A family learns together remotely

Above: A family from Fruit Valley Community Learning Center spends time together learning from home

Amidst all the change of the past several months, nothing about the closure of schools and transition to remote learning has been simple. It is complex work.

At the same time, all of us are facing multiple responsibilities in our lives. The challenges often seem insurmountable. And as we move through phases, we meet a new set of uncertainties.

But I want to take a moment to pause, reflect and acknowledge the incredible efforts I’ve witnessed over the past few months.

I’m grateful for our students, parents and guardians. Remote learning is difficult and has many shortcomings. It cannot compare to classroom-based learning. In spite of the limitations, students are continuing their journeys as learners. And every step forward on that journey is a victory.

I’m grateful for the class of 2020. While many senior-year milestones were acknowledged differently, the grace and courage shown in this unprecedented time is inspiring. I’m excited for the opportunity to celebrate our graduates, if state guidelines permit, at the planned in-person commencement ceremonies later this summer.

I’m grateful to the many partner organizations who extended their support of our families and the Vancouver community by stepping up to provide food and help meet basic needs.

And I’m grateful to the entire VPS staff for your work before and during the closure. Team VPS is proving once again that we are resilient. Just like we ask our students to do, we practice the art of grit. We roll up our sleeves and get it done.

As we plan for the fall, countless questions are still unanswered. We are examining several options and preparing for a range of possibilities. VPS also is advocating with state elected officials and other policymakers for reopening schools with appropriate precautionary measures in place. We remain committed to providing updates as more information becomes available.

Thank you for your ongoing dedication to children, to one another and to our community. Take care, and stay safe and healthy!

Image: Steve's signature