MESSAGE FROM DR. KELLY GRIFFITH, TCPS SUPERINTENDENT
As schools abruptly closed on March 13th,we worked swiftly to set up operations for feeding children, identifying sheltering locations for children of essential employees, sanitizing our school buildings thoroughly, and developing virtual learning opportunities for our children. Through a collaborative effort by many educators, we rolled out our initial Continuity of Learning guidance to parents, staff, and students on March 30th. Broad parameters were taken from MSDE and transformed into powerful learning opportunities for our students in less than two weeks which is nothing short of extraordinary. From the start, we have known that our plan would evolve as our circumstances did. With the news that our remote learning efforts would continue for the remainder of the school year we moved forward with some additional components to support our Continuity of Learning plan.
Now is the time address the eventual reopening of schools, with the understanding that the safety, health, and well-being of students and staff remain a priority. Every facet of the school may have to be altered to maintain social distancing including transportation, extra-curricular activities, schedules, and building logistics. As the risk management of COVID-19 evolves, we totally understand while risks cannot be eliminated, they can be reduced. The school system’s response will also need to evolve until a vaccine or treatment is available.
The Maryland Together: Recovery Plan for Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to provide guidelines as we work to create and to assemble this TCPS Recovery Plan. We must first begin by understanding that synchronous learning is crucial for each child to have their needs met. Equity considerations are even more paramount as we design various models of instructional delivery. Access to learning materials, technology devices, connectivity, nutrition, and additional supports will be reviewed and addressed on an equitable basis. Communication with parents and wrap around services must also be consistent and prioritized during this time.
This TCPS Recovery Plan will remain fluid as we monitor the COVID-19 situation daily. To say that this upcoming school year has presented unique challenges for our school district would be an understatement. In light of all that has taken place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the support of community truly is more important than ever. We appreciate everyone’s patience and vote of confidence as we work together to provide a high-quality education and support services for our children. We will be ready for the 2020-2021 school year whatever may come our way! That is my commitment to our community!
Kelly L. Griffith, Ed.D.