June 5, 2020
Dear Maple Street families,
Summer is here! We made it! This school year may have been the most challenging one I have ever experienced, and I imagine you feel the same. Your partnership through these tricky times has been invaluable, and I am so grateful to you all. We have collectively done our very best to serve our children through the onset of a pandemic, and I am proud of what Maple Street has accomplished. Our eighth graders have graduated, our younger students have moved up, we celebrated with a fabulous parade, and progress reports are now available on the portal.
This has been a challenging year; students, staffulty, and families managed the shift to distance learning with aplomb. This spring was not what we wanted or hoped for, but it helped us see what is at the heart of Maple Street: joyful learning. To my mind, joy isn’t happiness, it’s more like enduring hope, and distance learning established that our relationships for learning are stronger than an unexpected change in circumstance.
Maple Street teachers have adapted with professionalism and grace. They re-imagined teaching and figured out how to impart essential learning and nurture relationships in a whole new format. Teachers carried on with skills and content. They had daily eyes-on each student to monitor, assess, and address well-being. These efforts supported our children; in the Student Resilience COVID-19 Survey, Maple Street students in Grades 6-8 (the only ones who took the survey) reported significantly lower rates of anxiety and depression relative to students in schools across the country during this tricky time. Maple Street educators know that children are available to learn when they feel safe and secure. The care you are taking at home combined with the care from teachers has allowed our children to carry on learning.
When I read through teacher narratives on these progress reports, I noticed that the quality of the relationships for learning shone through each comment. Maple Street teachers are deeply invested in the learning and growth of each of our students. I hope you will see this underpinning of care as you read about your child’s performance in school this term.
As we begin our summer, I am sure that you are thinking about what will happen in the upcoming school year. The team at Maple Street surely is. As you are no doubt aware, the responses to the pandemic are fluid and the fact is that we are learning more every day about how to mitigate risk. We simply do not know yet what August and September will bring. What I can tell you with certainty is that we are actively monitoring the situation and working to develop a range of scenarios so that we will be prepared for another year of joyful learning at Maple Street. I can assure you that we will do what is in the best interest of our children, our staffulty, and our community. I will be in touch later in the summer with updates.
You have my heartfelt thanks for partnering with Maple Street through this year so that we could care for our children together. Hopefully, this year will be remembered by Maple Street students as both an unexpected change and an example of courage and creativity.