March 20, 2020, 10:00 AM
Iroquois School District Families,
Over the past few weeks, our country’s response to the COVID-19 virus has gone from wash your hands and don’t travel to don’t leave your house or gather in groups of more than 10. At the school district level, in just one day, we went from being asked to stay open to being closed by Governor Wolf for two weeks.
The information I receive from state and local authorities is changing just as fast on all topics. This is what I know for sure:
- The District will remain closed for the week of March 23rd to 27th; however, we are expecting an announcement in the next week extending this closure.
- The District has been asked to provide meals to our students during this closure. We will continue to do that on a daily basis, Monday-Friday, as long as our employees and volunteers can remain safe.
- Lastly, we are working on providing a plan to continue education after the closure ends. Our District believes that nothing can substitute face-to-face instruction from our quality teachers. If necessary, we plan to extend our school year up to the state-mandated deadline of June 30th if that will enable us to provide a quality education to our students. If face-to-face instruction is not going to be possible, we are required to make sure whatever new instruction we provide is accessible by all of our students. Our District has many families that do not have internet access or a working computer in their homes. 22% of our students have special needs, and we must work with each of their families to offer them services they can access. Additionally, we have approximately 20 students speaking nine different languages who require English language services. When we move forward, we are required to do our best to meet the needs of all of our students. Sending packets home or offering classes online simply does not meet all of the requirements public schools are expected to follow.
On Monday, March 23rd, we will post resources that students may access from home based on their capabilities to access the internet. There will be more information to follow on this topic on March 23rd. By order of the Governor, we are not permitted to provide any new instruction, so please be patient.
Stay safe, and please practice social distancing.
Shane S. Murray
Iroquois School District