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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future


Letter from the Board: May 15, 2020

Dear Parents and Teachers of Spectrum,

Over the past several weeks, I have been attending several virtual Seminars, Conferences, and
Webinars of Educators reflecting on what happened when schools shut down in March and did
not reopen and what to expect when schools do reopen. The truth is, as we all know, this
Covid-19 crisis is unpredictable and no one really knows when or how it will be ended. The
comfort is that everyone is in the same boat and the concern is that everyone is in the same
boat – no one has definitive answers. But what is the case is that there is great consensus over
the realization that school has changed, has likely changed permanently in some ways, and that
some of the changes may well be improvements. What superintendents from across the
country have acknowledged is that when teachers were given packaged curriculum materials
and told to implement them online, things did not often go well. Many schools and districts
just gave up after a few weeks and shut down schools for the rest of the school year. When
superintendents and principals gave teachers the opportunity to think and plan and develop
their own approaches to this new virtual learning experience, schools were much more
successful in keeping students involved and interested AND invested in learning.

In fact, Jason Glass, the Superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado said that fewer
than 5% of schools in the country produced all three aspects of learning during these weeks of
virtual school: curriculum, instruction, and evaluation of progress. What this means is that
many teachers sent work home for students to do and maybe even graded it, but did not
interact with students to actually teach them or help them understand what and why they were
doing the work, nor did they evaluate whether students were actually learning and growing in
their abilities.

Spectrum teachers modified their teaching and plans and were ready to begin virtual learning
when Spring Break was over. From then to now, they have succeeded at all three aspects of
teaching for learning. Teachers and students have been in contact on a daily basis with lessons
presented, and exchanges took place between staff and students on line via email, video and
texts. Assignments and projects by students were presented and shared virtually and evaluated
by teachers. Progress Reports were sent out this week and Parent-Teacher Conferences are on-
going. Feedback from parents, observations from the Principal and members of the education
committee, the physical demonstrations of learning found in the weekly newsletters, videos,
and material posted online, and, most importantly, the involvement and accomplishments of students validate the learning that was taking place. Spectrum teachers were thrown into unknown and unanticipated territory and excelled.

Bravo and applause to all our teachers – and to the parents who trusted them
and expected nothing less!!!

Carole Carbone – Spectrum Board

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