Family Letter April 6
April 6, 2020
Dear Marion Center Families,
As you all are aware, Governor Wolf has extended the school closure indefinitely. With that in mind, we have been considering what is best for our students as we move forward. The decisions have not been easy ones to make. Because we value education and feel that our students need and deserve the face-to-face instruction that can only be provided in a classroom, we originally intended to extend the school year through the month of June. Even a few weeks of instruction could make a difference with our beginning readers and to prepare our kids for the next grade level. However, as much as it hurts our hearts, the reality is that we may not return to school this year. By holding off on making the decision on whether we bring our teachers back on board, we are denying our students what we could be offering them right now, a connection to their teacher and support during their at-home learning experience.
With that being said, we will be moving to a more supportive Enrichment and Review program on April 13th. We will plan to conclude the school year for Pre-K to Eleventh grade students on Friday, June 12, 2020. Seniors will graduate on June 2, 2020 as planned. Directives from the State will determine how we wrap up our 2019-2020 school year. If we are able, we will bring students back to the buildings to conclude the school year on the dates provided above. We will continue to do our best to communicate as frequently as possible with all of you, as we move through this unprecedented situation.
First and foremost, the health and safety of you, our students, and our community is our highest priority. We are sticking to our philosophy during this time that education, grades, attendance, etc. are not our utmost concern. We are not mandating attendance procedures, or providing grades for the last nine weeks. Simply, we are here for our students and families that value education and need our support and guidance during this difficult time. Providing an opportunity for our students to learn is our job, we care about kids, and we are here for them!
Please understand that the district does not expect children to be full-time students during this closure. We continue to believe that this is a time for families to bond and share valuable experiences together and, most of all, stay healthy! Our expectation is for students to keep up with what they have acquired this year by practicing and enriching already learned skills. Our teachers will be here to support your child and you through this process.
One of our main goals is not to overwhelm families. We understand that most of you are not teachers, that some of you are trying to work from home and manage your child’s education, some of you are still working and are struggling with childcare. We understand that this is not an easy situation for most of you. Our goal is for you to know that we are here for you. We want to provide a means for our teachers to make connections with their students, encourage your child(ren) to keep learning, and provide a way for you to ask questions and work through obstacles that you may be running into, while trying to get through this difficult time. Teachers will be contacting families throughout this week, April 6th – 9th, to check in and talk to you about how we can best support you and your child(ren).
Again, we will not be counting grades or attendance for the last marking period for anyone other than seniors, unless we return to school. Student promotions/retentions will be based upon grades through the third marking period. Counselors will be contacting families of students that were in poor academic standing at the end of the third marking period during the next two weeks. Individualized plans will be developed for these students collaboratively with the principal, counselor, and teachers.
We are strongly encouraging families that have internet connection to use the online options we have available for students. We will continue to use the i-Ready program for grades Pre-K through 8. Google Classrooms will be set up for our 9 through 11 students. We understand that many of our families do not have internet connection and we will do our best to communicate with you through phones calls and smart phone applications. We will continue to provide packets for those families that do not have the option to get materials online. However, we will not be collecting packets due to the increased risk of spreading the virus. We will do our best to provide students working on packets feedback in other ways. We will be gathering information, through personal phone calls and/or emails this week to determine the best way to connect with and provide materials to each family.
Report cards for the third nine weeks will be sent this Wednesday. Included in that mailing will be a copy of this letter, Classroom Dojo instructions for grades PreK through 8, and Google Classroom codes for grades 9 through 11. Again, teachers will be making personal contacts with families throughout this week to discuss our plans, answer questions that you may have, and provide the educational support you need.
We promise to continue communicating with you and being here for you when you need us. Updates and information can be found on the MCASD website at www.mcasd.net under COVID-19 Closure and Academic Resources. Please contact your child’s teacher, counselor, or the building principal, if you have questions. The staff directory can be found on our website. You can also reach the buildings by calling our main line at 724-397-5551. We are continuously checking our voicemails. Leave a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
On behalf of the Marion Center Staff and Administration, we appreciate your support, your patience, and your dedication to your child’s education. Stay safe, healthy, and strong through these trying times. We are here for you!
Marion Center Staff and Administration