In just over 24 hours, we have seen sweeping and historic changes across the state, most notably, Governor Northam’s decision to close all schools in Virginia for the remainder of the school year. I understand that this time of extraordinary change and uncertainty may cause you to feel a variety of emotions. As a husband, father of two school-aged children, son, educator, and neighbor, I have naturally experienced these feelings too.
Since yesterday’s announcement, we have received several emails and other correspondence from families with various questions and comments. Many of these are regarding student instruction and the academic expectations for the remainder of the school year; grading for the second semester; graduation; and more. Again, I want to assure you that our team is working nearly around-the-clock and directly with the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to provide you with answers and resources as quickly and humanly possible.
As we move forward, I promise to keep you informed. In return, I ask for your patience and understanding during this incredibly challenging time. We are working carefully to build a comprehensive instructional plan that will best serve the individual learning needs of our students for the remainder of the school year in a way that no one anticipated. We are also developing a host of other plans to address a wide variety of other needs in a compressed time frame. This simply takes time to do it right.
In the meantime, please encourage your students to read and continue working with the learning materials that we previously provided. Please note that we initially developed these resources to serve your student(s) through April 3, just prior to Spring Break. We intend for the new materials, which we are currently developing, to serve our students’ instructional needs from April 13 (post-Spring Break) until the end of the school year. These new instructional plans will be more robust and individualized.
Again, we will communicate more in the coming days as quickly as possible. Until then, I hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe.
With deepest gratitude,
Dr. Michael Gill