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Letter from Superintendent Mary Ronan

June 2020

 

Dear Norwood City School District Staff,

The year 2020 has been a challenge for each of us. When we finished school for the summer we felt like we could stop and catch our breath for a moment. But that isn’t the case. It is difficult to find the right words to share at this time with all of you. People are hurting and fearful across the nation. Although we are not certain about everything that will come in the future, I wanted you to each know that I care about you as staff members. I also care about the work that you do and the support you give to the Norwood community.

Thank you to all staff who assisted in the planning of our new virtual summer enrichment program to prevent the summer slide in learning. Please encourage students to attend. We have seats at middle school and high school still open. I know that sometimes families reach out to you in the summer for resources and support and I have added a toolkit resource here for you to review and share about the events happening in the country.

Please click the link- Parent Toolkit: How to Talk to Kids About Race and Racism

Norwood City School District is committed to our ongoing work to create a safe learning environment for all students. Our work on equity focuses on a sense of belonging for all. This work was formalized more this past year through a district level team who participated in the “One Degree Shift in Understanding Race, Class, Culture and Poverty” program, with the following people: Joe Miller, Molly Goodfriend, Kirsten Bose, Kelly Duncan, Joe Westendorf, Maria Eshman, Stephen Moore, Linville Yates, April Harbstreit, Mark Gabbard, Nichole Wiseman, Kelli Roettgers, Eric Lawson, Shannon Eshman, Terri Viltrakis and Kristina Chesson. This past year was just the beginning of the formalized approach to this work and it will continue in our district.

Governor DeWine this week shared that Ohio will be returning to in-person lessons in the fall.  At this time we don’t have all of the details for this return, but we will work through this in the next two months with a team of teachers and administrators. Our plan is to start on time with teaching staff returning on August 19th for professional learning. On August 20th, as a part of our district meeting, we will continue the conversation on equity with a keynote address by Katrice Quitter. Ms. Quitter is a Hamilton County Educational Service Center Consultant who has been working with us for the past year on equity. We will move forward and continue to engage in critical conversations about events related to diversity, inclusion and equity. We will work on this together.

Thank you for all that you do, and thank you for being a champion for your students and families! You make the world a better place.

Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2020