JULY 30th, 2020

Dear Breakthrough Parents & Families,

My name is Andrew McRae, and I am the Chief Academic Officer here at Breakthrough Public Schools. As we prepare for the upcoming school year, I will be providing you with a personal update each week on our latest plans and progress regarding our return to learning this fall. I thank you in advance for your time, and for your commitment to your scholar’s education!

As you heard last week, we are dedicated to a fully remote start for all our scholars. School will start remotely on Tuesday, September 8th. We made the decision to start school remotely this year to ensure the health and safety of our scholars, families, and entire community. And, we made this decision early so we could build the absolute best remote learning experience for our scholars and families on Day 1.

There are several key things I want to make sure you know as you head into this upcoming year:

  1. Technology: We are prepared for every Breakthrough scholar to have free access to the technology they need to make this remote learning experience work well, including devices and wifi hotspot access for any families who need them. We will also have dedicated home tech support to provide ongoing assistance as needed.
  2. Live Lessons: Your child will “go to school” in a completely new way, with live lessons taught by their Breakthrough teachers, including arts, music, physical education, and more!
  3. Small Group Learning: Scholars will also have the chance to work in small group settings, to strengthen old friendships and build new ones.
  4. Flexibility: We know every family situation is different, and when a scholar cannot attend a live lesson, a similar lesson will be available for review at any time.
  5. Family Support: We know first-hand the challenges of in-home learning, and are creating orientations, check-ins, and ongoing support for parents and families to make this a positive experience for everyone.
  6. Food: We know food is a huge part of school! We are 100% committed to distributing breakfast and lunch for all school days for all students who would like them.
  7. Exceptional Learners: We know many of our scholars have diverse needs that will require ongoing support that cannot always be delivered remotely. We are committed to finding multiple ways to provide those essential ongoing services in safe, thoughtful, and accessible ways.
  8. Remote Learning Centers: We are actively exploring setting up Remote Learning Centers, where some scholars would be able to learn in safe, socially distanced environments outside of home, for our families who need it most. You will receive an initial survey about these tomorrow morning, so please fill it out if you have interest.

We’re absolutely committed to building the most robust remote learning program that we can and to continuing to provide transparent updates, information, opportunities to offer feedback on our plans, and support along the way. Because that is what our kids and families deserve.

Our Managing Director of Exceptional Student Education, Kadeem Howard, recently said it best: "You cannot solve 2020 problems with 2018 thinking." For us, this means accepting and understanding as a school community that the world has changed. And, it means that we are not going to shy away from these challenges. We are going to lean in, adapt, innovate, and lead. We will do this together, so your scholar can excel, this year and beyond.

Next week, I will be sharing with you details about what the School Day and Overall Remote Learning Experience could look like for your scholar. In the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us with questions, and please feel free to spread the word that at Breakthrough Public Schools,  rigorous, high-quality student learning continues no matter what challenges we face! We will overcome this moment in history — together.

With respect and gratitude,

 

Andrew McRae
Chief Academic Officer
Breakthrough Public Schools