December 8th Superintendent Letter to Parents and Guardians

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.
Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

December 8, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians of our East Providence Students,

As you are well aware, with news reports and messages from the Governor’s office, the COVID pandemic is far from well contained. The recent surge in cases is unsettling. Our hopes are the vaccines will be available for all of us in the very near future.

In the meantime, we have been trying our best to keep our students in school. As you know, this has been a difficult process as the COVID virus requires us to quarantine or isolate classrooms and sometimes whole schools – often on short notice. We are fortunate to have experienced minimal infections with our students.

Throughout, we have been doing everything possible to provide the staffing needed to not only educate our students but to keep them safe. We have hired the available substitutes – there are not many available, moved staff from school to school and have even had our principals back in classrooms teaching.

With the most recent COVID surge, even our best efforts are not enough. If a student tests positive and the student has been in contact with a teacher or aide, the adult is quarantined for two weeks. If the spouse of a teacher tests positive, the teacher and spouse are quarantined for two weeks then the teacher must be isolated for an additional seven days. Obviously, if a teacher or any other staff member (custodians, aides, nurses, counselors, etc.) tests positive, they are out for at least two weeks.

We are finding ourselves unable to appropriately staff our schools. We are very fortunate in knowing the District is well positioned to sustain students’ educational progress through our virtual learning program.

We will be closing schools and going to virtual learning from December 14 with classes resuming January 4, 2021. We are hoping this will get us through the current COVID surge. Prior to January 4, we will reassess our staffing situation in an effort to reopen schools after that time.

We know this puts a huge burden on you, parents and guardians. It has been a long haul since last March. Again, we owe you a great debt of gratitude for your efforts at keeping East Providence at the forefront in virtual learning. We know everyone is suffering “pandemic fatigue.” It takes a lot of effort to maintain an effective virtual learning program. We are asking you to keep up your great efforts for a while longer.

Of vital importance to our maintaining educational progress during periods of virtual learning is attendance. Please make every effort to have your child check in for attendance and to participate in the virtual learning programs. Our teachers are making every effort to keep their students engaged and to present all of the course materials that would be covered in in-school classes. Students not fully participating in the virtual learning classes are placing themselves in jeopardy of not being prepared for in-school classes when they resume.

Again, let me personally thank you for your efforts. We will get through this if we continue to work together to assure the children of East Providence, your children and our students, receive the education required to succeed in school and in life.


Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

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