March 22, 2020 Update

March 22, 2020 Update
Posted on 03/22/2020

Greetings East Granby families, faculty, staff, and community members:

Tomorrow, Monday March 23rd, our school district has prepared - in a matter of days - to embark on a new and challenging venture: to educate all of our students remotely, regardless of their age, ability, or family situation. Teachers will do this without the ability to speak face to face with students, something we thrive on.

This was not a choice; and the only alternative is no continuance of education, something other areas across our country have been forced to accept. Our country is in a crisis like we have never experienced, and we are staying home for the protection of the greater good. The education world is adapting to this situation to the best extent possible, and East Granby Public School faculty and staff will carry out this charge with the utmost professionalism, care, compassion, and love for our students ~ your children. We recognize some of you will be juggling a multitude of responsibilities while at home, while still others will be working outside of the house and finding a way to support the learning at home. We understand these realities.

East Granby's distance learning plan is very good, and will continue to improve as we go through implementation. I ask for patience and flexibility. We are waiting for guidance from the State Department of Education for further attendance guidelines. For the present time, attendance will be tracked through a daily contact or assignment completion, depending on the student's age and circumstance.

For our younger students, who will need the greatest support from someone in the household, a combination of technology and non-technology based activities will be provided. The administrative team is extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of the entire East Granby Public School staff. Over the past week, teachers have been working diligently on creating lessons, activities, and assignments, which will continue going forward. Paraprofessionals will collaborate on lessons, support specialists will consult with families, counselors will provide resources and social and emotional guidance, secretaries and business staff will keep our operations running, and our amazing custodial staff will continue to clean every area of each building. Additionally, our Information Technology team has been a vital component in preparing our school devices for home use, providing professional development for online platform use, troubleshooting challenges, and researching anything we have asked of them.

As a district, our goal was to communicate important information as the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolved. We also did not want to overwhelm you. There is a link on our East Granby Public School webpage, COVID-19 Information and Resources https://www.eastgranby.k12.ct.us/parents/covid-19/. It is our hope that this will make finding communication and information easier by having it located in one place. We will continue to communicate with you, seek feedback, and strive for improvements.

While right now we may be seeing light-hearted videos, memes, and jokes about homeschooling and social-distancing, the frightening reality is that next week, or the week after that, any of our families could be experiencing the impact of COVID-19 first hand. These are not going to be typical or average days. Our staff members are also home caring for children and family members, while executing educational plans. Again, I ask for patience and flexibility for our teachers. Please let the administration know if your family is experiencing circumstances impacting your child's attention to the educational tasks.

Administrators and teachers are here to support you. Keep the communication open and understand we are truly in this together. There are no two days that will look alike, and the African proverb, “It takes a village” has never been more real. The school district is greatly appreciative of the support from the Board of Education, First Selectman's Office, and Department of Public Works, who will assist with resources and personnel in any way needed. We are also grateful for the work of the Friend to Friend Food Pantry and the guidance of the Farmington Valley Health District. The many calls and emails of support from parents and guardians is a lift to our spirits. As a district, we will be confronted with many challenges; we will shift and prioritize as needed. The best outcome will be a healthy and cohesive community on the flip side of this pandemic.

Have patience with yourself and with your child's/children's teachers. Keep watch over your family and neighbors. Support our friends and community members who will be on the front line as we stay home. We are stronger together. I know I speak on behalf of the entire faculty and staff in saying we look forward to the day to be back in school, greeting your children at the door.

My best to you. Stay Well!

Missy Bavaro-Grande
Acting Superintendent

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