Thank You for a Successful First Week of Virtual Learning
What a week! This school year started virtually a little more than one week ago in a way different from anything we could have imagined. We rethought how we operate in our classrooms and our offices. We changed what we did, but we didn’t change who we are. Without a doubt, it was a week that tested our patience and our resolve.
But your determination and your passion led the way. You prepared, you planned and you executed. You did it!
Congratulations on an extraordinary first week of virtual learning.
Here’s a small sampling of what you accomplished:
Since the spring, more than 171,000 Chromebooks were distributed to students, more than 22,000 Chromebooks were distributed to staff and 7,500 MiFis were handed out. During the first week, 124,600 Zoom classes were initiated; there were 458,350 log-ins to myMCPS and more than 327,000 ParentVUE log-ins. In addition:
- Security assistants arrived at all schools to help with day-to-day operations.
- The Department of Food and Nutrition Services served more than 60,000 meals the first week. Building services and maintenance workers, bus drivers and other support professionals also contributed to the opening of schools and the use of our facilities.
- Hundreds of staff members met with students receiving special education services and their families, providing support, offering assistive technologies and holding intake meetings and training sessions.
- Staff supported the social emotional well-being of students through Be Well 365 information and activities focused on taking care of yourself.
- Principals held evening meetings to hear from parents about their child’s first day of school experience. Some schools held virtual home visits with every family in its community, ensuring connectivity and engagement, and building relationships.
- ESOL teams launched new virtual screening tools.
- Associate superintendents and directors of learning and achievement visited more than 100 virtual school team meetings and classrooms.
All of this happened because of you. It could not have happened without every one of you, working side by side. Your commitment, your perseverance and your heart were all crucial elements of our first week. You should be proud of yourselves and of each other.
As we said to you just two short weeks ago, this year’s most important back-to-school supplies don’t fit into a backpack. They are empathy, flexibility and resilience. You have shown this trifecta in figuring out how to do things we’ve never done before, in enthusiastically welcoming your students every morning, and in the support you’ve given your colleagues, our students and our parents.
On behalf of our students, thank you. You are making sure that every child is seen and heard. You are making sure their world-class education continues, despite the circumstances. Everyone doing their part ensures that the work is getting done, and that we are doing it together.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Monifa B. McKnight, Ed.D.