Ambassadors of Hope
Schools across the United States are faced with enormous challenges in creating district and school-specific return to campus roadmaps. This challenge is deeply rooted in national, state, regional, community, school, and individual levels. Despite local control being a valuable aspect of public education in educational history, when we face a global pandemic with unknown territories that continue to evolve, local schools are best served by a coordinated and united effort at all levels. However, lack of orchestration in our current system, including universal screening and testing, as well as guidance provided to schools by the federal and state government, has led us to create our own viable, realistic, and safe roadmap for reopening Palo Alto Unified School District campuses.
Our dedicated staff across all levels and departments have truly been Ambassadors of Hope. They devoted hours, days, and months to tackle countless problems. I sincerely appreciate everyone's dedication and agile thinking to constantly re-position for the next challenge. Our work is far from over. It has been many months since our buildings have been filled with laughter, joy, and energy from our students. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact all of us in unimaginable ways. Our families are coping and managing to the best of their abilities. There have been some big wins during this time, including innovation in teaching and learning that could only be imagined a few months ago. Education is no doubt changed in many ways as a result of campus closures. That being said, we know that something exceptional happens when students enter school buildings. It is time to recapture some of that unique energy.
PAUSD's comprehensive Return to Campus Roadmap leverages our ability to work together as Ambassadors of Hope to assess our progress, county-level scientific data, and other variables. The objective is not just to reopen, but to move flexibly between distance learning, hybrid, and in-person modalities. Our top priority goals in this process are to:
- Keep our students, staff, and community safe and healthy
- Develop a clear roadmap to return to campus
- Provide high-quality education throughout the year
- Provide an environment for social-emotional connection for students and staff
"Commitment unlocks the doors of imagination,
- James Womack
As we take a steady and slow approach toward our path to reopen school campuses, I would like to share my deepest gratitude with teachers and staff, who have been working incredibly hard to stay agile and adjust instruction to vastly improve the remote learning experience for our students. Their genuine care for our students and their profession shone through amid all the challenges and gave us hope. Their work became a critical asset and unforgettable history to our institution, providing strength as we gradually work toward increasing the number of students and staff returning to campus. We are the Ambassadors of Hope.