Robbie Hooker, superintendent of Social Circle City Schools, sent out the following letter to parents to explain the school system’s response to Gov. Brian Kemp’s decision to keep students home and out of the classroom for the rest of the school year.
We hope that you are doing well during these stressful and uncertain times. We are deeply saddened by the news that we will not be able to reopen our schools this year. However, we are encouraged by our students’ eagerness to continue learning during school closure. We are aware that many of our students are not able to access the internet and are taking advantage of the opportunity to work on paper to continue to grow academically. Our teachers have communicated that they are enjoying getting to know our students in ways that are different than in the classroom. Additionally, they have noted that some students who do not frequently participate in face to face classrooms seem to be more comfortable expressing themselves in an online environment. While we are developing innovative solutions, we are working to ensure that our processes and procedures provide the greatest benefit to our students. Please note the updated information below regarding grading and catch up days.
Grading Expectations -
We will provide grace over grades in order to take care of all of our students. Teachers will provide additional learning opportunities (virtually or on paper) to replace or increase current grades. Students demonstrating learning on the paper copies of materials distributed by schools should take a photograph of their work and email it to their teacher. Students demonstrating improvement (virtually or on paper) will earn a higher grade. School staff will continue to reach out to students who were not passing classes prior to the closure in order to develop individualized plans providing specific steps that can lead to success based on student learning. We urge all students to take advantage of these opportunities that will help them to be more successful in their future classes. However, we understand that many of our families are struggling during this difficult time. Therefore, no student will be penalized for difficulty accessing or learning during COVID-19.
Since everyone has worked so hard, we want to provide additional time to rest, play, and connect with your families. Therefore, no learning tasks or class meetings will be held from Thursday, April 2nd, through Friday, April 10th. We will get back to learning and meeting, Mondays - Thursdays, on Monday, April 13th.
Catching-Up in the Circle Days
We appreciate the feedback that students and parents have provided regarding their academic, social, and emotional needs during this time. Many students and parents have indicated that they need additional time to complete assignments, help their families around the house, explore interests virtually, play and have fun. Beginning on Friday, April 17th, we will celebrate “Catching-Up in the Circle Days” every Friday that the schools are closed. No learning tasks or class meetings will be held on Fridays. School staff will utilize these days to plan as teams in order to develop engaging learning activities for our students.
We appreciate your patience as we work to make the best out of this difficult situation. We would like to thank the staff and school board members for their unfailing support for the success and welfare of all of our students. Our staff and students are demonstrating optimism, creativity, and compassion. We will come out of this challenge as a better school system. Together, we will get through this. We are “All In.”
Dr. Robbie Hooker