Doing What's Right For Students

March 25, 2020

Hello, Polk Families and Community!  This is Aaron Greene with your March 25 update.  You made it to the middle of the week – Happy Wednesday!  Again, thank you for all you are doing to take care of your own families and each other.

(This paragraph is email only) Tonight’s message will be focused on teaching and learning.  I hope to address several of your questions on that front with this message.  Superintendents were briefed today by our state agencies on the many questions you and we all have.  Many unknowns still exist regarding what will happen with decisions on instruction, student work, and students receiving credit.  They are important questions that will have to be answered, like “What will happen about grades, course credit, what will be required, will we have to make up days and work, what about families who don’t have internet or who have trouble helping their students with work”.  Unfortunately we do not have the answers to those questions yet, but our NC State Board of Education and the NC Department of Public Instruction are working on this guidance as hard and fast as they can.  When they make these decisions and inform us we will get that information out to you.  I can tell you Polk County Schools is always going to err on the side of helping our students.

I personally believe that our student-teacher relationships and interactions are where the best learning takes place.  Given that face-to-face instruction is not possible right now, we will do our best to stay connected and help.  For now we will be getting out some student work starting with a week’s worth of review learning activities that will be available for students beginning tomorrow.  Work for our students in all grade levels and courses will be posted online at www.polkschools.org/learning/.  Paper copies of the PreK-5 activities will be available at each elementary school during the 11-1 lunch pickup time for those who have requested paper packets during the student wellness calls.  Just let our folks know how many students and what grade level.  Students in grades 6-12 can visit the online link to access their activities and we encourage families to share this information as they can to help those without internet access.  This student work will be geared towards review of previous standards and skills and should be straightforward and easy to understand.  I want to be clear this student work is recommended but not required. 

We do want our students to get back in a school mindset and to work on learning some every day.  Many of you have set a schedule and are working with your students, but we recognize that some families may not have that capability.  We know everyone is doing the best they can and we understand that.  Again, visit www.polkschools.org/learning/ to see the work for students at each grade level and course area.  The work is recommended but not required, so don’t stress out yourself or your kids because you don’t know how to factor a polynomial.  Just keep doing the best you can and we thank you.

As we move into next week we will be working on increasing student access to devices and online learning, and I’ll share more about that soon.  Thank you again for your patience as we work to make sure learning is accessible to all students and families.  I want to leave you with a quote from Helen Keller – “Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much”.  Polk County is working together to get through this, and we will.  All of us here at Polk County Schools are with you, and we are proud to serve the children and families of our community.  We look forward to continuing our work with you.  Better days are ahead.  Thank you, and good night!

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