Dear Spectrum Families and Friends,
PTO leadership asked if I might send some comment, updates, and clarification regarding school closures and Digital Days. The Spectrum Board has allocated this as a “principal’s discretion” decision. To make it, I look at what other schools and districts are doing, information and input from teachers and staff, a range of agreement among weather reports regarding temperature and windchill, and news reports on road conditions. I know for some families closures are incredibly frustrating, and other families could have a hard time getting here even if we stayed open. My threshold to close is below 30 below windchill, even if other schools are open. I have yet to try a late start if it warms up, and may try this. My concern is for the safety of all. We could open the school and be short staffed, which would then pose other kinds of concerns. It is an unpredictable set of parameters, but I will do the best I can to ensure as early of a notice as physically possible if we are closing (or opening late).
As far as Digital Days, the reviews from teachers and many parents is fundamentally positive. Across levels, we have had participation from the low 70% to almost 90% on the different days, giving us a solid and encouraging school average. We have tons of work evidence and email evidence for the two days. We do not want this to be a power struggle between you and your children, but we want to send the message that learning and engagement CAN continue at home. Teachers will become increasingly comfortable providing choice and voice in the digital work students do, and the online academic games will provide increasingly good practice or we just won’t assign them. If students read and email their teachers (or post on the areas as directed) about what they are reading, that would be really great. One of the teachers brought in an article showing this is likely to be the norm on snow days in the future across the state.
Congratulations to our FPS team who advanced to the STATE level competition! It speaks to what Spectrum is doing right that a rookie team has come so far so fast in a thinking and writing academic competition. Go to this FPS link to see a video that talks about this international program.
Our deepest sympathies go out to the middle school parent, and her family, who was seriously injured when falling on ice on a field trip. We all hope for a speedy recovery, you’re in our thoughts!
Have a nice long weekend.
Dr. Mary Beth Cunat