School District Adapts to Expanded Closure

In response to Governor Baker’s announcement that schools will remain closed for the balance of the school year, the district will rely on remote learning plans that will be adjusted over the next few weeks.

“We are working diligently to make remote learning work for every child and if we embrace the position we are in, we will get there,” said School Superintendent Lisa Howard. “It is critical that we continue to engage in remote learning to minimize the impact of closure.”

Plans will include new guidance and recommendations provided by the Commissioner of Education that will ensure that any loss of education is minimized. The guidance, which will be received on Friday, will also include a plan for when schools do reopen in the future. 

Howard is confident that her staff will execute the plans quickly and thoroughly and that high school seniors will not be forgotten in the process. The upcoming weeks will require critical timelines that will include creative solutions for traditional senior activities including Senior Week.

“We will do whatever it takes to ensure that you are celebrated and that your accomplishments of the last 12 years are recognized. This situation is very difficult for everyone involved. What I do know, is that as a school community, we will be stronger and more resilient as a result of this unanticipated time.”

Howard and the leadership team anticipate that there will be an identification of specific power standards for K-8 students that will allow them to take next steps and provide new learning opportunities to ensure our students will be ready to successfully transition in the fall. This will be a change from the recommended focus of deepening the learning standards that were taught prior to the close. The learning capacity of all students will be taken into account and plans will be adjusted so all students have the opportunity to learn and stay connected to their teachers and peers.

“We are building the plane as we fly it and that requires a strategic planning focus that is for sure testing our limits. This has been a full school and community effort and we are intent on keeping our foot on the gas pedal and doing what is best for all students. Although I believe we all had a feeling this was coming, it did not make the reality of the announcement any easier. As I watched the governor’s press conference, I had an overwhelming feeling of sadness for our students, staff and community. This is just a lot to take in and seems so unfair to us all. That being said, my goal is to keep a positive attitude. The staff commitment, collaboration, creativity and acts of kindness that I have witnessed over the past five weeks has been nothing short of amazing. I remain so grateful to be a part of the WPS family.”

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