Featured image of article: Message From Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders

Message From Dr. Kimberly Rizzo Saunders

March 25, 2020

Good Evening,

I would like to begin with an expression of thanks. We have just finished our first week of remote learning which would never have been possible without the support provided by our ConVal communities. Our technology resources have allowed us to gain a head start in our transition to “remote learning.” We are also fortunate that we can rely on a highly effective and dedicated technology team that allows our teachers to focus on instruction.

As our recent transition to remote learning continues to evolve, I would like to share with you some specific observations that we have made about this process, a significant departure from practices to which our students and staff are accustomed.

Your positive comments have fueled staff members, thank you for showing your appreciation for their hard work. We are grateful for the community’s recognition that, with very little notice and in a very short time frame, teachers, staff, and administrators put a plan together to continue learning opportunities, make sure children are fed, and found workarounds for almost every barrier.

Any change, particularly a change of this size, demands that we remain patient, understanding, and cognizant of the fact that all of us are new to this. There is a significant learning curve in this transition because we are accustomed to having face-to-face contact and physical proximity as part of our learning experiences.

Another key factor in ensuring the success of this transformative change is to establish consistent routines to maintain a sense of normalcy. We all carry with us a sense of uncertainty which may make it difficult to engage in learning. Once these new routines are established, we will feel a greater sense of comfort and better able to engage in the learning activities that our teachers are facilitating.

Our teachers have made, and will continue to make, every effort to meet each student’s needs because this is what it means to be a teacher. And, as educators, we are open to hearing your feedback regarding how we can do things better. It will be important to continue to communicate and listen to each other with empathy as we are all facing this crisis together.

We have developed a FAQs page that you can access on the website, we are updating this page regularly as we get new questions from students, parents, and staff.

We are aware that some families are struggling with access, and we are actively working on this every day. If you are struggling with this issue, please reach out to the principal of your student’s school. We continue to update the ConVal website with remote learning resources, please visit often.

As you are all aware, this situation continues to evolve from moment to moment! We are committed to updating you regularly.

Please be aware that when I write to you, it is sent through our messenger service to your email, posted on the webpage, then posted on social media sites — specifically in that order. There are times that because of technology issues, Internet speeds, or messaging priority settings, it appears that all three happen simultaneously or that social media is first.

We hope to be back to school in the not-so-distant future, so we encourage you and your students to practice social distancing. If you are looking for resources on social distancing, what it is and what the effects may be, you can find them here.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or feedback.

Be in touch soon!