Good afternoon South Students, Parents, and Community:
Little has changed since yesterday, but I do want to highlight some of the common questions and needs that have arisen in the past day. I’ll also share multiple informational sources at the end if you like to stay connected on social media.
Seniors & Graduation: While graduations will not take place at the Sullivan Arena, alternatives are being planned. There is every intention to recognize seniors and to honor a longstanding rite of passage. I’ll share details as soon as I have them.
Also, Seniors will be the emphasis as we enter a distance model on March 31st. The focus will be on graduation requirements. Seniors who are currently earning a D or F and considered in jeopardy of not graduating will be contacted soon to plan for completing requirements on time, and all seniors will be contacted eventually. Please be patient as our counseling team reaches out to have these conversations with students and parents.
A Word on CANVAS/ZOOM: The content that will be offered in the distance learning model is being loaded into CANVAS, and several teacher teams are working diligently to finalize the content that will be required in each course staring on the 31st. No work is required until the 31st, and no work will be assigned or graded until then. ZOOM sessions are continuing as teachers invite students to check in with them.
Students may be getting multiple invitations to attend ZOOM meetings. This week’s meetings are not required. Next week there will be a more structured schedule so students are not asked to be present for two ZOOM sessions at one time. The draft schedule makes time for tutoring in the morning and afternoon, and designates blocks on alternating days based on subject areas. This is a good practice week to make sure students can connect and the tools inside the platform can be tested.
Technology Needs: This is a quickly evolving issue and plan. For now, the handout day will be Monday, March 30th. We will receive our needs list soon, and begin to plan for distribution. Rest assured we have enough resources at the building level to meet the needs of our community. Stay tuned for specific process-oriented details.
Retrieving Personal Items: For now there is a blanket prohibition on entering school buildings to retrieve personal items. I am hopeful that when we have a specific plan for technology handout that we might be able to address the most urgent needs for belongings
Ways to Stay Connected & Informed:
- Email/Text Message: I will be pushing out a link to this website via Blackboard for the foreseeable future. You can always visit anytime, and you can follow on Twitter (more on that below)
- The Den is Live from wolverineden.org every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 am, will be archived, and I will post the videos on this site. This Thursday we expect Mayor Berkowitz as a guest, and today we hosted both Dr. Michael Johnson, Commissioner of Education, and Dr. Bishop (the video is below). You can submit your questions to southvote.com, and we will address these on air.
- This website (dralmon.com): Since we have a quickly evolving situation, and email inboxes are already full, I would encourage everyone to check this website regularly or to subscribe to get the most up to date information. This layout lends itself to access on a computer or smartphone and will contain the most up-to-date information as I receive it. I can also entertain comments on each post and interact with you without further clogging email inboxes.
- On Twitter: You can also check twitter.com/dr_almon or follow me @dr_almon for quick updates. All posts on this site also automatically post to Twitter as a link and will direct you to this site.
I will end this post with two quotes that inform how we look at the challenges we face and the kind of progress we might expect in the coming weeks and days. I shared the same with staff in our meeting this morning:
You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that wayE.L. Doctorow, author of Ragtime
I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird
Both of these authors point to the need for us all to realize we’re facing a common and perplexing challenge, and in order to make our way through it, we will need to be willing to persist, practice gratitude, and keep our eyes on the immediate path ahead.
As Always: Stay Safe, Stay Strong, Stay South!