Submitted by Kari McVeigh
San Juan Island School District Superintendent
Gov. Jay Inslee announced on April 6 that all schools were to remain physically closed until the end of the school year. For San Juan Island School District, this means June 12.
Although this does not come as a surprise, the finality is a little emotionally laden. However, because of great teleschooling learning experiences, we know that our students will be prepared to meet next year’s educational challenges. I continue to be amazed by the incredible breadth and depth of learning experiences that are being offered to our students. For this, we owe our teachers, paraeducators and administrators much thanks. We remain grateful, also, to the steadfastness of our parents in keeping their children moving along this path.
We do not yet know what promotion and graduation ceremonies will look like as the governor left a glimmer of hope for something that will resemble past years. We will follow this guidance, hope for the best and begin planning alternative ways to celebrate our students’ milestones if needed.
So far, we continue to serve almost a thousand meals a week to our families. We will provide meals in bulk this Friday for next week’s Spring Break. We are so happy to provide this critical service at such an important time for our island. Remember anyone can sign up. Look for the online form on our website, www.sjisd.wednet.edu, then navigate to Families, then Food Service.
We have also been helping our island community by delivering food for the 36 Weekends program (weekend food for families in need) and some senior meals. We appreciate the opportunity to support the community in this way.
We have been pleased with our student’s attendance during our first three weeks of teleschooling. Now that we know that teleschooling will continue for a couple of months, we ask parents to stay ever mindful of their child’s learning schedule so we can ensure maximized learning over the long haul before summer. So far, the only place where we are finding a drop off is at the high school during the first period. We all know that teenagers like to sleep, but first-period grades do and will count toward credits and graduation. Help your teenager get up in time for class! All students are being assessed on their work and these grades do count.
Next week is Spring Break and this means that everyone will have a week off from teleschooling. Spring Break this year will not be a time for heading off-island for adventures or sunnier and warmer locales. I encourage all of you to continue to practice social distancing and find ways to enjoy our island and each of your own families. Use this time to find new ways to celebrate spring and each other, albeit apart but together. And in the true promise of spring, we will be renewed and ready for summer when it gets here, hopefully, each of us healthy and well.