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Superintendent's Notes November 24, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving Colleagues! I know the past couple of weeks have presented some challenges in the midst of the continued Covid-19 Pandemic. I stand in awe at the work you have done and the ease of which you have "TURNED ON A DIME!" While turning may not have felt easy to you, the shift was beautiful and appeared to be effortless. This is such a testament of your courage, strength, endurance, and dedication throughout this year. The banner photo above is one of our 3rd grade classrooms at Pratt Elementary from a couple of weeks ago. This was the "solo" class left at Pratt Elementary due to quarantines. Ms. Melissa Nelson was kind enough to allow a picture and endured the name "Hans Solo" from me. I was pleasantly surprised when half of her class raised their hands in acknowledgement of knowing who Hans Solo is/was! True Star Wars fans after the heart of their Superintendent! I experienced one of those moments when you see a light bulb come on in a students head - a moment of clarity that is every teacher's dream. One of Ms. Nelson's students said, "OH! I know why you said Solo! We are the solo 3rd grade class here at Pratt today!" I then explained he was very intuitive, yet another lesson for Ms. Nelson to teach that day!

One of many, many conversations Ms. Lindsey Sinkbeil has had with a parent this year. Let the smile on her face sink into you soul.

The Sand Springs City Council met last night in a special meeting to consider a mask ordinance for the City of Sand Springs. The Council voted 6-0 in favor of the ordinance which goes into effect Friday, November 27. You can find the full resolution on the City of Sand Springs website.

To the rescue Ms. Tina Moses! She is a wealth of support and knowledge!

The Sand Springs Transportation Department also Turned on a Dime this month and adapted their protocol to make things work. We continued to run Tulsa Technology Routes during DLM at the secondary sites. Below is Billie (BG) Rostrum patiently waiting for students for one of those routes!

One of the interesting discoveries I have made this year is that many of our sanitizing protocols we specifically put in place this year have been protocols for some time. Below is a photo of the first grade team at Pratt standing ready with bottles of hand sanitizers before students enter the room. Guess what? They have been doing this for years - PREcovid! Thanks for keeping our students germ free and healthy!

I got to sneak into a few teachers' classrooms on the first day of Distance Learning at CPHS and CPFA. I hope they don't mind, but I was able to capture video of them going about the business of CHALLENGING MINDS. Click on the links and enjoy Ms. Baker, Ms. KuykendallMs. SmithMs. Wiebe, and Ms. Painter hard at work!

Meet Mr. Ben Riggs, one of our fabulous teachers at CPHS on the first day of Distance Learning. Somehow the message on the white board doesn't quite have the relevancy it does when students are walking into the classroom!

As you know, the month of November houses Veteran's Day, an important remembrance of those people who have defended our country and our freedom. Even during a pandemic SSPS found creative ways to celebrate our Veterans! Check out the videos from Northwoods Fine Arts Academy Veteran's Day Assembly and CPHS Veteran's Day Assembly

The students in Kay Jackson's room at CBMS couldn't stand for Ms. Jackson to miss her students during distance learning. SO, they made paper students to keep her company. I am pretty sure students love their teachers as much as their teachers love them!

BIG SHOUT OUT to Ms. Kristin Arnold and her team for the completion of the First Quarter Statistical Report! While this likely doesn't mean much to any of you, ask the Administrative Assistants at your site who put in hours and hours of work to make sure all numbers balanced!

The halls at Boyd may have been lacking students last week, but there was plenty of motivation and determination from teachers prepared to deliver content!
Mr. Evans just thought he could avoid a photo through a locked door. I fooled him! Vo-Ag instruction CAN be delivered virtually. This may not be the preferred method, but worked for the short-term!

CONGRATULATIONS to all who received grants this week from the Sand Springs Education Foundation. Please don't forget to send a THANK YOU letter to the Foundation Board of Directors for their dedication to teachers and their work to raise the funds to make these grant possible. Our office now has the list of those grants along with the materials to order. We will begin processing the grants soon, but the actual orders will be placed in January immediately after Winter Break. Because Thanksgiving fell the last week of November this year, only 3 weeks remain before we are out again. Our central office location has reduced hours over the break, making deliveries difficult. Please be patient with Ms. Kim Clenney as she gets the grants processed as quickly as she can.

Have you ever seen a lemon tree in a small pot? Well, me either. Ms. Spears tells me this was a bit of a joke from Lyla; however, this is now at the top of my Christmas list!

Remember the following slide from the beginning of the year in August? That seems so long ago now. We are finishing Week 14 of school this week. Some thought we would never make it, but here we are. Next Monday, November 30, we will return to in person instruction with only 3 more weeks to go before Winter Break. I thought about the slide below, created in early August, as I was trying to find perspective about this current situation in which we find ourselves. I asked you then to see the current situation as an opportunity. While that may have seemed ridiculous at the time, I can honestly say reflectively that each of the points below has been a source of growth for me. I hope it has been for you as well.

Please have a restful and joyous Thanksgiving Break. Find the opportunity to be THANKFUL and get some rest in preparation for a strong finish to 2020! I love every one of you! ~Sherry