Merrill Area Public Schools greatly values the partnership we have with our Bluejay community. As with an enduring alliance, we understand the expectations of our taxpayers and make every effort to provide student safety and quality instruction. We remain committed to providing our students, your children, with the tools necessary for their success in their competitive future of life.
The outbreak of COVID 19 was an event not anticipated and completely beyond the realm of our control. Yet I remain proud of how our MAPS employees have responded in order to achieve the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. Our teachers continue to work endless hours each day to meet the needs of those students physically present as well as students requiring instruction virtually. Support staff are consistently revising their schedules to provide acaden=mic support and student safety. The custodial and maintenance department have transitioned far beyond maintaining a clean environment to safe, sanitized environments. Our food service employees have adapted to new requirements yet continue to provide nourishment to our students. Out transportation providers continue to safely deliver our students, unsure of who will board their bus each day. Our technology department works diligently behind the scenes to assure that all users have access when needed. Our administrative team works tirelessly to effectively plan for circumstances that provide little, if any, indication of which change is required. Again.
Despite our best efforts, Jefferson was recently closed temporarily. Due to the growing number of students and staff quarantined, we were simply not able to provide quality instruction and student safety and the level our community has come to know. Please know that while positive cases of COVID 19 are greatly increasing, it is the number of students and staff quarantined that prompted my decision. Those quarantined far exceed those testing positive for the virus. The quarantine process is solid and designed to mitigate the spread of COVID so our response to temporarily close is a valid one.
Also, the Board recently approved teacher planning days for November 9, 16, 30 and December 14. Students will not attend school on these four Mondays. All MAPS staff have worked very hard in dedicating themselves to provide safety and deliver instruction to students receiving instruction virtually, in-person and a variety of other variable schedules. Because of their hard work, we have been able to address the needs of our students but their planning time has suffered. These days are dedicated to their planning and preparation in order to continue with quality instruction.
We appreciate your continued patience as we continue to motivate our students to the highest levels of academic success and emotional wellness during this challenging time that affect us all. Many of our employees continue to work despite being quarantined themselves. They also have spouses, significant others, children, grandchildren and grandparents subject to quarantine procedures or who may have tested positive. While our teachers are extremely responsive to your questions, please understand they are serving students physically and virtually present, while still maintaining the safety of themselves and their families.
This is the time to take care of yourself and each other. Social and emotional well-being must remain healthy in order to remain productive. It is perfectly acceptable to place your own needs first in order to provide strength to others. It is only when we work as one, with a common interest, that we all benefit. And it’s our children that will ultimately reap the rewards.
Dr. John Sample