Dear HSHMC Family,
One year ago, we joined the rest of the educational community and closed our campus in response to the growing threat and unknowns of a new virus sweeping across the world. Since that day, COVID-19 has dominated so much of our private and public lives. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our health and well-being, on our jobs, business and economic stability, and on our relationships and ability to interact with our friends and family. Members of our HSHMC family have lost their jobs, homes and most tragically, lives. The year has been more than hard for each of us, and our heart goes out to those of you who have made the most and ultimate sacrifices.
Our students have made it clear that they miss each other, they miss their teachers, and they miss the range of experiences and activities associated with attending school. They miss their classrooms, they miss their internships, they miss afterschool sports, clubs, dances and hanging out together. It seems like forever ago that we were telling students at 5 pm that it was time to wrap up what they were doing and go home! We have spent the year with seniors foregoing prom and 9th graders never entering our building.
No one will forget how different the year 2020-2021 has been! And all of us look forward to Fall 2021, when we join the country in expecting we will unlock the doors to schools across the country, including those located at 3910 University Avenue. We are encouraged by the government’s commitment to have enough vaccines available for all adults within months. We appreciate new state and federal resources being provided to schools to support our eventual reopening plans. We are hopeful that more things will feel more “normal” as we move into summer. We keep waiting for the numbers of new infections to fall to safer and safer levels. We know that progress not only depends on vaccines but with our own responsibilities to continue to wear masks, socially distant, stay home when sick and be extremely cautious of large gatherings especially in doors. And with extreme caution, more K-8 schools seem to be in position to reopen in late spring.
As for high schools, there are too many unknowns and special circumstances, to make a decision today when HSHMC will fully reopen our campus. We feel we have done better than most to build our virtual and on-line program to meet the educational needs of our students. Why? First of all, our teachers and support staff have risen to the occasion this year. They have invested time, energy and expertise to build effective on-line classrooms and supports. They have embraced new technologies and tools to advance the quality of our on-line classrooms and ensure a level of instruction other schools marvel at. Second, our students have really shown up. Their attendance, engagement and success on-line have reminded us all that when young people are respected and supported, they are capable of great things and overcoming huge barriers. And thirdly, our experience this past year has reinforced our beliefs that our students’ parents and families are our most important and capable partners. You have