Dr. Arthur Update + May Calendar

10 Apr, 2020

Good Morning MSD Families,
I truly appreciate the patience you’ve exhibited over the last many weeks.  The national crisis we find ourselves dealing with has impacts that reach far and wide.  I for one never anticipated my own first year at the MSD going this way but most importantly my heart aches for students and teachers who aren’t getting to complete the year together, in person.  As I’ve shared with my staff, our principals, and now with you, please know that we are just as eager as you are to return to some normalcy.  Unfortunately, we’re still not out of the woods and in the coming weeks we will have to make some hard decisions regarding end of year activities.  While I understand some of our decisions will not be the most popular, I have to ensure we are doing everything that we can to keep not only your children and you safe, but also our staff.  I take safety very seriously on a normal day and during this pandemic that remains my same approach. 
For families who have a graduating Senior, we have selected a broad group of kids to represent the senior class to join together on a web conference this afternoon.  The purpose of this meeting is to seek creative input from seniors on ways they wish to be celebrated for graduation.  Our students are creative and I’m sure will add to our overall graduation plan as it rolls forward. I can assure you, regardless of how the year ends for our seniors, we will be honoring them in ways previous classes were not honored.  We are also discussing ways to continue honoring our seniors at events into the fall if they choose to participate.  More details coming as plans come together.  A sincere thanks to those seniors who have agreed to virtually join our meeting today.  What I know about this community in a very short time as a leader here, everyone steps up and does their part to make the best happen in rough times.  We will be asking the community and businesses to do some simple things this spring/summer to help us honor each of those seniors who will be completing their education in May.  
Other important news..
As we wind down a week of at home learning activities, I wanted to give you a few quick details for the future.  We will continue the pattern of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday activities for students at home, and teachers will continue to have Monday and Friday to prepare for students.  This pattern will continue through to the end of our school year.  It was recently announced that districts need to have 160 days in for the year.  With the exception of one 4 day week, our regular Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday pattern will get us to that 160 day number by the end of day on Thursday May 14th.  ALL students will participate in at home learning until May 14th.  There will be no classes or requirements after May 14th.  The only exception to this pattern of days is the week of May 11th, where we will go Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Again, this will get us to 160 days and will officially end the school year at the end of the day on May 14th. (Please see the link below to our May 2020 calendar.)  Teachers will work in some capacity the following week through May 22nd.  Teachers will not report after Memorial Day as previously scheduled.
Finally, we are attaching a survey link and would like your feedback so we can inform principals and teachers regarding tweaks that may need to be made to at home learning expectations.  While the district has had E-Learning days in the past, no one in the state was ever prepared to complete two months of instruction in this manner.  Our teachers are working hard to figure things out but could use your input.  Additionally, we know that beginning next school year we will have to work harder than ever to get students to a good point in their learning.  This too shall pass and we’ll eventually be back to what feels like some normal.  
Again, I share your frustrations with this overall pandemic situation and how it is impacting everyone.  I have truly appreciated the patience you’ve shown as we’ve tried to react to the everyday changing environment.  
Thank you sincerely for all that you’re doing to support your child(ren) as well as our teachers and community as a whole.   We promise to continue doing the same. Together we’re better. 
Warmest regards, stay well!
Dr. Arthur