cummings sent out a link to the Elementary Flexible Learning Plan and the Special Education Flexible Learning Plan. They have lots of information on what you need to know for distance learning.  Also, please understand that as the students and staff grow with their comfort and knowledge of the platform, the depth of how it is used will likely change.

There are a few basic points that I want to reiterate from the plan to ensure clarity:

·        Starting Date: Tuesday, March 17th at 11:00 am

As Mr. Cummings stated, this will be like the first day of school all over again. I have asked teachers to keep the first day very simple and focused on establishing the routines and expectations for the new virtual classroom.  We will be running training for staff that first day both before school starts and during the day.


·        Official School Hours: 9:30-3:00


·        Attendance

Teachers will take attendance daily by the end of the official school day. They will take attendance through a simple assignment, possibly tied to the morning message, that should be answered by all students by 3:00. We understand that some students may need to work on the tasks outside the official school hours of 9:30-3:00 and that is ok.  If a teacher is planning a synchronous activity, where it is important the students are present at a certain time, the teacher will let the students and/or parents know ahead of time so they can try to be available. 


·        No Live Video Communication

It is important that there be no live video communication between classroom teachers and students and between students and other students.  This is for the safety and privacy of everyone involved. Other districts that moved to distance learning have strongly suggested this.

There is lots more information in the linked plans.  As we move into implementing the plan, I am certain there will be bumps and mistakes.  Please bear with us.

I have been so touched by the kind notes from families over the last days.  The support and caring response makes the sudden move to distance learning more manageable for the staff members and me.  Thank you.

Finally, social isolation is extremely challenging (even the first day!). Please reach out to your child’s teacher, support staff, or me for advice, suggestions, or help if you are running into concerns or questions.  We are all on the same team.