Before I address the purpose of this video, let me say that we REALLY miss all of you! Our buildings are definitely empty and lonely, but our hearts feel even more empty because we are missing our students and parents.
We are ALL looking forward to the day when we can be together again.
So here’s why I am sending this video to you today. From the moment we decided to start training our teachers, on March 13, to conduct school in an online format, we knew that if we had to pivot to that platform, we would need to have very clear curricular goals and objectives. It was then, and continues to be, the top priority of FCS’ Online Learning program that students achieve the competencies needed to smoothly transition to the next grade level this coming fall.
As I sit here today I am happy to report that the assessment of our Online Learning Leadership Team is that we are very much on track to meet those goals and objectives. And that is completely due to all of the very hard work and commitment by our teachers, students, and parents…and of course, to the great provisions and guidance of our God. In fact, we are so confident in how all of you have risen to this challenge that we have an opportunity to give everyone a needed break. So I am announcing today that we are extending our Easter Break to the days that were originally scheduled on the FCS Calendar. We will suspend Online Learning for the entire Easter Break, from April 10 through April 17. We will resume Online Learning on Monday, April 20.
And it will be just that, a break. We intend to close our help desk to give our tech team time to recover, we are instructing our teachers, to suspend all types of lessons and communications so that they can recharge. And we would love for our students to take a break from their studies so that they can enjoy time with their family without the stress of homework.
The main reason we are able to do this is because, as I said, our progress has been solid, and overall, better than we expected. Yes, there are students who have struggled with the online format, and others who have been able to merge into it with little difficulty. That is to be expected and it is alright. But whether it is difficult or relatively easy, everyone has worked VERY hard and can use a break.
Beyond the success we have seen, and beyond the need for a break, we also know that we have not missed many instructional days this year. Up until the day that we were out of school for teacher training on March 13, we had only had one snow day. So the days we missed between March 13 and the day we started Online Learning, March 19, we only missed 4 more days…and missing only a total of 5 days for snow is pretty much normal for the average school year. The fact that our teachers took only 4 days to prepare for the start of Online Learning on March 19 is an incredible feat and a testimony to their commitment to their students. And it gave us enough of a cushion to allow for the entire Easter Break.
So, my prayer for you is that you would enjoy a few extra days without checking assignments, turning them in in Google Classroom, and emailing teachers and friends for clarification. Maybe exhale a little and rediscover how great it is just to be together as a family without the pressure of school work.
We are truly praying for you because we know that you are experiencing challenges through all of this. And we are also thanking the Lord for His provision with our families because as of right now we have no cases of Covid-19 reported in the FCS family…students, parents, or staff. Again, if you have any needs we can help with, please let us know and we will help AND pray. You probably won’t hear from me again before Easter, so Sherry and I, along with the entire FCS staff, wish you a wonderful Resurrection Sunday and a wonderful Easter Break. HE IS RISEN!