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Turn Orange County Blue

May 26, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope you had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend and that you got some time to relax and take care of yourself.

For me, Memorial Day has always signaled the beginning of summer--a time to work, because education never stops, but also a time to enjoy the season of backyard gatherings, gardening, and sunshine. This year, it means we’re actively focusing on the end of the school year and finding creative ways to celebrate our students’ hard work, especially our graduating seniors. 

As we prepare for these final few weeks, I'd like to share one of the ways we plan to celebrate our seniors. We will “Turn Hillsborough Blue” for our seniors! We’re planning to use blue light bulbs to celebrate our seniors’ hard work and accomplishments. During each of our graduation ceremonies on June 11, 12, and 13, we’re asking families, staff, and community members to turn on blue bulbs to shine a light on our seniors’ accomplishments. (The Hillsborough Walmart and Home Depot as well as Amazon have blue light bulbs in stock for families who may not already have them!) We’ll show our OCS pride, even while inside!

Gearing up for 2020-2021

We know, too, that the time is now to gear up for next school year. We have begun the hard work of thinking about and planning for what this summer and next school year are going to look like. While we do not yet have full state guidance, we are preparing for more remote and/or hybrid (remote and in-person) learning for next school year. Again, we have not received guidance from the state yet, but we are gearing up and will be ready for more remote learning or a hybrid of remote and in-person learning if/when needed.

In fact, we’ve established a Closing the Gaps and Accelerating Learning Task Force to proactively address all we need to accomplish regarding our district’s priorities in the coming school year. Led by our district’s Chief Equity Officer, Dr. Dena Keeling, our task force has five subcommittees focused on: 

  • Ramping up remote learning (Remote Learning 2.0), including summer learning
  • School re-entry, including the logistics of learning and school operations and safety
  • Technology, including access to devices, especially for our youngest learners, and accessibility of materials
  • Human capital, including our staffing and personnel policies and needs
  • Communication/Engagement, including a comprehensive communications plan 

We will continue striving for equitable access to an excellent education for all our students--no matter what comes our way--including providing learning opportunities over the summer. We will be seeking your input via a survey regarding current remote learning in the district. Your feedback will help us ramp up and plan for remote learning (Remote Learning 2.0) should it be needed next school year.

We will allow our kids to keep their laptops over the summer, and our remote learning site is staying active. We will keep our families updated with resources and opportunities to keep the learning going over the summer! 

Finally, I want to end my note with a bit more good news. Despite this very busy time, I’m beyond proud to announce that our own Josh Cvijanovic, Director of Bands at Cedar Ridge High School, was honored as the Central District Bandmasters Band Director of the Year. Josh is one of seven band directors of the year for North Carolina! Please join me in congratulating him on this wonderful accomplishment!

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Warmly,

 

Dr. Monique Felder

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