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Principal's Message

Conway Elementary Families,

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing summer.

With the new school year approaching, I was hoping to be able to provide you with some guidance on what August will bring for you and our students. Unfortunately, there are still many unanswered questions. On Monday, July 6, the FDOE Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, released an emergency order that directed, “all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students” in August. Our OCPS School Board hosted a work session yesterday that lasted almost 11 hours in an attempt to decipher the impact of emergency order and understand how we as a district will proceed with our reopening plans.

It was evident to me that Monday’s emergency order was unexpected, and greatly affected the proposals that were originally to be discussed during the session. Safety for students and staff remained at the center of the discussions throughout the meeting. In line with the Commissioner’s order, an “innovative learning environment” option was presented to board members utilizing a OCPS LaunchEd platform as a hybrid that would allow students and staff the flexibility to remain attached to their school community but receive instruction at home, following our normal daily schedule from 8:45-3:00. In addition, it was confirmed that we will be receiving student devices next month, instead of next year, accelerating our 1 to 1 digital conversion. I am certain much more discussion will occur this week and hopefully a resolution on a plan will be agreed upon at the July 14 school board meeting. One topic that reoccurred throughout the meeting is that while the emergency order states that schools must reopen in August, it did not specify a date. This leaves the door open for a potentially delayed start to the school year, as late as August 31.

The events of the last couple of days further solidify our theme for the upcoming school year,

THINK DIFFERENTLY.

We are entering a time of unknowns. For several years now, our school has continued to persevere through conflict and hardship because our focus remains on the students that enter our doors each morning. Then the pandemic stole that from us too, as the doors shut in March. Our school building has been quiet, too quiet. Absent is the laughter, the excitement, the love for learning together. Those are the things that matter most and our doors will open again.

Plans may seem half-baked and communication may be slow and inconsistent from the governing powers in conflict with each other. We have the intelligence and ability to fill these gaps by efficiently identifying what our students need, effectively providing instruction to meet those needs and the understanding of how to support each other through the process. Conway is Our School, Our Community, Our Family. Our students’ success academically, socially and emotionally depends on it.

Now is the time to THINK DIFFERENTLY.

Sincerely,
Mr. Maguire
Principal

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