Sept. 2021 Letter to Parents

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September 22, 2021

One of the goals of the International Baccalaureate program is to help our students and educators become effective communicators. As IB learners we strive “to express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.” During this difficult time communication in an open, frank, and respectful manner is even more important to help us heal as a community from the many hardships that we have recently experienced. I would also like us to keep in mind that the words we use are like fireworks, that explode and then vanish. However, while they might explode beautifully and then vanish, they leave behind beautiful memories, but they can also burn and damage. Use them kindly and wisely. We will work to do that in all our interactions and to help our students do the same.

Here at OWNCS, we communicate in many ways—our website, the use of text messages and emails via School Messenger, Facebook, twitter, our PTO Blasts, and school staff email accounts. We will continue to keep you informed about what is happening here at school.

As we move into the month of September and continue to manage the process of having all our students back in school fulltime and in person, we continue to learn and adjust to how we do things. Let me thank all of you who have been helpful and supportive in the COVID-19 testing and screening program. There are still many questions about quarantining and as we learn more through our conversations with the DOHMH we will let you know our next steps.

Our teachers and administrators have been working extremely hard to make sure to welcome back all students. There is a shortage of teachers in the industry, and this has affected our staffing in some areas. Administrators have tried many different plans including numerous interviews, outreach to colleagues, using substitute teachers and outreach to colleges and universities. We are still hopeful to fill the remaining vacancies on staff. But rest assured that we are providing students with an excellent education during this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The coming weeks will be very busy ones, as we start our Back-to-School Night program, begin our introduction of the IB Program to OWN 2 and prepare for an authorization application to the IB for OWN 1. I will continue to communicate with you frequently and ask that you also reach out to your classroom teachers, building Principals, and me if you have any questions or concerns.

Marching Forward Together,

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Brian Ferguson

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