Message From The Principal
As the school year gets underway, the bulletin boards in our hallways are starting to take shape. My favorite bulletin board so far includes this art project of neurons firing from Mr. Petrone’s fourth grade class. To me it represents our year; lots of moving parts, a wealth of new connections, but all centered within a functioning structure.
This school year has proven to be just as complicated than the past as we grapple with how to keep kids safe. Last school year, the Vermont Agency of Education gave very clear, detailed, and specific guidance. The level of specificity, coupled with our own COVID Task Force, made decision making easier.
This school year the guidance is minimal and leaves much to be determined at the task force and school levels. Please know in the forefront of our minds is student, staff, and community safety. Having said that, we will make mistakes and also will make decisions that might not be comfortable to all. If at any time you become aware of a practice that makes you uncomfortable, please let your child’s teacher know right away. They can share with you the reasoning behind decisions and, if need be, problem-solve solutions. Sometimes we will be able to easily make adjustments, other times we may not.
A great example of this is our current situation with recorders in third and fourth grades. Our current guidance and the guidance from the Covid Task Force allows for students to remove their masks for the brief amount of time when they are playing the recorders, even inside. However, this made some families and staff members uncomfortable. Solution #1 to this dilemma was to use special masks that have a slit in them to allow the instrument to be inserted in the mask. We did this only to realize that having a hole in the mask actually provided students with less safety than our previous practice. Solution #2 involved accessing our outstanding parent resource group who are coming this weekend to clear out an outdoor space and put up a tent for outdoor recorder, band and other musical use.
I am always looking for silver linings, especially in the last two years. Last year the guidance didn’t allow us to have students play wind instruments. The silver lining in the recorder situation this year is that even though our practice did not feel good to everyone at first, the end result allowed students to play their instruments and gave an opportunity for families to make a huge difference. My one request is that people please send messages to us assuming that we have positive intentions with the decisions we are making. All members of our school system want to keep kids safe and provide meaningful learning opportunities. We do not in any way mind feedback, suggestions, and people pointing out how we can do better. We appreciate kind emails that assume positive intentions.
The beautiful painting from Mr. Petrone’s class shows how our brains bring order to the wealth of incoming information. We strive at MCS to bring order to the wealth of information that comes our way each and every day. We appreciate all that you have to offer as partners to keep kids safe and provide an environment where all students can learn and be successful.
Have a lovely weekend,
Welcome to the Principal's Corner. My name is Shawn Gonyaw, Principal of Marion Cross School. Each week I post a message here to keep you updated on important topics that are happening at our school.
My weekly posts can also be found in the weekly Cross Words newsletter which I highly encourage you to view. I hope you find all this information helpful, informative and fun.