Dear School of the Osage Students, Families, and Community-
Last week, this update included a link requesting input on what you think is going well and what we can do to improve. We received approximately 30 responses. While this might not be indicative of the feelings of the entire Osage family, we think it is enough to call it a decent “temperature check.” (I know, too soon- but I couldn’t resist.)
We heard that people like distance learning Mondays. And that people do not like distance learning Mondays. We heard that Canvas is working well. And also, Canvas is not working well.
Three particular topics did not have two sides.
- Nobody likes quarantines.
We can’t fix the quarantine concept, but we can (and will) keep trying to do our part to keep students off the list. As of this writing, we only have 21 students and 6 staff quarantined. Whether you love or hate (or love AND hate) the distance learning Mondays, we think they are helping us keep these numbers down, thus keeping more students and staff in school the other days of the week. We are grateful for your patience and support.
- People appreciate teachers.
We, too, are exceptionally appreciative of our teachers! COVID19 does cause absences, and quarantines cause absences. And all this, in turn, requires double-duty in preparation and instructional implementation, which can be hard and confusing for students, parents- and yes, teachers too. Again, love or hate the distance learning Mondays, but they are currently the calm in midst of the revolving door caused by the blend of students in the classroom and students and staff going on and off quarantine.
- Most think we should analyze the amount of work being expected on Mondays.
We have a few immediate adjustments as to the third point of general agreement -the suggestion that we need to address Monday work for students. Here are the two actions we are taking now in response to the input we received last week.
- We are working this week to ensure a common definition district wide of the phrase “no new work on Mondays.” We hear you about the issues with consistency and are striving to iron that out.
- Implement Make-Up Mondays on the last Monday of each quarter. There will be no scheduled assignments or Zoom meetings the last Monday of the quarter. But teachers will still be present for their scheduled office hours via Zoom or Remind. Students who are caught up will have the freedom to either work ahead or take a well-deserved day off. Students who are behind will have space to catch up. Teachers can spend the day providing additional feedback to those in need of it, as well as entering end of quarter grades, and planning for the next quarter. The first Make-up Monday will be October 12.
We all look forward to a time when COVID and quarantines are not a part of our reality. However by working together, the data points to the fact that your willingness to partner with us has created many opportunities for students as evidenced by
- A full month of all School Buildings Open
- A full month of Athletic practices and competitions
- Lower than average discipline reports
- High average daily attendance
There is no sugar-coating it; learning in this time is different and difficult. But it is worth it.
And it is only possible through our on-going partnership with you. THANK YOU!
Dr. Laura Nelson
*Indian Support Hotline:
573-552-8878 or [email protected]
Additional Community Support Resources:
Hope House Food Pantry at (573) 365-0099
Camden County Community Assistance Hotline at (573) 346-6145
Miller County Community Assistance Hotline at (573) 692-0426