Happy New Year one and all!
I hope everyone found themselves enjoying the vacation and I presume that all are now excited and ready to return to school. For me, it was a wonderful vacation that included some work and reconnection with colleagues, but mostly family time and celebration through the best that the season offers. In short, it was good to be home for the holidays!
I have some items needing your attention as we start back to school tomorrow. Apologies for the lateness, but some were only emerging this afternoon.
We understand some may be having difficulty returning to Warsaw because of the winter cold front that has descended on Europe. Many connecting airports closed intermittently and some travelers are having difficulty with canceled or rescheduled flights. We are hopeful that everyone is safe and either home now or in transit. A reminder that you can send email to the divisional offices if your child will not be attending school tomorrow for any reason. This will help us reduce the number of phone calls we make trying to contact you when your student doesn’t arrive at school. As an important safety practice and part of our morning protocol, you can let the divisional office know via email or phone on any day when your child is going to be absent.
We’ve been alerted that the area around Warsaw has been hit by air quality concerns as reported in the local press. Some of the local schools are taking precautions including limiting outside time for students. This often happens with cold air which creates inversion issues and tends to include increased burning due to heating needs under colder temperatures. Please know that we will be following all public guidelines with regards to any air quality concerns and will maintain additional vigilance for students who have been logged in our health alert system for breathing difficulties. Please let your child’s classroom teacher know if you have any concerns.
Fire Cleanup Work
Most all our cleanup work that was detailed before the vacation has proceeded as predicted. We are moved back into our cafeteria and are ready to serve meals as normal on the first day. We may have some minor issues with computers at the cashier tables, but we’ll be ready with backup options to assure smooth startup.
The only things that are not done include a delay in delivery of new ceiling tiles. We’ll have a bit of a warehouse look until January 11th when the rest of the tiles will arrive and a few additional days for installation after. Also, while all the cleaning work in the library was completed, there was no time left for organizing and getting everything in operational order, so the library will continue to be closed for some additional days while librarians get things ready for students.
One other item of unfortunate loss was the mural that was painted in the cafeteria. The materials and the type of paint that was used made it impossible to clean without significant damage, so the decision was made to strip and repaint the wall. I have not yet been able to reach out to those involved in the project, but there was no way to save the mural or the attached items that were significantly smoke damaged. I apologize for this loss that I know included student involvement. I know you will all miss this project and I’ll be looking to our art teachers for suggestions on what might be our next project in this space in the future.
Finally, we believe that all our remaining technology systems were returned to normal operation over the weekend. PowerSchool is back up and running for all and teachers will be fully connected upon return tomorrow. Email and our website were not affected by the cleanup work and have remained operational throughout the vacation. We may have some unforeseen glitches that emerge tomorrow. Please be patient with us if we uncover any additional problems.
It’s important to thank all the staff who were involved in this work during the holidays. The operations team, CPS staff, IT staff, Library staff, and all the administrators involved in assuring that we are ready for tomorrow. It was a team effort on all fronts!
My best wishes to all as we start the new calendar year and the second semester of the school year. I hope you all have some fun and interesting New Year’s resolutions to share on opening day. If you have any questions about anything included herein, please feel free to contact me as always.