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News from the Superintendent

Posted: April 3, 2020

Social Distancing Doesn't Mean Social Isolation

In her weekly message, Supt. Reedy stresses the importance of staying in touch.

Social distancing doesn't mean social isolation. Now more than ever, we need to make sure we are communicating with one another. Checking in, sharing information, providing support.

Of course, staying in touch is much more challenging when we don't see each other every day, but the extra effort is critical. The only way we are going to get through this public health crisis is by taking care of each other.

That is why I continue to write to you each week. That is why we want you to check your email. That is why you are getting weekly newsletters, as you always have. That is why you see posts on Twitter, and Facebook. That is why you are hearing about us in the news. That is why we are constantly updating the APS website.

We are using every tool in our communications arsenal to keep our public informed. We are not public health experts. We leave that messaging to our partners at the state Department of Health, who are doing a great job keeping us up-to-date on how the coronavirus is impacting our community.

Our message is about helping our students, families, and staff navigate through this difficult time. We want to make sure you all know what services, support, and resources we are providing.  Everything from our developing Continuous Learning Plan to "grab and go" meals to online and paper learning resources to mental health tips and support. We are here for you, even if we can't be in the same room together.

Take advantage of this time to learn new communications tools, like Google Meet. They will prove to be invaluable as this pandemic drags on. Once we roll out the Continuous Learning Plan in the coming days, teachers will be asked to check in regularly with their students, as we know many are already. We expect our school and department teams to continue working together as we convert to distance learning, and there is a real benefit in actually seeing the person you are talking to, even if it's through a computer screen or smartphone.

I have spent a lot of time in video conferences over the past couple of weeks. I have learned to mute my microphone when I'm not talking (and to unmute it when I have something to say). I can raise my hand and give a thumb's up. I try to look my best, and I am aware of my surroundings (I have to admit, I have enjoyed the glimpses into the homes of my colleagues!)

I value this time with my co-workers, and I know many of you are staying in touch with colleagues, students, and their families as well. I have heard the stories and seen the social media posts, like the one from Valley High School that I am sharing with you. They are so touching and sincere. They make me cry. I know you miss our students. I know you miss your co-workers. I miss all of you, too.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay in touch.