One of the more difficult issues to address with our closure has been planning for support of students and instruction without an end date to distance learning. Not knowing when we will go back, if we will go back, makes long term planning difficult. How long do we spend on a curriculum unit? How do we decide what instructional or maintenance materials to purchase? What can we do prepare for the professional learning needs of all staff? How do we make collaborative decisions? I know each of you is experiencing similar confusion with your own professional and personal matters.
While we wait for the state to select a new date the school system is functioning as if we will not be back in school this year. This is not to say we will not be back in school; it is only to say that the decisions we need to make now are made more difficult because the environment in which they are made, is so new to us. It is better to function in the new than the known. If we go back to school the decisions, while perhaps different than in the past, will be easier because we know how to function in a school. What we are learning as we go forward is how to function in a virtual school and in a virtual school system. So many things that guide our thinking and decisions are not there. There are benefits to this. New thinking and new approaches are welcome, and I believe that when we do return to school the experiences of virtual learning will change our educational and administrative practices for the better. But it is unnerving, and it takes a long time and we miss the face to face conversations that drive the best work forward.
I have repeatedly asked for your patience during distance learning and I ask for it again as we address the very real likelihood we will not be back in school for some time. From the beginning each of us has been challenged to extend ourselves. We will continue to be challenged.
We are a community dedicated to the best for our children. With that focus in mind we will continue forward.
One last note, we want to make sure that our students, and you, are practicing healthy habits while they work online. This short video provides some tips on how to make sure the work space is ergonomically appropriate - Healthy Use of Computing Devices at Home
Take care and stay well, Mike
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools