June 19, 2020
Dear Chatham CSD Families,
I hope this message finds you well. With our last day of classes yesterday, our District wrapped up a school year that turned out to be anything but normal. What we experienced over the past several months was unprecedented and I would again like to commend our students, staff, and families for rising to meet the difficult challenges thrust upon us by the COVID-19 health emergency. As we shift to preparing for the 2020-21 school year, I want you to know we are committed to creating an effective learning environment that prioritizes safety and quality of instruction, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis is not over and we do not know exactly what the future will bring. As we have throughout this crisis, our District will continue to follow the guidance and regulations set by state and local authorities that govern how we may safely deliver instruction when classes resume in September. In the coming weeks, as these agencies provide us with updated guidance, we expect the picture to become clearer.
I know you have many questions and concerns about what next year will look like; the administrative team and I have similar questions and concerns. We are currently planning for several different scenarios so that we can ensure a strong start to the school year regardless of what the circumstances dictate. These plans range from a traditional school year with enhanced safety precautions, to a hybrid model that combines some in-person attendance with remote learning, to a completely remote learning model.
When we began this journey, we were thrust into an unprecedented situation with little time to prepare. We have learned a great deal over the last several months and are working to strengthen and improve our remote learning experience, in the event we are not allowed to have in-person instruction in September or at any other point during the school year. Along with new guidelines and expectations that are in development, we are providing professional development to improve the facilitation and effectiveness of virtual learning and provide students with a much richer experience. Expectations for the future include more clearly defined learning standards and stronger assessment and grading methods.
Our families are an extremely important part of our District and we will keep you updated as the situation becomes clearer. The health and safety of our students, staff and community remain a priority.
I hope you are all able to make the most of your summer break. Stay safe and stay healthy.
Dr. Sal DeAngelo
Superintendent of Schools