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Update from the Superintendent - April 9, 2020

Message from Dr. Coakley – April 9, 2020

Dear Centennial Families and Staff:

Unfortunately, yesterday we learned that our students will not return to school campuses this school year, according to an executive order from Gov. Kate Brown. The Governor extended the closure of schools through the end of this school year. The extended closure is an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe and healthy. During this closure extension, all school facilities will remain closed, however, student learning will continue, in the new remote learning world. The Centennial School District will continue to serve families and deliver meaningful experiences to students for the duration of our academic year through Distance Learning.

As we move into this new phase, I wanted to share with you the definition of Distance Learning: 

Distance Learning is instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. Students engaging in distance learning have access to appropriate educational materials and receive ongoing interaction with their licensed and/or registered teacher(s). It is important to note that distance learning includes multimedia communication and blended learning strategies, not just digital/online learning. 

We know many of our families are experiencing challenges and hardships during this unprecedented time. Every day seems to bring new challenges and those can be stressful for us all. Please remember this one unwavering fact: we are in this together, for as long as it takes.

This year is also changing for our seniors. Gov. Brown has announced a plan surrounding graduation requirements. We are still digging into her recommendations, but we wanted to let you know that this will not impact our seniors’ ability to graduate this June. Our high school staff are reaching out to all of our seniors this week with more information. 

The extended closure also means that prom and field trips are canceled. Graduations, award ceremonies, and traditional senior activities will look and be experienced differently. We are working to reimagine these experiences and want all of our students to have the opportunity for connection, belonging and optimism. We are working with our student leaders in planning how this will look for the Class of 2020. We will share the details for these events in the near future.  We do know that the in-person graduation ceremonies for Centennial High School, Centennial Park School and the Centennial Transition Center will be delayed from their original June dates. We plan to make an announcement related to graduation ceremonies which will be shared by the beginning of May.

We will continue to provide food for our students through June 11th. 

We know that you have many questions on how to retrieve your student’s belongings, turning in library books, access to technology, etc. Our first priority is safety for all, as well as getting our teachers and students back to working on instruction through distance learning next week. We will begin working on how best to get staff and student’s belongings from the school – we hope to share more information with you in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, we will continue with our weekly Sunday evening calls with the most up-to-date information. In addition, information will be posted on the district’s website at csd28j.org and the district’s Facebook page.

From the staff members serving meals, to the teachers adapting to distance learning to the families at home juggling work, school and life – we want to say thank you for the kindness you show to one another. We will need patience, resilience, kindness and strength as we move through these next few months. We will persevere through this crisis, as we support one another and grow stronger together.

Sincerely,

Paul Coakley, Ed.D

Superintendent

Centennial School District