April 11, 2020 Update

April 11, 2020 Update
Posted on 04/11/2020

Hello East Granby Families, Staff, and Community Members,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy. It is hard to believe that it has been four weeks since our school district closed due to the COVID-19 virus.

Last Thursday, Governor Lamont announced that CT schools will stay closed through May 20, 2020. As a school community, we remain committed in working with you to provide the best distance learning experience to the greatest extent possible. We value your feedback and input and hope you are feeling heard and understood. The professional staff will continue to expand on instructional delivery methods, recognizing that keeping students engaged through online learning for an extended time brings many challenges. Teachers have been exploring new ways to enhance and enrich distance learning. To support this growth, teachers will have a day of professional learning on Wednesday, April 29th. This will be a school day for students and specifics of the day will be communicated by your child's principal as the day nears.

The East Granby administration is currently reviewing additional best practices for online learning and will share those once the document is complete. It is important to remember that all teaching and learning through our distance learning plan constitutes a school day and that all expectations set forth through the Student Handbooks and Board of Education Policies remain in effect. We have received great input from parents /guardians, teachers, and students and are constantly reviewing and modifying practices. Please don't hesitate to reach out to teachers and administration for support.

The Connecticut State Dept. of Education recommends the following ways to address issues of student privacy in regards to online learning platforms:

  • Parents/Guardians are asked to provide a quiet space with reasonable adult supervision, as needed. Parents/Guardians should not be participating unless the session is designed for the student and parent/guardian;
  • To respect the privacy rights of all students, parents/guardians and students will refrain from recording any online class session, unless there has been a previous conversation with administration;
  • Each user/student can prevent their picture from being broadcasted to the entire group, students may choose to participate with voice only.

In addition to guidelines for distance learning, each district is also charged with determining how students will be graded and tracked for attendance moving forward. Those conversations are in the preliminary stages for the majority of districts across the state. The goal is to recognize achievements, yet find a way to assign “grading” in an equitable manner, knowing there are a variety of home situations impacting student involvement and achievement. At the high school level, the administration has already started to meet with seniors about several topics. We know how important senior year milestones are and the students' feelings of disappointment and sadness are valid. We are striving to be creative with celebrations.

Next week is our April vacation (April 13 – 17) and we hope you enjoy your family and take a much needed break from screens.

The next few days and weeks will bring about many feelings as we navigate, for the first time ever for many, Passover, Easter, and Ramadan without family and friends. I understand this hardship as my own mom will have dinner alone for the first time in her life on Easter Sunday. Thankfully, her five children live close by and we will take turns dropping off food and waving hello. We plan to have an online “Zoom” gathering later in the evening. Hopefully you also find ways to connect with your loved ones.

We are so fortunate in East Granby to live and work in a community that looks out for each other and steps up, when needed. Please be sure to check on your friends and neighbors; these are challenging times ~ together, we are stronger.

Please let your child/ children know that their teachers, support staff, and administrators miss them! Thank you again for your continued partnership, flexibility and understanding.

Stay Well!

Missy Bavaro-Grande and the East Granby Administrative Team

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