The following is a letter to families and community members:
We’ve just finished an unprecedented year of K-12 education and want to take a moment to recognize all of our educators and school staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve students and families with unwavering determination, dedication, and compassion. Thank you for your commitment to our students and their families.
We also want to thank our schools’ families. We could not have gotten through this year without you. Despite any challenges you faced and may still be facing, you graciously and without pause took an active role in your children’s education. Thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation.
As we begin the process of developing a reopening plan, we’re mindful of the monumental task at hand that will require considerate and thoughtful decision making. While it is our responsibility to continue to educate our communities’ children, we also want to compassionately take into consideration the variety of difficulties that our school families and employees are enduring during this time. That said, possible reopening options are endless and there are many factors to examine as we shape a safe and practical plan.
In the coming weeks, we will work together to assess and prepare a feasible and academically effective re-opening plan for our students under the guidance of Governor Eric Holcomb, the Whitley County Health Department and the Indiana Department of Education.
As we see it now, school operations will, for an unclear period of time, look very different from past school years. But rest assured, we are working closely with our principals, directors and educators to provide reopening options that will meet every student and family’s needs.
Although we don’t have all of the details outlined just yet, please understand that any implementation of these plans places the safety and health of students, staff and our communities as a top priority and our number one concern. For this very reason, the nature of these plans will remain flexible and are subject to change as we learn and consider new information.
Because of the unique challenges of this unprecedented time, it is important that we all continue to do our part to stay safe and keep others safe. This means practicing and supporting recommended health precautions including frequently washing hands and sanitizing high-touch surfaces, implementing practical social distancing and staying home when sick.
As difficult as this situation has been for all of us, we should be proud of how our communities continue to band together to share resources and assist neighbors. We are grateful for the strength of our communities and your continued support as we work hard to serve the academic, social and emotional needs of every child in our local school districts.
Dr. Dan Hile, Superintendent, Smith-Green Community Schools
Dr. Brandon Penrod, Superintendent, Whitko Community Schools
Dr. Patricia O’Connor, Superintendent, Whitley County Consolidated Schools