Update from Mrs. Wilkins – August 5

Warren Families and Community Members ~

I wanted to reach out to you to provide an update on our upcoming school year. This will be the first of what I am going to call “Warren Wednesday Updates”. Each week I will provide as much detail as I am able as we journey into this year together.

To begin, if you have not had the opportunity to read Superintendent, Dr. Ream’s latest update, I would encourage you to do so. I have attached his most recent draft for your convenience, and all his updates can be found on our District website.

I think it is fair to say that we all anticipate a dynamic year. I wish I had concrete answers to all your questions. The truth is what I think will happen today may be different tomorrow, but I will offer this information from our District’s plan:

  • School will look different than it has in the past. Our daily schedule will be different, our day will look different, dependent on which Phase we are in. We will operate with the health and safety of your students and our staff as our first priority.
  • This said, we have worked tirelessly this summer to try and anticipate every possible scenario and adjustment we would need to employ to ensure your children receive a high-quality education.
  • This includes a phased approach to instruction, dependent on C-19 cases in our community, our school and the directives set forth by our Public Health Officials. The phases are clearly defined in Dr. Ream’s presentation, but very briefly: Phase 3 – which I would be very surprised if we achieve this year, would take us back to nearly normal operations. Phase 2 – all students would attend school with safety requirements in place. Phase 1 – half of the students would attend on and A or B day, with remote services provided by the classroom teacher during the day’s students are not physically at school. Phase 0 – all students and staff would be remote, and instruction will be provided digitally. Finally, there is a “Digital” option which provides families that opportunity to choose to keep their child at home and remain as a member of our Warren community, have access to our District resources, and maintain your child’s “spot” at Warren to return to.
  • Regardless of what Phase we are in, teaching and learning will take place! I was one member of a passionate team of teachers and administrators (as was Angie Bonney and Deborah McNay) who volunteered our summer to realign the K-5 curriculum to ensure those most important essential skills will be taught, regardless of what phase we are in, to best ensure your child is ready for the 2021-2022 school year (when we, hopefully, have the C-19 Pandemic under control and can return to normal operations).
  • Every student will have a 1 on 1 device checked out to them to ease the burden on families to obtain technology and will ensure students have the tools they need to move from phase to phase.
    As you and your child anticipate the start of the school year, I plan to have communicated class assignments to you by August 21. Wendy Hornby, our Warren School Secretary, will be back in the office August 12 and can be reached at whornby@helenaschools.org / 324.1600 .

More communication about opting into Digital Learning will be sent out shortly from Superintendent, Dr. Ream.

As I write this, I know that you feel as we do… this is not how we want to start a new school year. We too wish for the days of anticipation and excitement that a new school year brings! We wish for our traditional gatherings where we renew as a community of learners and a school family, rushing in to see old friends and to be introduced to new ones. COVID may disrupt our normal schedule, but please know we are still as passionate about serving your child as we have ever been… this year will look different, but we are determined to make this year engaging and filled with positive memories, as I know you are.

Best,

Mrs. Wilkins

LWilkins@helenaschools.org / 324.1600