The Homestretch

Welcome back Fairbanks! We are excited for our school community to be rejoining our campus over the coming days. There are 37 days of school left in the 2020 – 2021 school year. I typically am not an “end of year” or “winter break” countdown person. However, considering everything our school community has been through over the last year, these days hold a different level of appreciation and significance. 

This year, I am sharing the number of days because there is excitement and urgency as we head into the final eight weeks of the school year. There is excitement for our students. In particular, our seniors, who will be able to experience many of the traditions and rites of passage that come with ending a high school career. We will be able to enjoy other events that accompany the end of the year like 5th and 8th grade celebrations, spring athletics, and prom. Each of these have considerations due to COVID-19, but we are in a much different place than we were even a few months ago. With this excitement, COVID-19 has instilled a newfound appreciation for these traditions for everyone in Fairbanks Local Schools. 

Our urgency is about the work ahead focused on our students. At its core, school is about learning. Schools influence many pieces of personal development, but ultimately it’s about the learning our students do in the classroom. Below are thumbnails about the learning and planning that is happening over the coming weeks across our school district:

  • Continued whole group instruction and intervention focus in our elementary and middle schools to address gaps in literacy and math. 
  • Middle School tutoring program during flex periods supporting students classroom work and potential academic gaps.
  • Elementary school tutoring program after school focusing on literacy and math skill development. 
  • High School Success Planning to address grade and credit deficiencies for students. 
  • Registration for the Summer Bridge program to support K-12 learners over the summer. 
  • Teacher gap analysis to identify areas of instruction that will need to be addressed heading into the 2021-2022 school year.
  • The planning of ESSR II and ESSR III federal stimulus dollars to support classroom instruction and student learning. ESSR II funds are being used to fund the Summer Bridge program for the summer of 2021 and 2022. These funds are also being used to support a tutoring program for the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year as well as additional classroom staffing at the elementary school. ESSR III funds have not been allocated yet. Once we know when they will be distributed, we intend to add staffing to support student learning across our school district. 
  • Student Success and Wellness funding will be used to secure our school navigator for at least the next three school years. We also intend to use these funds in the upcoming state biennium budget to increase support services for students across our district. 

By sharing this, we want our families and community members to have a clear understanding of how we intend to allocate resources to support our students over the coming weeks, months, and years. You can find our plan that was submitted to the Ohio Department of Education here: Learning Recovery and Extended Learning Plan

The spring is always exciting. This year has even more excitement to it. We cannot wait to see the great things that will happen across Fairbanks over the coming months, but we must also keep focus on the important work ahead of us. 37 days. Let’s make each one count!!

  • Adham Schirg, Fairbanks Local Schools, Superintendent

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