Thursday, October 22, 2020

CUSD Update Message from Superintendent Mueller May 15, 2020

Good afternoon,

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We appreciate the overwhelming response to our Distance Learning ThoughtExchange. There are over 800 ideas shared; this level of engagement is a true testament of the investment from our community in our district. Frustrations expressed are valid. We know we can improve remote learning experiences and are committed to continuous growth.

Beginning on June 1st, CUSD will embark on training and staff collaboration to design our remote learning structure for the fall. Our responsibility is to build a robust program. Parents can expect a structured schedule, direct instruction, opportunities for interaction and connection, assessment, and accountability. We will provide a preview of our adopted remote learning structure by June 15th.

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Disruption fosters creativity and the COVID constraints have inspired innovation. We have learned some valuable lessons in our distance learning implementation. In designing our new model we will incorporate best practices which are aligned with researched-based online learning strategies on what is best for students. We will incorporate more Social and Emotional Learning and mental health supports. We will work on streamlining accessibility and scheduling to make this more ‘user friendly’ for our staff, students and parents.

There is nobody to blame for our current circumstances. Distance teaching, necessitated by the mandated closures, became the collective normal for public education. Our teachers were asked to design and implement new systems, immediately and without training, while navigating the impacts of the pandemic at home and with family.

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What’s bad for the hive is bad for the bee.

We are all missing the very essence of the schoolhouse: the laughter, the curiosity, the shared epiphanies, the silliness. Our students are the most impacted by these conditions. The human community of ‘school’ protects and challenges our children in a developmentally appropriate way. Each child benefits from navigating through a day of interactions, disappointments, and celebrations. We can’t recreate these experiences. We need our students back.

This fall, we will seek creative scheduling to facilitate face to face opportunities as soon as it is safe and permissible. Please trust that all decisions made regarding when and how to reopen our schools will follow direction from public health official guidance.

I am proud of the work we accomplish together as a team, and am confident that we will resurface from these times with a clearer commitment and focus on how to best connect, challenge, and champion every child, every day.

Be safe and well,

Karl Mueller


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