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Remote Learning Update April 9, 2020

To All Parents and Students,

As we complete four weeks of remote learning days, I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information but first I want to express my wish that all of you are safe and healthy because this is by far the most important issue.  While I know this is an extremely difficult time for families, with changes in employment issues and family isolation, it is critical that we continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the health department to maintain your health and safety.  As a Manchester community, there is no question in my mind that we will all get through.  As a school district, we are working through this difficult time and I thank you as parents and students for your understanding and cooperation.  While I understand that there is no substitute for teachers and students working together in a classroom, our staff is doing a remarkable job in developing innovative online lessons and reaching out to students to keep them on task.  Parent and student efforts are also greatly appreciated and essential for the education goals to be met.  

Please review the recent posts on the web page under the frequently asked questions to address the main issues as we move forward.  During the first two weeks the emphasis has been on maintaining skills and adapting to the new learning platform. However, moving forward it is essential that we continue with new learning to meet the requirements of each grade level and subject area.  Grades will be focused on the quality and completion of the required work.  Third marking period grades will be determined by a combination of  previous in-school work and remote learning work. The third marking period is extended until April 24 for students and teachers to finalize their assignments and grades.  

It is critical that students and/or parents maintain constant communication with teachers and, if necessary, communicate with guidance counselors and/or administrators. Failure to maintain that communication would result in attendance and grade issues.  If you have any extenuating circumstances, please inform the teacher or building administrator.

On  the district level we have loaned out over 400 chromebooks to families so that they can access the remote learning activities.  We also continue to distribute meals to families that participate in the free and reduced lunch program.  If your family situation has changed due to this crisis, you can access the website to complete an application to determine if you could qualify and benefit from this program.  

We have cancelled or postponed many events and I have been asked about the status of events such as spring sports, proms, school plays etc.  At this time, there are no answers to these questions and we will consider everything possible to reschedule events, especially senior events.  I understand the disappointment of students who have worked so hard to prepare and enjoy these activities and I will keep you posted on any change in status.  

Lastly, I want to personally thank our staff, administrators, parents, and students for your outstanding efforts in working through this crisis. I am truly impressed by the videos and other communications put out by the teachers and staff. It is true that you really find out about the quality of people by observing their actions in a crisis.  With that said, I am blessed by being a part of an exceptional school district and community. Please enjoy the upcoming spring break and continue to stay healthy and strong. “Excellence through Example”.  

David Trethaway
Superintendent of Schools