Welcome Back Message From Our Superintendent
Welcome Back Othello Parents/Guardians and Students!
As we move toward reopening our schools for the 2020-21 school year, I am reflecting on the accomplishments of our staff and community over the past 6 months. Together, we have endured a situation unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. I am proud of how Othello has worked together to continue to meet the needs of our community’s children.
Our staff worked hard this summer to develop plans to reopen our doors to your students later this month. Unfortunately, the COVID transmission rates in our community aren’t where they need to be for us to make this happen just yet. The advice of our health district is that we should not bring students back into school environments yet. Your child’s safety and security are our top concerns, so we will open in an online model with the intent to move forward in opening our school buildings as soon as we are safely able to do so.
We know that there is nothing that can replace the quality of education provided in person by our highly skilled and caring teachers and support staff. Individualized in-person teaching is at the core of what we do. Othello’s educators and support staff are among the best. I know they want to be back in their classrooms with their students. I admire the way they have stepped up to help develop plans to deliver rigorous and meaningful instruction in a method that is outside of their experience and comfort zone.
We have learned a lot together since last spring. Our commitment to you is that the level of instruction we provide in our online model this fall will be more rigorous, more intentional, more structured, and more beneficial to your student. But we’re in this together still, and we’re going to need your help at home.
You can help make this year a success for your student by enforcing standards and expectations for at-home learning. Encourage your child to participate in online class discussions. Make sure they’re turning in assignments. We will be grading and giving feedback. Help keep them on a schedule that encourages successful learning – an appropriate bedtime, limit distractions during instructional time, and communicate with their teachers regularly. We are here to support you in your role at home to the best of our ability.
Our school year will begin August 27, 2020 with a “soft opening”. The soft opening gives your teachers an opportunity to meet students and parents one-on-one, to answer questions, and to give some instructions on how to use our learning resources before students dive into classes. Your schools and teachers will be reaching out to you with dates for your soft-opening conference soon if they have not already.
Our schools will be providing all supplies necessary for participation in online learning. However, your individual teachers may have recommendations about things you can have at home to help make theexperience easier for your children. High school math students might consider purchasing a calculator, however free resources are available online.
We know you still have a lot of questions, and we are going to do our best to find you the answer. Your schools, and our district office will be in frequent communication with our OSD families to see how you are doing and what we can do better. Our ultimate goal is to see our community beat the COVID-19 outbreak so that we can get back to what we all hope for – children in classrooms learning every day with their teachers. Again, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year.
Dr. Kenneth C. Hurst Sr.