All in this Together
After the spring virtual term concluded last June, SMSA parents were surveyed about the experience with virtual learning and about their hopes for returning to school in the fall. Faculty and staff received a similar survey. Overwhelmingly, both constituent groups revealed a strong preference and hope that in-person learning could return to the Ledge in the fall. It appeared that we were #allinthistogether, motivated and unified by a mutual desire for in-person learning and committed to making that dream a reality for our Ledgers.
The Return to the Ledge plan, RTTL2.0, was finalized in July. The plan transparently underscores what would be necessary to make in-person learning a possibility. The document highlighted the critical importance that wearing masks, social distancing and regular hand washing plays. Without these key health protocols, in-person learning is not possible. This fact has been reinforced lately by Fond du Lac County’s return to Phase I status due to the negative trajectories of the County COVID dashboard data. Thankfully, since August, SMSA faculty, staff and parents have dutifully executed our plan. It is because the Springs community has accepted the fundamental call to be all in this together that success has followed!
As these early weeks have unfolded, the resilience of our students has been impressive! The benefits of both in-person learning and ‘blended’ (synchronous and asynchronous) learning, have come into focus. Likewise, each day it is clearer and clearer that our community must continually, consciously strengthen its resolve to remain ‘all in this together.’ We cannot take it for granted. We all have to stay working at it.
Put directly: if we hope to remain learning in-person at SMSA, there can be no room for division or dissent within our community of teenagers, parents, faculty and staff around the core values, health habits, and protocols of Return to the Ledge. Metaphorically speaking, if we do not ‘sing from the same hymnal’ regarding the importance of masks, social distancing, and hand washing, I fear that the resulting disharmony may produce fractured, negative consequences for our community that nobody wants and that does not serve our students.
It is a challenge to achieve consistent unity of purpose from within a community that is as beautifully rich and diverse in perspectives (spiritual, political, social) as the Springs. I believe SMSA has met this challenge in the past, and I believe we will successfully meet the challenge again moving forward together! What inspires my confidence? I see how much we all love our Ledgers and want what is best for them! I also believe that God is present within our school-family partnership. Because we mutually love the children with whom God has blessed us, we are each prepared to make any sacrifice to keep our kids safe, healthy and learning in-person together!
SMSA has the capacity and grace to demonstrate what true beauty and unity results when parents, students, teachers and benefactors all sing from the same hymnal – even when we may not equally like the music! We are all in this together, and I thank God for that.
Mid-Quarter Progress Reports
Wednesday, August 26 – Friday, September 25 is the first of eight grading periods of the year. Teachers have until Monday, September 28th at 11:59 p.m. to add and post grades for this period. On Tuesday, September 29th, at 3:30 p.m. parents can open Skyward, navigate to “Family Access” and then click the “Portfolio” tab to see a posted progress report.
We Are All Connected
You may know that three positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed within our high school during the first 5 weeks of school. The three positive cases were contracted off the Ledge. Together, these positive cases resulted in the exposure and quarantine of around 75 students that contact tracing revealed had close contact with the positive case. In each case, we are pleased to report that as of today, none of those quarantined have contracted the virus!
This tells us that we are not transmitting/spreading the virus on the Ledge! It tells us that our protocols and safety measures are working to keep the maximum number of students learning in-person! It also tells us that what happens away from school may impact those on the Ledge.
I urge colleagues, parents and students to understand that the social choices we may make away from the Ledge may have an impact on our program and community. Please choose your social plans thoughtfully and prayerfully, with an eye toward your impact on others and your added social responsibility to the Springs community.
Spirit Week is Coming!
We are all disappointed that a traditional Homecoming will not be experienced this fall on the Ledge. Of course, football, volleyball and soccer have all been postponed until the Spring season. Due to the local health conditions and Phase I status of the County, regrettably a dance is not possible on Saturday, October 3rd as hoped.
However, the Student Council and a committee of committed teachers have been making plans for a mid-October “Spirit Week” that promises to help us celebrate our Ledger pride. Stay tuned for more information in next week’s eLedger!
Ledger Learning Guide
Parents are encouraged to check the Ledger Learning Guide to keep updated on instructional expectations and course learning targets for their teens. The LLG can be found on the SMSA Website under the tab for Parent & Family Resources. We recommend that all parents bookmark the LLG landing page SMSA Ledger Learning Guides Home Page.