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A letter to parents of elementary students

Apr 02 2020

Dear Parents of Elementary School Students:

We know that you have questions about how the COVID-19 virus will impact the remainder of the year. We hope that this letter will help answer some of those. Please know that we developed these guidelines using the South Carolina Department of Education’s guidance and input from principals, other school leaders, and Central Services.

We realize that the COVID-19 pandemic has created hardships for our communities, employees, and parents and that this crisis affects each student in different ways. Although teachers provide a rich variety of learning experiences for your children that reinforce necessary skills, review essential learning, and offer ways that students can also enhance their skills, we don’t want to add to the stress our elementary students are feeling during this time. Although students should do their best to complement their assignments, they should also take time to exercise, play, read, draw, write letters, work a puzzle, or just have a conversation.

Our teachers are communicating regularly with their students and their families about the quality of student work from the instructional learning packets. They continuously provide academic and standards-based feedback to students through telephone calls, emails and online meetings. All teachers are available to answer questions and give guidance and assistance during the day. However, it is important that your child’s school has your correct contact information.

It is our goal for students to maintain, reinforce and enhance their learning. We ask that your child apply his/her personal best effort to the learning packets.

If you haven’t already, you should receive a message from your child’s principal this week, letting you know when you can pick up the next instructional packet and when you can turn in your child’s current instructional packet. Students will begin using the new packets on Tuesday, April 14.

Report cards and grading — As you know, we were scheduled to send out report cards on Friday, March 20, and many of you have asked about when you will receive report cards/grades for your children.

Yesterday, we received guidance from the South Carolina Department of Education that states that the SCDE will use the flexibility granted by the U.S. Education Department to make changes in grading for the rest of this year. The grade earned during the third nine weeks will become noted as an “interim” grade. At the end of the year, this grade will become the fourth nine weeks grade. As a district, we believe that being consistent across grades is the best thing to do for students.

As a result, we will send report cards out at the end of the fourth quarter/fourth nine weeks/second semester on or after Thursday, June 4, when school ends. Those reports will have one grade that combines grades for work completed in the third and fourth nine weeks for an overall semester grade.

Parents, remember that you can see your student’s current grades at any time by using the PowerSchool app and your sign-in information. This page for parents on our website has information about PowerSchool. bit.ly/Parent_Page

Spring Break — Yes. Our Spring Break will begin on Monday, April 6, and end on Monday, April 13. Employees and students should take some time off and enjoy their time together. We will resume distance/e-Learning teaching and learning on Tuesday, April 14.

Spring assessments — Many of the tests students usually take in the spring, will not be given this year such as SC READY (English language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades 3–8), SCPASS (science in grades 4 and 6) and prekindergarten assessments such as the 4-year-old kindergarten Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS Pre-K), Individual Growth and Development Indicators (myIGDIs), and Teaching Strategies GOLD.

In closing — Over the next few weeks, we will continue to communicate with you about changes, deadlines, and other information that affects the school year, you, and your students.

We hope that you enjoy your spring break. Please remember that together as ONE — we can do this.

Sincerely,

Dr. Greg Little, Superintendent
Lexington County School District One