Hello parents, grandparents, and community,
I would like to give you a quick update about Central Consolidated Schools’ efforts to provide education to our students while our buildings remain closed.
CCSD is shifting to a learn-at-home model while schools remain closed for the rest of the academic year 2019-2020, as Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and state education officials announced on Friday, March 27. You can see the governor’s executive order and a frequently asked questions document about the order on our website, ccsdnm.org.
We want to keep our families safe during this evolving COVID-19 public health threat. We ask that you take the Coronavirus seriously, to follow the state’s stay-at-home orders, the Navajo Nation’s curfew, maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and other individuals (social distancing), and not gathering in groups of more than five people, especially when shopping for needed supplies.
In the photo: Art with a message. A mural in Shiprock encourages the community to “stay safe, stay strong.”
From the Bottom Up
We also want to make sure that as a community we don’t lose sight of what is important, that life must continue and learning should as well. That is why we have been working hard with our administrative staff to come up with a plan that works from the bottom up, from our teachers and families to the rest of the CCSD tree.
That’s why right after the governor’s executive order was issued, we asked that teachers and parents communicated with each other, created an inventory of their needs and that those needs are passed onto the principals, coordinators, and directors of the district. By the end of this process, which started this week, each school plan will make up our District Continuous Learning Plan (CLP), which will be submitted to the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED). The CLP must include a clear guide for student engagement. The deadline is April 8.
In the meantime, we have added resources on our Academics page, ccsdnm.org/departments/academics, including Supplemental Learning Packets, Navajo and Spanish Language Resources, and Pacing Guides, as well as the Implementation Guide for Your Continuous Learning Plan and the Continuous Learning Plan Support from NMPED.
In the photo: Meals and packets are distributed outside of Kirtland Middle School this week. The site is one of five providing food and information to families.
A Quick Recap of Guidelines from the State
- Schools will not be required to make up the missed instructional days between March 16 and April 3
- The remaining weeks of the school year will be waived
- Districts must develop technology-based and non-technology-based continuous learning plans
- The practice of pass/no credit rather than grades during this period
- High Schools are working collaboratively with their team for a sound plan that will design measures by which seniors can demonstrate eligibility for graduation, including testing, assignments, set a score on a college entrance exam or proving applied work experience
- Schools will be required to identify and support students in danger of not being able to graduate
- High school seniors will have until June 19 to demonstrate eligibility to graduate
- High school seniors who fail to demonstrate eligibility will be offered credit recovery in the summer
- High school seniors will not be denied graduation for lack of access to demonstrate competency
In the photo: Curbside meals delivered at Shiprock High School. The site is one of five providing food and information to families.
Meals, Learning Packets, and more
The district will continue serving curbside “Grab-and-Go” lunches and “Next-Day Breakfasts” at five locations: Kirtland Middle School, Shiprock High School, Newcomb High School, Ojo Amarillo Elementary School, and Naschitti Elementary School. In addition to those sites, the district is providing breakfasts and lunches at fourteen bus stops. Click here to see areas and times for our meals at bus stops. We are happy to extend the meals until May 22, which has also provided food for students from neighboring districts.
Printed learning packets are being distributed to students on the fourteen bus stops mentioned above. Our printshop staff deserves much praise for their work, and you must know that there is a group of dedicated staff that are working hard to make sure the printed packets are available. It has been really rewarding to see that demand for the packets has been such, that on occasion we run out of packets until the next day.
We realize that these measures can’t cover all the needs of our families and that they are far from a substitute for a regular school week or the teaching of our wonderful educators. We hope that it will provide a great substitute during this crisis though.
Zoom Meetings and Internet Access
On March 25, my office reached out to our New Mexico elected officials regarding the many challenges we face as a district. We are incredibly pleased that some of them reached back to offer their help. It is imperative that our elected officials know what our needs are, and that we may be able to show real results to our families. We will keep you posted on what the outcomes are.
One of those needs is Internet access. No surprise there. It is a big issue for us all. Everyone we know has had a truly hard time getting access, with some of our teachers and administrators living on areas that have little to no access. We are not making excuses, we just want you to know that parents are not alone in feeling the frustration of not being able to connect, provide, read, or study. Having mentioned that, we need you to know that we will continue to look at creative ways of providing access to technology and the Internet. We are working on getting Wi-Fi coverage in our schools parking areas for teachers and students to connect with their laptops and mobile devices. We have been in contact with cell phone providers to acquire hotspot devices, as another alternative. We will keep you updated of our progress.
In the photo: The wonderful kitchen staff at Kirtland Middle School (and they are keeping a safe distance).
Let us take a moment to thank our wonderful CCSD staff for their work during the school closures, and especially our incredible kitchen staff, bus drivers, finance personnel, maintenance workers, and technology crew, all working non-stop behind the scenes and in front, all helping parents, students, and community. There is plenty of work ahead and we couldn’t do it without our great staff.
Another well-deserved shout out goes to our teachers, especially those that long before the guidelines came from NMPED were already reaching out to families, creating a list of their needs, and doing safety checks. Bravo! From the bottom of my heart, ahéhee’, gracias, thank you.
Lastly, I want to put four more items on your radar that we should also be discussing in the coming days.
- The first one is, have you filled out your census questionnaire yet? While the Coronavirus is occupying our attention (and pushed back the deadline for responding to the census), we want to encourage you not to wait and fill out the census questionnaire as soon as possible. The census is conducted every 10 years, it’s hugely important to our area, and this is the first time that it can be completed online, over the phone or on paper. The data collected will be used to determine how federal funds are distributed. To fill it out online, visit 2020Census.gov. To do it by phone, call (844) 330-2020.
- The second one is information from CYFD about “Enabling family, friends, and neighbors,” which is an emergency health declaration from the state, allowing individuals to temporarily become eligible to receive child care assistance funding. I want to encourage our families to take advantage of this declaration. The number to call for more information is (833) 551-0518.
- The third item I want you to know about is our hiring campaign. We have an ongoing hiring campaign to recruit the best candidates for our schools. Next week we’ll continue that work on local radio and billboards. We want you to know that we are focused on keeping students safe and educated during this crisis and that we are also working on other district business, including hiring.
- The fourth item is regarding allowing families or staff to pick-up their belongings from our school buildings. We are currently not allowing parent access to our school buildings, but we want you to know that we have not forgotten about you. We will let you know more as soon as we can. Staff access may happen soon, but only to be able to provide printed information for our students.
As always, should anything change, we will use our call system and post the information on ccsdnm.org, and our social media channels. Stay safe. Protect your families.
Dr. Dave Goldtooth
Interim Superintendent of Central Consolidated School District