Dear MCS Community,
Webster's dictionary defines community as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals”. This past week demonstrated what a strong community can accomplish. Because of that strong community, we were able to safely bring back all of our in-person students for orientation. This required being flexible with a multitude of new procedures. Here are a few thank you’s as we go into our first full week of school.
Thank you to families for making drop off and pick up a success. You stayed between the 7:45-8:15 arrival time, used safety with all the traffic on Girard Way, conducted health checks at home, had your children ready with the proper gear (masks, water bottle, backpacks, lunch), and did it all with a friendly smile. Your flexible, positive attitudes are encouraging.
Thank you to the MCS staff who flexed in all sorts of ways including assignment shifts, arrival and departure changes, complete revamping of room arrangement, use of a vast array of precautionary measures, and most of all having a can-do, positive, flexible attitude. I would not want to work with any other staff during this bizarre school year!
Thank you to the SAU 70 staff who have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to consult with medical professionals, work out personnel issues, secure personal protective equipment, juggle bus schedules, and basically do anything needed to allow our school year to begin.
Thank you to the MCS students who showed incredible flexibility during the orientation days. I met with the remote learners this week who are eager to make remote learning work for them, but also flexible in knowing that it is a work in progress. In-person students have shown great patience and flexibility with mask wearing, distancing, limited mobility in the school, different arrival/dismissal routines, and much more. Katie did a guidance lesson in the 2nd grade this week talking about how we will all need to be flexible like spaghetti to make this year successful. To date, that flexibility is present with MCS students.
Thank you to the families who are working to make outdoor learning occur. Families have arranged for tents that will be going up, supplies to use in the outdoors, and thinning of dead trees in the town forest to ensure safety. These efforts will allow more outdoor learning time and additional opportunities to get fresh air.
Certainly the spirit of community was most evident on Thursday at dismissal as the bells of Norwich rang and families showed their support and appreciation. It was a marvelous undertaking and a moving experience to be on the Norwich Green surrounded by happy sounds of appreciation.
Here are a few small details that are important for you to know…
Microwave use will be limited this school year. Please keep in mind that not all teachers have microwaves. Vermont guidance asks that we not have students using common devices like microwaves. When at all possible please send your child with a lunch that is not in need of heating. I encourage you to look at the assortment of Thermoses and other gadgets that will keep food warm.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to have birthday celebrations with food this school year. This is sad for me as I really enjoy tasty treats that normally are delivered my way.
With the holiday weekend approaching, I wanted to remind our school community about the travel restrictions and need for quarantine issued by Governor Scott. Each Friday, the State of Vermont updates the travel map on their COVID website. https://accd.vermont.gov/
Resources for your consideration:
On Thursday afternoon the MCS staff met to debrief the orientation days. We left confident knowing that as a community we have worked to design a plan that worked. There were a few internal changes that needed to be made, but staff left for the weekend feeling confident that when all of our students return on Tuesday morning we will be ready to begin our school year on a positive note. Please enjoy the beautiful weather headed our way this weekend.
I look forward to seeing in person learners early Tuesday morning.