I hope this message finds you well.  While the weather is changing to warmer temperatures, it still feels off.  We would typically hear the sounds of kids laughing and playing outside on a regular basis, yet it is quiet.  However, there is still laughter going on inside houses, and thank you to staff, parents, and students for that.  

 

When the governor originally announced that we were closing for three weeks (and one of those being our Spring Break), we initially laid out a “Sprinter’s” plan.  We jumped headfirst into this phenomenon, and everyone has done a fantastic job.  I truly believe we are ahead of the curve right now because of the work that everyone has done.  However, with the announcement we will be out for the entire month of April with a strong potential for longer, we must revisit that approach.   We need to switch from “Sprinter” to “Distance”.  We have said that we will continually re-evaluate our approach, and we know we need to make a change. 

 

To that end, starting next Monday for teachers, Monday will be a “No New Instruction Day”.  Instead, it will consist of virtual office hours, virtual collaboration for teachers, professional development, and lesson planning.  The hope is that by the end of the day Monday or early on Tuesday, each teacher can publish a rough agenda of their plans for the week.  I think this will also help ease the anxiety for parents and students as we move forward.   For next week, since we don’t have school on Friday, that means new instruction will only occur on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  The intent is that we are going to slow down and work to create quality and consistency.   I am committed to doing this model for the next two weeks, and then we can reassess and go from there. 

 

We are excited to announce that there will be a VV teacher and staff caravan happening tomorrow (FRIDAY) afternoon around 4pm!  Special thanks to Jessica Wafzig, Anna Swanson, and Erica Hamm for organizing this.
 
Event Details:
What: A Car Parade of VV Teachers and Staff
When: Friday, April 3rd, starting at 4pm 
Where: The caravan parade will start at the Intermediate school and parade around the Germantown and Farmersville communities (See map attached)
Why: We miss our VV students and families and want to be able to connect to you outside of the virtual world!
 
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
 
-STAY IN HOME OR ON FRONT LAWN TO WATCH PARADE
-DO NOT CONGREGATE ON THE SIDEWALK WITH ANYONE OUTSIDE OF YOUR RESIDENCE/FAMILY
-CONTINUE TO PRACTICE SAFE SOCIAL DISTANCING 
-DO NOT WALK UP TO CARS OR GO INTO THE STREET. TEACHERS AND STAFF WILL SIMPLY WAVE AND SEND SMILES AND HUGS FROM A DISTANCE. PARADE CARS WILL NOT STOP TO TALK.
 
Some of you may ask: What if the parade isn’t coming by my house? Drive and park to a location where the parade will go and STAY IN YOUR CAR to watch.
 
Please follow the above safety guidelines. We do not want a positive event like this one to turn into an unhealthy situation.  A parade map is attached to this message.


Thank you to everyone who has taken a difficult situation and tried to make the best of it.  

Proud to be your Superintendent,
Ben Richards