I hope you’ve had a great week! I have a few updates for you today. You can watch my video update here.
We are encouraged to see that the number of positive cases and quarantines in our schools have come down and leveled off over the past few weeks, but the reality is that cases are going up again in our county and state. Our Medical Advisory Team stresses that we still need to remain vigilant with all of the health and safety precautions during the school day and outside of our homes - especially masking. This is important even as we spend more time outside. These precautions will help us slow the spread in our community - and reduce the number of quarantines and successfully keep our students in school.
We’re quickly approaching the end of the school year - and we are incredibly excited to safely celebrate all of those important end-of-year milestones with all of our students. Some of these ceremonies may need to be adapted or held outside for safety reasons, but our plan is to have as many of these celebrations as possible take place with the necessary precautions. You’ll be hearing more details from your building principals on those events in the coming weeks.
Family survey on summer academic and well-being programs
As we look ahead to summer, we understand that some of our students may need additional support for academic or well-being reasons, or both, after the challenges of the past year. We are hoping to gather some feedback from families to gauge the interest in summer programming for students focused on well-being and core academic subjects. This would be in addition to existing programs like Summer Reading and Summer Academy.
If you have a student who will be entering grade 1 through 12 in the fall and are interested - or may be interested - in participating in a “Summer Bridge” program, please complete this brief survey. There’s no commitment involved. Your feedback will simply help us finalize the design of the program. Generally speaking, we may offer a half-day program that includes lunch, and offer flexibility on the weeks families choose to attend.
We also realize that some students may need support beyond summer, or may simply need a break. We are planning to offer additional supports through the upcoming school year and beyond for students, and more will be coming on that.
Deadline extended! Online learning survey
We are extending the deadline for our survey on online learning for the upcoming school year. That survey will now close next Friday. You can click here to complete the survey if you are interested - or may be interested - in an entirely online learning option for your student in the fall.
Kindergarten and BECS registration reminders
We are continuing to encourage families who want to register their students for our new all-day kindergarten program this fall to do so as soon as possible — you can click here to learn more and get started. Burbank Early Childhood School (BECS) is also accepting preschool applications for children ages 2 to 5 years for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year. Call 614-487-5155 to learn more about enrolling your child.
Autism Acceptance Month
This month is Autism Acceptance Month. You might be familiar with Autism Awareness Month - which has been recognized for a number of years during the month of October. The shift to Autism Acceptance Month grew from a desire to promote greater acceptance of all people and their abilities, and to provide support and opportunities in education, employment and comprehensive long-term services for individuals living with autism. Autism Acceptance Month is celebrated during the month of April, and World Autism Day was celebrated earlier this month on the 2nd.
In the United States, nearly 1 in every 54 children is living with autism, according to the Autism Society of America. We have a number of children in our schools and our community who are among those living with autism, and by focusing on acceptance rather than awareness, we are creating more inclusive experiences for them in our schools. This is an important part of our mission of challenging and supporting every student, every step of the way.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! And, as always, go Bears!
Paul Imhoff, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Upper Arlington Schools