November 20, 2020
Greeting JPS Community,
As you know, back in July, we made the very difficult decision to move our entire educational program to a virtual setting. We made that decision based on multiple convenings with a variety of our stakeholders including teachers, students, parents, and community partners. And now, as we prepare for the spring semester, we are reminded that not all of our JPS families are similarly situated, and we must therefore offer more options to ensure that our scholars succeed.
So here is our plan for the spring semester:
- All JPS scholars will have the option to continue live, virtual instruction.
- Elementary scholars will have the option to return to in-person, traditional instruction Monday-Friday with appropriate social distancing and enhanced cleaning.
- Middle and high school scholars will have the option to participate in a hybrid instruction program on alternating A and B Days to allow for greater distancing and enhanced cleaning.
We believe this is the right decision for the following reasons:
- We will have enough devices for each of our scholars to have their own.
- The social and emotional needs of our scholars are great, and it’s very difficult to offer support for those needs virtually.
- Our youngest scholars require in-person instruction to ensure they have the foundational skills for greater success.
- There is a promising vaccine on the horizon.
- We have been learning lessons from others who have run in-person traditional programs during the pandemic.
- While it’s critical to maintain our safety, we must also ensure that our scholars are prepared for life after the pandemic.
I'm excited to transition to this plan that we've coined a Smart Restart. We will continue to monitor the data and adjust the plan as necessary. Our community, like others around the world, has developed strategies for living through the pandemic, and I know that you'll do everything you can to help keep us safe.
Thank you to the many members of the JPS community who have demonstrated our core values of excellence and growth mindset: Our teachers who have embraced this new normal and learned new technologies and ways to engage students virtually; our bus drivers and child nutrition workers who have altered their approaches to deliver meals and collect instructional packets; our school leaders and support staff who have led virtual staff meetings and supported staff members with drive-by parades; and our families who have supported scholars through virtual learning and created home classrooms, dropped off packets, and organized mini church schools.
To all of you, we see you and appreciate your support as we brave these circumstances together.
We’ll need your continued support as we move forward with a Smart Restart.
Errick L. Greene, Ed.D.