Monday, March 30, 2020
Dear MUSD Parents, Guardians, Students and Employees:
First, I hope this communication finds you and all of your family members healthy and well. Over these past weeks, we have seen our world, country, and community affected in a way that none of us have ever experienced. We have felt a wide range of emotions as we watch the news and continue to hear of the challenges and losses around the world. The response to this crisis has been extraordinary. Our thoughts go out to those who are affected, directly or indirectly, by the coronavirus. For those who are ill, our hearts are with them and we thank all of those who are working in various roles to keep essential services available.
Second, I am writing to share very important news. Governor Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman today announced the extension of Arizona school closures through the end of the school year. The extension follows updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an announcement from the White House extending physical distancing guidelines until April 30, 2020.
So much remains fluid in these unprecedented times. On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, the State Board of Education is holding a special meeting to open emergency rulemaking in regards to high school graduation, A-F letter grades, and several other details related to school closures. We will share information with you as soon as we receive additional guidance from the State Board of Education regarding these important items.
While we were beginning to plan and prepare in the event of a long-term extension of school closures, the physical closing of our schools and district offices for the remainder of the year is difficult for all of us to process. Please know that we are committed to preparing our students academically. The tireless efforts of teachers, staff, and leaders these past weeks allow us to begin our Learning at Home program today. As we transition from the classroom to home, we do so with the commitment to stay connected and to ensuring that the needs of our students and families are met to the best of our ability. We will share updates as our Learning at Home program adapts to meet the needs of the remainder of the school year.
We know this announcement creates a range of emotions for you, as well as additional questions regarding what the rest of the school year will look like. As a result of today’s announcement, it saddens us to share that all school and district events and activities, musical/dance/drama performances, sport practices, athletics, trips, and all other organized events are cancelled for the remainder of the year. We are also heartbroken knowing this will mean the canceling of prom, promotions, end of year celebrations, and our public graduation ceremonies. I want to stress that we are working to find alternative ways to celebrate and acknowledge these important milestones for our students and we will continue to share information in the days ahead. While much remains uncertain right now, one thing is for sure: we are seeking out new ways to stay connected and together, we will get through this.
We have a remarkable family in MUSD, and together we are working to support our students and families whether through Grab & Go meal distribution, childcare program for First Responders and Essential Healthcare Workers, Learning at Home, counseling and social work resources, and school and district operations, logistical and infrastructure services.
On behalf of the Governing Board, District Leadership, and myself, I extend my deepest appreciation to each of you – our employees, our students, and our families. Please continue to check your email, visit our coronavirus Webpage, our #maranaschool Facebook and Twitter, and our Mobile App for the latest information. We commit to staying connected as we persevere through this unprecedented time.
Stay healthy and stay connected,
Doug Wilson, Ed.D.