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Dear JCS Families,
Several weeks ago, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and with the help of our district calendar committee, we developed three separate calendar options to consider for next year. Our goal was to select a calendar that would meet three priorities:
- ensure a high level of instructional opportunities for students,
- enable us to provide the most support for our students and families, and
- allow us sufficient time to plan and prepare for the numerous safety measures and changes that need to be implemented for next year.
The calendar committee, which includes representation from teachers, support staff, administrators, and the community, guided the work and we also sought input from parents and administrators through surveys. With the help of this feedback, I selected the calendar option that would best meet the needs of our students, families, and staff for the board’s consideration. At tonight’s special-called meeting and at my recommendation, the Jessamine County Board of Education voted to amend the 2020-2021 calendar, selecting the best option designed to meet our priorities in preparation for the safe return of our students.
While the situation around COVID-19 is still very fluid, I felt that it was important to select a calendar as early as possible to allow JCS families the opportunity to plan for the coming year. Our district values family time for both our students and staff to reconnect and spend time with loved ones and you’ll notice that although we will be starting school two weeks later than usual, spring, fall, and winter breaks were preserved to protect that valuable time.
Our district will use the two weeks built into the start of the school year to bring our staff together to prepare for the safe return of our students. While planning to open school in the midst of a pandemic continues to present challenges, I have been inspired and encouraged by the commitment and creativity of everyone involved in the process. I’m confident that our district family will come together to adapt to our current situation and to meet the needs of our students.
I realize that many of you are anxious to learn more about our district’s plans for next year and the calendar is the first of many important decisions that will greatly impact your family. We continue to work on additional plans for the beginning of the year and a communication regarding options for families, related to selecting in-person school attendance or a virtual learning experience, will be shared in the next week.
You are our partners in this journey and now, perhaps more than ever, we need your help. We realize that we have only one opportunity to start the school year and to the best of our ability, we want to get it right for the benefit of our students and our entire community. We’re still in this together and I’m so excited about what’s to come in 2020-2021! Sincerely,