Therefore, I’m writing to let you know that the physical closure of all Hart District schools will be extended through June 4, 2020. School remains “in session,” but will be continue to be conducted through virtual means.
We all hoped that an early resolution to this pandemic would enable us to reconvene physical classes before the end of the school year. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the emergency requires that we take steps to protect the health and safety of our students, our staff and our community.
While this news is disappointing for all of us, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that it must be especially painful for our district’s 12th grade students. The 2019-2020 school year has been marked by extraordinary tragedy. We deeply regret that so many of our students have had their young lives disrupted in such heartbreaking ways.
We are determined to honor and celebrate our seniors, even if it means that we have to do so in creative, non-traditional ways. We are actively exploring alternatives for graduation and senior activities, and we remain open to the idea of conducting these events at different times and in different ways. Of course, we will need to be able to ensure that any creative solution keeps our students and community safe. We will share news as the situation develops.
The extension of Distance Learning raises many questions that will need to be resolved in the next several weeks. Yesterday, multiple state and federal agencies forwarded new recommendations for changes in grading practices, graduation requirements and college admissions standards. Our staff will be evaluating these new recommendations and putting together a plan that helps teachers, students and parents understand how to navigate this unique period of Distance Learning. It’s reasonable to expect that we will have more information to share the week following Spring Break.
Though the news is disappointing, I encourage us all embrace this opportunity to build something positive out of these next several months. Though challenging, we have heard so many encouraging stories of teachers, students and parents working together to ensure that learning continues.
On behalf of our Governing Board, we thank you for your patience and flexibility. Stay safe, healthy and “socially distanced.”
William S. Hart Union High School District