December 18, 2020
Today is the end of the five weeks marking period of the second quarter. In normal times this would not be a significant milestone, but these are definitely not normal times. As I reflect on where we are today as a school community I find it very hard to ignore two themes that have been haunting me so far throughout this school year.
I have always said that the health and safety of our students and staff is my number one priority as the principal of the building. This has taken on a greater sense of urgency in light of the pandemic. However, to date we have not had any student or staff contract COVID-19 within the building. While we have had reported cases, these cases were contracted outside of the building and were not transmitted to anyone else here in the secondary school. This is in spite of the fact that we now have more students attending school on a daily basis than either of the hybrid-alphabetized groupings or our fully remote students. What this tells me is that we are doing something right in our cleaning routine and our safety precaution measures: mask wearing, shields and social distancing. While this is to be celebrated, we will not relax these expectations. I may not be able to prevent someone contracting COVID-19 outside of the building, but I am committed to ensure that it does not spread here.
My other major concern is the number of students who are registering lower grades than in previous years. Last month I explained one of the reasons that is contributing to this. However, as a school community we have been looking at what else we can do to address this concern. To this end, I am pleased to inform you that starting in January the teachers will be inviting students in for extra-help. Extra-help will be held from 8:05 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Students who are invited in by their teachers will take the elementary bus in or may be dropped off by their parents. We will notify each student and his/her parents on the afternoon before that the student has been invited to the building for extra-help. Please assist us in ensuring that your child gets to the building for extra-help.
As we go on break next week, I ask that everyone continues to be safe. Please also keep in mind the members of our school community and our country who have been afflicted in one way or another this year. I hope to see everyone back here at BKW Secondary School on January 4.
Have a safe and happy holiday.
Mark A. Pitterson, Ed.D