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Dodger Update, 1/30 - COVID / Attendance / Email Norms / Community Resources
Dodger Update, 1/30 - COVID / Attendance / Email Norms / Community Resources
Mark Schwarz
Saturday, January 30, 2021

Dodger families,

I hope this message finds you well and able to enjoy the brisk weather in some way. As frigid temperatures descend and a new storm looms ahead, please continue to prioritize wellness for yourself and your family. It may be tempting to stay indoors the next few weeks, but please make every effort to encourage your students to bundle up and get some fresh air and sunlight on more mild days. There may be some periods of cold and wind that will force us inside, but most winter weather is bearable with layers, gloves and hats. Parents can model outdoor activity for their students  and even bond with them through outdoor games and adventures. If weather restricts outdoor activities, families might try jigsaw puzzles, card games, board games and cooking as alternatives to screen time. That said, there is nothing wrong with playing video games and watching Netflix, if they improve your state of mind. 

However you spend these cold winter weeks, please continue to review the correspondences from the schools, as well as these important updates:

Our region remains at the “High Risk” level for virus transmission; please remain vigilant. 

While the recent CALI reports may indicate that rates have passed their post-holiday peak, we remain concerned that the impact of new, more contagious coronavirus variants have the potential to cause another spike in cases in the coming weeks. Please exercise safe behavior by staying home from school if your child or someone in your family becomes ill, and contact your school for guidance. When you do leave your home, wear a mask, sanitize your hands and maintain distance from others, as much as possible. We must remain safe together. 

Monday’s nor’easter will likely impact school operations.

Over the weekend, we will be monitoring the weather projections carefully to determine how we may need to adjust our operations. If inclement weather is expected to create hazardous travel conditions, schools will be shifted temporarily to fully-remote instruction. If storm conditions are expected to result in power and internet outages, we may decide to use one of our remaining snow days. We will make our best effort to inform parents of such adjustments with sufficient notice in advance. 

Unless there is a valid reason to stay home, send your child to school when they are scheduled to attend.

We are seeing an increase in parents calling their students out of school on the day they are scheduled to attend because it is raining or because the student prefers to learn remotely that day. Please remember that routines are important for wellness, especially at this time when opportunities to socialize are limited. Parents and students that may be struggling with school avoidance should contact a trusted adult at their school for guidance and support. 

Please adopt these email norms to facilitate helpful electronic dialogue.

Effective and efficient communication between faculty, parents and students is crucial to student learning. Accordingly, parents and students are encouraged to use email to communicate with our educators. To ensure that email practices result in an enhanced learning experience, please embrace the following norms:

  • Be polite - Being explicitly courteous, especially when expressing a concern, reduces the stress of the recipient and increases the likelihood that the recipient will be able to provide a rapid and appropriate response; parents, students and staff are all doing the best they can - everyone should be treated with dignity and shown the benefit of the doubt. 

  • Be concise and use effective formatting - Brevity and clarity enable the recipient to accurately digest the information presented, reducing the possibility of miscommunication.

  • Be patient - Our educators manage challenging schedules and some email requests require careful consideration before a thoughtful response can be provided; if a matter is not immediately urgent, please wait at least 24 hours before following up. 

  • Avoid emailing on weekends - Educators need time off to restore their levels of resilience and creativity; if you want to email them over the weekend, please consider using the “schedule send” feature of your email system to have the message delivered on Monday morning. 

  • Reach out if you need anything - Each school has a communication protocol advising who to contact with your concerns and questions. We look forward to hearing from you!

Community resources are available to families that may be struggling with eviction and other hardships

A new community group, Madison Alliance for Racial Equity (MARE), has offered to share resources that may help families dealing with financial difficulties. Their Eviction Prevention Resource Guide may be particularly helpful to some Madison families. If you or someone that you know is struggling, know that many Madisonians are eager to help.

Thank you for taking the time to consider all of this information.  Our community partnership makes us Madison Strong. I hope to see you soon. 

Upcoming Events:

Wed, Feb 10 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm (rescheduled for February 17)

Tues, Feb 16 - Board of Education Meeting, 7pm

Wed, Feb 17 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm

Tues, Mar 9 - Preliminary Budget Presentation, 7pm

Tues, Mar 16 - Board of Education Meeting/Preliminary Budget Adoption, 7pm

Tues, Mar 17 - Superintendent Coffee, 7pm