Letter to Families from Superintendent LeDoux
May 22, 2020
Dear Students and Parents/Guardians:
When school began last fall, I don’t think any one of us could have guessed the year would finish this way. I know that this ending is not ideal and certainly not what we would have asked for, but you made it work. All of you. I am very proud of the way our students, families, teachers and administrators have all stepped up, and I want to thank you for making the best of an unanticipated challenge. This summer and fall will bring new challenges as our nation, state, and community learn to live within a new normal.
The decision to close the schools in March was one of the hardest things I’ve been a part of in all my years as an educator. I knew the transition to distance learning would put enormous pressure on everyone involved. It was also heartbreaking to know that we would have to modify or outright cancel our sports seasons, dances, graduations and all other school gatherings. There were so many great things that students, parents, and staff were looking forward to celebrating. This week I will miss the Crab Festival. But, the safety of our students and staff is, and always will be, our ultimate priority. Shutting down the school buildings and sending our students home was not a decision made lightly, but it was the best thing we could do faced with the threat of a pandemic. However, I felt confident that with our amazing personnel and our resilient student body, we would move forward. And we did.
The last couple of months have been a learning experience for all of us, including me. But that’s a good thing. Teachers now have a better understanding of what it means to teach separated from their students’ smiling faces, and parents have developed a deeper appreciation of instruction. Many of these lessons will be valuable when we transition back to our classrooms.
I wish I could tell you that when fall rolls around we will all be returning to our schools and classrooms, but that decision won’t be made until we know it is safe to do so. To that end, the District is creating a task force of students, parents and teachers that will be working over the summer to develop and examine possible teaching and learning options. Our goal is to ensure students receive quality instruction that will continue to advance them through their educational experience. Any program recommendations must be flexible enough to provide continuity of instruction if health risks demand changes within the course of the year. I recognize meeting these goals will only be possible if we mine the wisdom of the entire community.
I would like to remind parents that the School District offers a comprehensive summer enhancement program. Children of all ages have the chance to be involved in fun activities and targeted instruction in core subjects. Please be sure to visit summer.kibsd.org for more detailed information, and consider taking advantage of this opportunity. It is not too late to enroll.
As long as COVID-19 remains a threat to our island, we will take all necessary steps to keep our kids safe and to further their education. If we all continue to work together, we will come out of this stronger and better prepared as a community. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy your summer break to the fullest extent. You have all earned it.
We are Kodiak Strong.