In addition to Dr. Badams sending out updates, I will be writing each week to connect with you, our Ray School families. We need to have centralized communication from the SAU, and it is also important for me to connect more personally with families at our school. Beginning today, and continuing throughout the year, I will be sending out our weekend Rays of Sunshine newsletter with information and updates. If time-sensitive items emerge, I will be sure to send those items out in addition to the weekly newsletter.
I first want to acknowledge how difficult this is for us all. With uncertainty and anxiety, some may also feel anger and frustration. It is my hope that we can all continue to engage in respectful discussion as we move forward. I have felt extremely supported by our Ray School community and feel confident that will continue. While we may disagree, and we may need to make difficult decisions, we can do so with respect and kindness. Whatever you are going through, and whatever decision your family needs to make for the fall, it is my job to mitigate potential barriers to success and be sure that your family feels supported, whether you decide to homeschool, participate in remote learning, or have your student(s) return in person.
With that in mind, we are preparing for both remote learning and in-person attendance by engaging in Ray School Reopening Task Force work. This past week, a group of 17 members began tackling the logistics of opening the Ray School this fall. The group members are representatives from various Ray School teams; teachers, support staff, custodians, office staff, nursing staff, and administration. We have Ray representatives who are parents of students in our district, as well as Ray representatives who are parents of students in other districts or with children in childcare/preschool.
The full staff was invited to contribute thoughts, ideas, questions, and concerns to a shared document. The task force categorized the contributions, and we are now in the process of creating operational guidelines and protocols for each category. In our two work sessions this past week, we worked in subcommittees to create drafts for nine areas that we prioritized from those categories. Each draft contains plans for three phases: In-Person with Restrictions, Hybrid (Reduced Cohort with Restrictions), and Remote.
Our next meeting is on Monday. We will be coming back together as a whole committee to share the proposals and decisions from each subcommittee, making revisions and changes as needed based on the feedback from the whole group. We will also begin our work on the categories we have not yet addressed.
We will share each portion of the school plan, in a “finalized draft” version, with the whole staff for additional feedback and questions. These draft documents will also be shared with the SAU. For every question we answer, inevitably many more questions emerge. The work is hard, but also exciting, as we begin to picture what the start of school will look like. Undoubtedly these plans will be living, evolving documents. The goal of this task force is to create a new Ray School Family Handbook that includes protocols specifically relating to COVID-19, which will be shared with you so you can also picture what the start of school will look like.
Despite all we are doing to make the start of the school year feel as comfortable as possible for all staff, students, and families, I realize you may have questions, concerns, and constructive criticism to offer the SAU and me. To give you that opportunity, I would like to invite you to an SAU70 Virtual Town Hall on Thursday, August 6th, at 6:30pm. The Zoom link can be found below, and Dr. Badams will be sending out details outlining the purpose and format of the Town Hall.
To those of you I have had the pleasure of meeting, I look forward to reconnecting with you this year. To those of you new to the Ray School family, welcome, and I look forward to meeting you soon. Please enjoy the weekend and, as always, reach out with any questions as we move ahead together.
SAU 70 Public Town Hall
When: Aug 6, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode (Check your email please)
A Message from Lisa Arroyo, Ray Coordinator of Student Supports
Dear Ray Families,
I am reaching out to let you know that I will not be returning to the Ray School next year. Serving the Ray community over the past three years has been my pleasure, however I have accepted a position as Instructional Systems Specialists of Special Education (ISS-Sped) with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). The leadership skills that I have developed under the supervision of Principal Lauren Amrhein and Dr. Jay Badams have prepared me for the responsibilities that lay ahead. The impact of the support and encouragement available from the Ray faculty and staff, the Hanover School Board, and the school community can never be underestimated and has certainly had a positive impact on me. I thank each of you for being a part of this time of professional growth and joy.
While I am sad to leave so many wonderful people, I take with me many fond memories that could only come from a community as wonderful as Ray.
We are One Ray!
Lisa Marie A. Arroyo
Community Forum about COVID
You are invited to join us for a virtual community conversation on August 12th at 8:30 AM. This will be a chance to hear from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Population Health leadership about our response to COVID-19 and to participate in a dialogue about how we can best support our communities moving forward. We hope you are able to join us. You can register for this webinar by clicking here.