It’s been 30 days since I stepped into the role of acting superintendent. Since that time, our 4th and 5th graders have returned to in-person learning four days/week, and our Board of Education approved a plan to transition 6th-12th grade students to in-person learning four days/week beginning April 13th.
Since March 1st, I have visited more than two-thirds of the schools in our district. I have been unbelievably inspired by the staff and students at every school. The dedication, innovation and adaptations I have witnessed over the last month makes me more secure in the future of our community than I have ever been. We have been a resilient community over the last year, and I am seeing all of the challenging experiences being transformed into something amazing. As we move into April, I cannot wait to visit the remainder of our schools and begin preparations for celebrating the accomplishments of our staff, students, parents and community. Let’s all come together to create and live out joyful moments in our community. As Carlos Santana said, “If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”
We marked the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this month, and even though the pandemic is not over, there are reasons to be encouraged. The metrics we use to plan for school operations during the pandemic continue to trend in a positive direction. The percent positive rate for COVID-19 in Cabarrus County currently stands at 5.2% -- the 2nd lowest it’s been since June 2020. The numbers of quarantines, as well as hospitalizations, also are decreasing. And we are seeing more and more citizens, including educators, become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. As encouraging as all of these indicators are, now is not the time to relax. We must remain diligent about following all of the required, recommended and proven safety protocols – frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, keeping your distance and limiting your contact with people who do not live with you.
Earlier this month, we announced that the district would not host proms and other spring dances. We know that students, especially our seniors, were disappointed by that news. We were disappointed, too. We understand the importance of making these final weeks of the school year special for our seniors, and we are actively looking for ways to honor and celebrate them. Each high school is working to develop innovative social events to celebrate our seniors. Schools are gathering ideas from students, parents and other stakeholders. Plans are not yet final, but a few of the ideas under consideration are a senior cookout with games and activities, a movie night under the lights at the football stadium, a senior parade and a senior breakfast. Each school will share information with students and families as soon as plans are finalized.
Congratulations to our Teacher of the Year Finalists:
- Ashtyn Berry – W.R. Odell Elementary School
- Jennifer Birkemeier – Harrisburg Elementary School
- Melissa Capets – Wolf Meadow Elementary School
- Alice Graham – Concord Middle School
- Amy Hicks – Central Cabarrus High School
- Tabitha Paisley – Beverly Hills Elementary School
We will announce the CCS Teacher of the Year in April. Best of luck to our finalists!
April will be a busy month for Cabarrus County Schools. Here are some reminders about important dates and events:
- Spring Break – April 2-9
- Staff Development Day/No School for Students – April 12
- BOE Budget Public Hearing & Work Session – April 12
- BOE Middle School Student Realignment Public Hearing – April 13
- Virtual Teacher Fair – April 23
As an educator and as a parent, I understand how stressful this school year has been. I have confidence in our CCS team and know that they are doing their very best to provide relevant, meaningful learning experiences – in-person and online – for all of our students amid the changes and challenges we’ve had this school year. I also know that you, as parents and caregivers, are doing your very best to meet your students’ academic, emotional, social and physical needs just as you have been throughout the pandemic.
I sincerely thank you for your support and cooperation. Let’s keep that same energy and effort as we close out the year