Happy last Friday of the year Murch Families,
As we close out this extraordinary school year, I believe many of us, in some way, shape, or form are happy to have gotten here. A quote from Nelson Mandela comes to mind: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Not that having students come to school every day is impossible but managing a school in a post pandemic world was a unique challenge. I think I could use every cliché possible in describing this past year but the message I would want to have everyone walk away with is that we did our best with what we knew, what we had, and who we are. And now it’s time to move on….onward and upward.
As we tried to make sense of what normal meant, heading into year three of this post-pandemic world, we will continue to learn from our successes, minimize our failures, and celebrate our accomplishments. We need more celebration! My hope is that as we look forward to next year, we can maintain our continued focus on building a strong and cohesive community, taking time to celebrate our successes, and having a laser sharp focus on our goals and how we intend to meet them.
I am sincerely grateful for all the families of this great Murch community, for your support, patience and acknowledging the fine work the teachers did throughout the year. I am preaching to the choir when I say that this year was not an easy one and although working virtually was new and challenging in its own way, this past year posed consistent challenges in an everchanging and unpredictable environment.
I am so proud of the Murch teachers and staff as they were able to increase student achievement levels and make a significant dent in the achievement gap. I am honored to lead such an incredible group of professionals. The credit for what we accomplished goes to the teachers. They created, innovated, persevered, and were resilient in the work they did with their students. I also want to acknowledge that teaching this past year was met by unusual challenges and required great focus and stamina. Thank you, teachers, for creating opportunities for incredible learning for our students.
Early next school year, I will be hosting an evening event to discuss academic successes, how areas for improvement are being addressed, and to share information about all the assessments we use and why we are required to do so. Most importantly, we would like to share how we intend to provide support for you to work with your child at home if that is something you can view as beneficial. AP Hawkins and I will also be hosting monthly listening sessions which will be topic driven. I will be sending home a brief survey at the beginning of next year to get an idea of what it is that parents are interested in talking about and when the ideal time might be to host these forums.
We have been planning for next year, and we hope to host an all-community event during our sneak peek on Friday, August 26th. Please reserve that date between 11:30 and 2:30. More information will be forthcoming. We will be opening Murch’s doors for students starting on Monday, August 29th. We will be prepared to open strong, focus our efforts on reestablishing relationships, tending to the academic and social aspects of learning, and delivering a quality instructional program.
Class placement notifications will be sent at the end of the first week in August and staffing changes will be announced in your notification.
On a side note, our welcome center staff will begin to work virtually from home as well as taking much deserved leave, starting on July 5th until the first week of August. They will still be able to register your child, answer questions, and address concerns you may have. I will be on leave starting July 11th until July 29th. AP Hawkins will be on leave From July 5th – July 15th. There will be a change in modes of communication for next year. The district has purchased an app that will allow us to text you and send messages more efficiently. More on the name of the app in summer communications. I will not be using my blog on the HSA website (murchschool.org) to communicate anymore. I will be posting a quarterly message on the website and communicating via email and robocall as needed as well as the use of the app. All essential information for the upcoming school year will be posted on murchschool.org throughout August, prior to our sneak-peek, which is on Friday, August 26th.
Finally, I would like to wish our only retiree, Ms. Erna Marcus, a sincere thank you and congratulations for her 34 years of service at Murch ES. I want to wish her all the best in her new adventure, post retirement. She has influenced the lives of many and always put the students first. I would also like to wish three of our staff members who will be leaving us at the end of this year, Ms. Lucie Mendelson, Ms. Lavon Shepherd, and Ms. Jennie Anderson all the best on their new adventures as well. We will all miss them immensely and hope that they will hold a special place in their heart for the students and families of Murch ES.
Thank you all for being part of this great adventure this past year. As best as possible, enjoy your summer and we look forward to starting a new school year with the first day of student attendance on August 29th.