Greetings, Huskie Pack!
In the last several weeks our lives have been turned upside down and inside out. We all are facing the same storm together even if our individual circumstances may be different from family to family. Everyone has something difficult and challenging to deal with at this time. The Hemlock Public School District’s mantra right now is, Whatever it Takes (song by Imagine Dragons). We are committed to our students and families. Whatever it takes, we are here to serve and keep learning alive.
In many ways, we haven’t missed a beat. Our doors shut for the remainder of the year on Friday, March 13th and online learning started on Monday, March 16th. All of the staff have done an amazing job, whether it be by teaching or gathering and preparing resources for students to take home. You may notice our teachers are able to stay in touch with students using Google Meet, Go Guardian, Google Classroom, and other distance learning tools. Don’t hesitate to let us know how this is going and what we can do to improve. In addition to learning, our district social worker and deans of students, along with others, have worked to support students and families emotionally during this time and are available to you.
Our Continuity of Learning Plan has been officially approved by the Saginaw ISD. This may not mean a whole lot to our students, parents, and teachers because it’s mostly what we have been doing from the first day of our shut down. However, we are definitely fine-tuning what we have put in place as we have developed our plan and continue to work on full implementation.
To ensure our plan is successful and that we are able to provide all students with the needed resources necessary to be ready for the next school year, it is important that we remain in communication. It is our goal to connect weekly with each student and family, so please expect a call from one of our team members. It may be your child’s bus driver, teacher, or someone else from the district, but we want to connect with you. So if you get a call that says No Caller ID or has a different area code, that could be one of our staff members either protecting their private phone number or using one of our Google Voice accounts. The whole Huskie Pack is here to support you: administration, teachers, and support staff alike. Our deans of students, school psychologist, and social worker are all available to support the Huskie families.
We have created the Hemlock Hub as a place for students and parents to access the learning plans across the district K-12. As a parent myself, I have found it helpful to use it as a checklist to ensure that my children are completing their assignments. Moving forward, we will be adding Wi-Fi access points to our school parking lots, Wallace Field press box area, and soccer and baseball field areas to provide additional places for students to access their schoolwork and learn. These should be available after the stay at home order is lifted, but we need everyone to continue to practice social distancing and take necessary measures to stay safe.
Many of you have asked how we are dealing with grades. The 3rd marking period has been extended to run through the end of the school year. The 4th marking period has been eliminated. Assignments after the end of face to face instruction on March 13th are being graded on a credit/no credit basis. The semester will also be graded on a credit/no credit basis. Our primary goal is to prepare our students for their return to school. We are starting to plan for a robust summer school program in late July and August to help prepare those that may not be prepared for moving forward without additional support and instructional time.
We continue to provide food service. You can pick up food at the East side of our Middle School at door number 29 or call (989) 642-4700 to schedule home delivery. All children 18 and under are eligible as well as those with disabilities up to age 26. We have protocols in place that our staff is following, and we are using the CDC guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Our Huskie Pack has exhibited a tremendous sense of community and a strong feeling of family has emerged once again as we work through this stay-at-home order. From student and staff videos to random acts of kindness by others, there have been many positive things happening throughout our small town. In some strange way, this executive order has brought us closer than ever. We couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s efforts.
Rest assured, we will continue to work together to address scheduled events like prom, graduation, and so many more things to ensure we provide the best for our students and families in a safe and healthy way.
Superintendent Don Killingbeck
#Huskietastic #Since1863 #HuskiesGetitDone