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COVID Update - April 21, 2020

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                                                                                                        21 April 2020

Greenback Family,

As we begin our 4 th week in distance learning (officially, the Continuous Learning Plan) I want to
touch base regarding student progress and plans for summer.

Most students are pushing ahead and making the best of a difficult situation, and I’m very proud
of their grit and responsibility. Teachers are working to regularly contact all students and parents
to help keep moving all students to our intended destination on May 22 nd of having students
ready for the 2020-21 school year. We know students have varying levels of difficulty with
connecting online. Please visit with teachers if this is a particular concern.

For our older students, we do believe it is important that we still maintain accountability. There
may be some other school systems around the state that fold in these last 8 weeks (5 weeks
left), but we believe that sends a message that our students are simply not capable of adapting
and rising to a challenge. Developing and maintaining good habits set our students up for
success. In a game there are often questionable calls and bad breaks…the gritty players rise up
to the challenge, continue to battle, and focus on the task at hand. Control what you can control
and take care of business. So, yes, we are still maintaining accountability with our older
students…we know they can do it and we will persevere with high expectations (with a sprinkling
of grace) for our students like a good coach. Again, if there is a particular technical concern
(online connectivity, for example) please visit with an individual teacher.

For our younger learners, we know distance learning is a tremendous burden on parents…and,
at the same time, some families have added stress in their lives. We applaud your efforts
because our biggest concern is keeping our students still growing and ready for the next school
year. We plan to provide summer school opportunities for our K-6 students who show the need
in order to help bridge the gap. Teachers will be surveying parents in order to help us plan
summer school—look for that this week. Our district has access to federal money through the
CARES Act and we are looking to use a chunk of those resources for providing a more
comprehensive summer school than we normally offer for both the 2020 and 2021 summers. It’s
not a blank check, but it does give us some necessary resources to help bridge the gap and
return our younger students back to full speed.

Finally, I know this is not only a difficult time but an uncertain time. There will be controversy
about what is best for society and schools. Please know that the best interest of our students is
at the forefront of our thinking…even when we are being a pain in the rear. I am fairly certain we
will be managing through some uncertainty into next school year. Like a distance race, we have
to stay tough and keep on grinding. Well, except for our Seniors, they are on a sprint…ready to
graduate. We are proud to honor them.

Take care,

Tony Helfrich
Pratt Schools USD 382