I hope that you all are well and healthy. As you all know, Jackson County continues to have high numbers of new COVID cases. Please continue to be safe out there. Where your masks, wash your hands and stay distanced! Together we can bring the curve downward and get back to in-person instruction sooner. We really miss seeing our students.
Next week we will only have classes on Monday and Tuesday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Many of us will have holiday celebrations that are smaller than we are used to due to the Governorís recent freeze. I hope that you all find things that you can celebrate and be thankful for. It is also important to remember that although Thanksgiving is widely celebrated as a time to spend time with family and break bread together, it can have a very different connotation for Indigenous Americans. If youíre interested, I encourage you to check out the following link, A Racial Justice Guide to Thanksgiving. It provides many helpful and interesting resources that provide a more equitable examination of the history around Thanksgiving. The link was shared with our staff by our new EDI director, Andrea Townsend.
Parents and students, many of you may have noticed that some classes here at the high school were only available asynchronously today. This is because many of our teachers and staff took part in an excellent professional development opportunity on Trauma Informed and Social Emotional Supports. I also attended and it was inspiring to hear some of the new research on this topic. Our intent is to take what we learn to better support all of our students. There will be three more training dates in the future as well.
I wanted to share that we are hearing more reports of students that are logging in to their Zoom sessions for class, but their video is off, their audio is muted and they are not participating in any way. If a student logs in but does not answer any questions, turn in assignments, participate in chat or give any evidence that they are actually "present," we will have to mark the student absent.
Parents and guardians can help by periodically checking in on their student. Just because you can hear a Zoom class happening, doesn't mean a student is actually engaged or participating. If you have questions or concerns about your students attendance or performance in a class, I encourage you to reach out to their teacher first. By working as a team, we can help our students be as successful as possible.
I wish you all the best and hope that you stay healthy, warm and safe.
Ashland High School