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May 18, 2020 - A Message from Kurt Pusch and Weekly Bear Express

Dear Summit Families, True to what makes Summit so special, your partnership as families through these last nine weeks has been nothing short of heroic. As we conclude this most unprecedented year and plan for the 2020-21 school year ahead, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the resilience, flexibility, and teamwork that you have brought to these last two months. I also want to update you on our planning for the start of 2020-21 school year, and invite your feedback and insight to help us prepare, and in some cases reimagine, how we will best serve our students and carry forward our mission in what we expect to be a dynamic year ahead.

While we plan, and hope, to return to “normal” teaching and learning at Summit in August, we also must prepare for the possibility that our community will continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic through the coming school year. Accordingly, state and public health guidance may continue to impact our normal school operations as we navigate the year ahead. The state is currently developing guidelines for the reopening of schools, which will inform our steps at Summit. We are actively working to ensure Summit’s readiness to support our students and families in whatever scenario may be necessary. Whether we are returning to a normal school year, returning to remote learning, or a combination through the school year, our planning and decisions will be guided by two priorities: (1) the health, safety, and well-being of our students, families, and faculty; and (2) the continued whole-child learning of our students consistent with Summit’s mission. If we must transition to remote learning again next year, we will do so with the utmost care in supporting our students through a design that is most functional and sustainable for families.

We believe there is no true substitute for a student’s learning experience at school in the community of teachers and classmates, and this is especially true with our philosophy of whole-child learning at Summit. But, regardless of the situation, we will prepare to support our students and families in a manner consistent with our mission, and will remain in ongoing communication over the summer as we do. In preparing for these potential scenarios next year, we’ve set up two upcoming opportunities for you to share your feedback and ask any questions you may have about next year:

  • 2019-20 Feedback Survey: Complete a 5-minute anonymous feedback survey that you will receive by email this week

  • Virtual Town Hall Q&A Sessions: Participate in one of our virtual town hall Q&A sessions:

May 21 at 9:00 AM May 21 at 12:00 PM May 26 at 5:00 PM In a separate communication, we will share information to access our Virtual Town Hall sessions via Zoom. In the meantime, I do want to update you on several updates for closing out this year and planning for the 2020-21 school year:

  • Materials drop-off and pick-up procedures: Enclosed with this week’s Bear Express we’ve included procedures for picking up personal belongings from campus and dropping off school materials and equipment. Please let us know if you have any questions.

  • 8th Grade Graduation and Move-Up Day for 2019-20: 8th Grade Graduation is tentatively scheduled for August 13. Move-Up Day is scheduled for the morning of August 21. We will communicate more information in the coming weeks.

  • 2020-21 Calendar: We plan to maintain our August 20 start date. We will, however, be making adjustments to our calendar to reflect recent state legislation requiring all public schools to add 5 additional instructional days to our calendars. We will finalize these adjustments in the next week, and will send you the updated calendar as soon as we do.

  • Additional Academic Supports in 2020-21: We are planning our curriculum and schedule for next year to ensure “unfinished” learning from this year is fully addressed and our students, kindergarten through 11th grade, continue to progress toward college-readiness. The summer months remain important opportunities for our students to continue their academic and social-emotional development through regular reading, writing, practicing math, and unstructured play and learning. Our teachers will provide guidance on summer plans to support readiness for the next grade level as we wrap up the year.

Next week we will send out important reminders and dates for the start of the 2020-21 school year. We will also continue to communicate throughout the summer with updates and additional information. Please let our team know if you have any questions over these next few weeks of the year! We look forward to seeing you next week for our end-of-year “drive through pep rally” on May 28!

With gratitude,


PS: Here is a link to your weekly Bear Express!

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