This Week at South Vol. 29

CANVAS, Q, and Grades. IT at the district level continues to work on making sure that grades issued in CANVAS are synced with the Q grade book. There have been challenges and inconsistencies as the grades migrate from CANVAS to Q. For now, the best practice is to refer to CANVAS when checking grades, and if you have questions, contact your teacher and/or attend regularly scheduled ZOOM office hours by subject.

Electives. Elective courses start today! All students who are taking an elective are encouraged to log into CANVAS, access their elective courses, preview the content, and begin planning for how to best complete the course. Office hours for general elective teachers will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-11 am, and for CTE courses, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-1 pm.

Office Hours Schedule through May 20th:

Graduation. I have heard from several folks with questions about graduation, cords, and other items that seniors typically receive in the final weeks of the school year. There are ongoing, district-level conversations about how best to recognize seniors and to make sure they receive those items. No specific plan has been identified yet, and I will make sure everyone in our community is made aware when there are more specific details. Although we will not be able to hold a traditional graduation at the Sullivan Arena, I anticipate many of the traditional elements of a graduation will remain, including student and staff speakers, music, and some manner of conferring diplomas. More details to come.

Personal Belongings in Schools. Students’ personal possessions inside the school is also an ongoing discussion. I expect to have more details after technology distribution has been completed at the elementary level. Since the Governor has said we will not return to schools this year, this item will move quickly up the priority list, and I will provide you with information as soon as I know how we will access buildings, and get items back to students and staff.

Final Thoughts.

Gino Bartali was a well-known Italian cycling champion who came to the world’s attention during the years leading up to World War II after he won two editions of the Giro d’ Italia. He was born in a working class, devout Catholic family, struggled with poverty growing up, and lost his brother in a cycling accident early in his professional career.

Bartali’s heroism beyond cycling was discovered only after the conclusion of the World War when he returned to professional cycling. Through his diaries, historians found that Bartali secretly transported fake documents and pictures in the seat post of his bike frame so that Italian Jews could escape deportation to concentration camps. He did so under the guise of training for races after the war ended. In the war years, he narrowly escaped capture and discovery while concealing illegal documents on his rides between Florence and Assisi, where Franciscans were hiding Jews from capture.

As a result of his self-sacrifice, Bartali was named Righteous Among the Nations in 2013.

I share this story, in part, to demonstrate the selflessness that so many have exhibited in helping others get through challenging circumstances thus far, and as encouragement to place our own struggles in context of those of others to whom we might be able to reach out and help. Bartali was a model of this in his own time, and an exemplar of how one person’s actions can affect the fate of many others.

The details above are retold in a book about Bartali’s exploits entitled The Road the Valor: A True Story of World War II Italy, The Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation. I’d like to end with a quote from Ovid that precedes the prologue, which, I think, helps lend a larger context to our own challenges,

Let your virtues expand to fill this sad situation;

Glory ascends the heights by a precipitous path.

Who would have know Hector, if Troy had been happy?

The road to valor is built by adversity.

Ovid, Tristia

Finally, I hope everyone is well, is staying connected with one another within the constraints we’ve bean dealt, and is staying active.

Have a Great Week South!

4 thoughts on “This Week at South Vol. 29

  1. Hi, Luke, We would hope for a formal graduation even if in late July. After 12 years of schooling, a ZOOM meeting isn’t going to cut it. It would be tragic not to have a formal graduation. We don’t care if it’s in a ball field as long as it happens.


    • That is one option I will recommend when I get the opportunity. Of course, anything we do will be constrained by local and state level restrictions on large group gatherings. Since the Governor has indicated we will not return to our buildings this school year, that would indicate to me the earliest we would be able to consider it would be June 1st. I hope to have more detail on the direction of graduation in the next couple of weeks since we will need to start planning either way.


  2. Hi Luke,

    With 2 seniors graduating this year, we absolutely agree regarding the need to have an in person graduation. An online ceremony would not convey the community recognition that the achievement deserves.


    • It’s all of our wishes to be able to hold an in-person graduation. I have a particularly personal stake in this since it will be my first graduating class at South. I hope to have more details about graduating planning in the next couple of days.


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