Thursday, April 2, 2020
Dear P-H-M Families and Staff,
This afternoon Indiana State Superintendent Dr. Jennifer McCormick joined Governor Eric Holcomb for a news conference to announce that all Indiana schools will remain closed for the rest of their academic school year. The last day of school for Penn-Harris-Madison Schools was supposed to be June 4. This means that the rest of our school year will continue as we’ve been doing these past three weeks with extended eLearning.
On Tuesday of this week (March 31), I shared with you the plan for the extended eLearning schedule for April 13 - May 1. The P-H-M Administrative Team will now begin working with our teachers to create a schedule that will take us through June 4. We will share that plan with you when it’s ready.
With today’s announcement, this means that all school activities for the rest of the school year are impacted. We will communicate with you in the near future with more details.
P-H-M is very fortunate to be a 1:1 district and a long time user of eLearning. Our educators have worked very hard to partner with you, our families, to ensure students continue to receive the excellence in education that you expect from us. We appreciate and need your ongoing collaboration. Our educational model, now more than ever, is the Triangle of Success. It’s going to take both teachers and families to provide a quality education to our students. We recognize that this is a taxing and demanding time for families. Many are trying to juggle eLearning with multiple children while also working from home. So it is important, now more than ever, for parents to please reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher and principal if you need help and support. Principals have provided information on how to get in touch with our Technicians for Chromebook support. Please communicate to staff when you need help and are facing challenges. We will work with you!
Seniors, we recognize today’s decision was a huge blow. Dr. McCormick said in today’s news conference that this decision was not made lightly. As your Superintendent, I can also tell you that this weighs heavy on my heart. Principal Sean Galiher and his team will be working these next few weeks on a Commencement plan that will be shared in the coming weeks.
There are countless students across all grade levels missing out on academic competitions, musical and choir performances, dance and drama performances, art shows, athletic competitions and entire sports seasons. For seniors, these would have been your last. For other students, it is also a very disheartening time for you as well. What we all treasure and value most as educators is being with our students. We enjoy watching you soar in your accomplishments and cheering you on in your extra and co-curricular activities. While it saddens us to no longer have you in our classrooms, I know the teachers look forward to seeing your smiling faces virtually over the computers.
We appreciate your ongoing patience and support as P-H-M staff at every level will now shift our focus to helping the school year end as smoothly as possible. I’m sure that there are many questions that are not fully addressed here. Please be patient over the coming days and weeks as these changes will be shared with you.
Please enjoy your time off next week with your families. Remember to practice social distancing if you are outside enjoying the weather.
Stay well and healthy,
Dr. Jerry Thacker
Superintendent of Schools