Welcome to 2020-2021!
Spring of 2020 challenged staff and students to find a new “normal” for learning, connected us in new ways and required our champions to champion from afar. What I have learned most through this process is how much I appreciate the little things in life. Like giving a high five, a hug or being able to laugh out loud with many people around. Nothing gives me energy and joy like the smiles & laughs from our students. While I am disappointed I will not be able to greet your kids with a hug and high five next week, the important thing is that we will be back together and we will adapt.
Normal is such a simple word and it is our goal at WES to not only find our new normal, but to use this time as a learning experience that will forever impact the learning environment of WES. There are new types of learning tools that teachers will be using and much of what is learned will continue to be used in the future. Our fall may not be “normal,” but our learning will not only continue, but it will thrive. We can’t wait to move on to the next phase of learning under COVID-19 and we know, all returning and new students to WES will be welcomed with open arms (from 6 feet away) to our school community. We will continue to grow!
Over the past several months, we have been working feverishly on reentry plans for our students and staff in order to resume school for the 2020-2021 school year. We knew full well from the closure in the spring that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the face of Education was going to change dramatically. From the get-go, our number one priority has been the safety and well-being of our students and staff. The second highest priority has been getting our students back into the classrooms in the most traditional way.
As we embark for a beginning like no other we have seen in the past, our focus will still be to ensure that:
- every child, every day is finding a way to feel connected,
- every child, every day is being challenged by new learning and experiences,
- and every child, every day knows they have a champion they can turn to.
We are committed to maintaining the highest standards so that there will be no shortage of opportunities for our students to feel challenged. On a daily basis, they will have high quality instruction and a wide variety of options to get connected to their school and fellow students. There will be champions by your student every day, with relationships built over time. It is our mission to make sure every child knows that when they need a champion, all Westfall stakeholders are committed to being there when your child needs them the most.
This year more than ever we are asking for your partnership as a learning community. Here are few things our parents can do to ensure a safe return to school and also to provide the best opportunity for us to continue to offer in-person learning opportunities for our students:
- Please take you and your child’s temperature each morning and do not send them to school if it is above 100 degrees or if they are feeling ill or exhibiting any COVID symptoms.
- Please call the school to let us know about any COVID symptoms, exposure to or diagnosis of COVID-19.
- If we call and ask you to pick your child up for health reasons, please do so as soon as possible to limit possible exposure of other students and staff.
- Please be sure to update your emergency contacts in Final Forms in case your student needs to be picked up and parents are not available.
- Please help us to practice recommended protection layers including: wearing masks, completing temperature checks and monitoring students’ health symptoms, encouraging frequent hand washing & maintaining proper distancing from others. We will be implementing these protection measures at school to reduce possible transmission and exposure and encourage our families to practice these measures at home and in the community as well.
I am a phone call or email away so please don’t hesitate to reach out. I am truly grateful for all of you and your partnership.
Yours for Children,
Joseph D. Patete