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Summer Learning and the 2020 - 2021 School Year

June 8, 2020

Dear Families,

Today we begin our last week of the 2019-2020 school year--and what a year it’s been! Thank you for your support, patience and grace this year, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Summer Learning

As we begin our summer, I’d like to remind you that learning doesn’t end when a school year does. I encourage you to keep learning going with your children over the break! To support this, we’re allowing students to keep their Chromebooks, we’re continuing to update our remote learning site, and we are offering many other summer learning opportunities. Summer Learning opportunities will be shared with families the week of June 15th.

School Year 2020-2021

And while the warm weather is upon us, much of our work as OCS staff is just kicking off. We’re actively planning for next year. Our state’s Department of Public Instruction asked us to plan for more remote and/or more hybrid (a mix of in-person and remote) learning in the fall.

We want this new normal to work for you (as best as it can)! So, we’re committed to including you in the process. Last week you received a survey about your family’s remote learning experiences; on Friday you will receive a very brief four question survey about whether or not you will send your student to school assuming schools open for some face to face instruction next school year.  We’ll be sharing more surveys and inviting families to give feedback and input in a variety of ways in the weeks to come as we continue planning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Our Commitment to Equity

Finally, given what we’ve been experiencing as a nation, I want to reiterate my message about how our work is essential for creating safe, welcoming, inclusive and supportive environments where all children can reach their full potential. Part of that commitment is acknowledging and denouncing the racism and racial injustice we see and experience in our country.

Our district will not tolerate our students feeling unsafe in their own skin. Every single one of our students deserves a future untainted by the byproducts of racial injustice. As a school district, it is essential that we help secure this future for our students. 

Now, more than ever before, we have to be committed to equity, excellence and access--and to a school district where all means ALL.

So I want to reaffirm our commitment to you. Our schools and our classrooms serve as gathering places for students from all races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities and identities. Their very diversity is the power and strength of our district and of our community. How they learn will determine the future of Orange County, North Carolina, the country and the world. What we do as those entrusted to care for and educate our students matters. And we do not take this responsibility lightly.

I know that by taking steps toward equity every day, we can ensure our students feel safe and supported. We can begin building the world we WANT our children to grow up in, together. 

I can’t think of a more important message to take us into the summer months. 

I look forward to continuing to communicate with you monthly (or more frequently if needed) throughout the summer--and know that the website is always available to you with up-to-date information. 

Thank you for your warm welcome this year. It’s an honor to be your superintendent.

Enjoy your summer and remain healthy and safe!

 

Warm regards,

Dr. Monique Felder