Although the winter solstice is behind us and the days are getting longer, things seem very dark indeed. COVID is surging. Rioters overran the nation’s capital. It can be hard to know what to say to our children and how to support them in uncertain times. The Sudbury Mental Health Team has curated a robust Social Emotional website that contains useful resources to support families when having difficult conversations with children. Of particular interest at this time may be the resources on Coping with Tragedy and Violence.
Our children and our schools are a bright spot and will continue to be. Students are learning, playing, and connecting with adults and peers in their brick and mortar and virtual classrooms. Due to the vigilance of the community and our staff, SPS has managed to remain in the hybrid model. This week we have augmented our surveillance capabilities with the ability to provide rapid antigen testing to symptomatic individuals. More details will be forthcoming. School nurses have been reclassified by the state and are now eligible to be vaccinated in the first phase. School staff are eligible for vaccination in Phase 2 which is currently projected for sometime between February and April.
As a district, we continue to focus on meeting the needs of all students and mitigating the impact of the pandemic on student wellness and learning. One such effort is a potential summer learning program for elementary students in need of mathematics or literacy support. Educators also continue to engage in professional learning on time-sensitive topics such as online learning and health and safety and longer-range initiatives such as civics instruction and specialized curriculums for students with unique learning profiles. At the January 29th Professional Development day, we will be focusing on Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Teaching.
Lighter days are coming. We have much to be grateful for and will continue to do all we can on behalf of our students and families. If you have a specific need or concern, please reach out directly to any member of your building's administrative or mental health team.