Dear Students, Parents, and Staff of Holly Area Schools,
For the past six months, we have observed and personally dealt with many struggles as the result of a new virus known as COVID-19. This global pandemic has significantly impacted everyday life. What was once normal or routine has been replaced by new protocols for safety. While this has felt like an eternity, the time has been brief for understanding all the implications of this virus.
I’d first like to reiterate our number one priority is the health and safety of our entire Broncho community.
As a district, we are committed to keeping our Broncho families well-informed throughout this difficult period. Last Spring, we were forced to make quick decisions and pull together a plan to keep students on pace from a distance. We quickly dispersed over 600 Chromebooks and provided meals for families from multiple sites across the community. All of our staff pulled together to support students and families. We also came together with our senior leaders to create a plan to honor the Class of 2020. And, despite some apprehension and concerns before the event, we were able to execute a one-of-a-kind Commencement Parade and Diploma Pick-up that was very well-received by our students, parents, and community.
Next Monday, August 31, we surmount another hurdle with the virtual start of the 2020-2021 school year. In a matter of only 8 weeks, we developed an extensive reopening plan meeting all the requirements of the MI Safe Schools Roadmap. In addition, we independently researched and continued to develop additional mitigation strategies to implement with our plan. Our teachers participated in training in June and August to prepare for teaching and learning with a new learning management system.
Staff in all of our departments have been involved this summer preparing for the start of the new school year. Even during this difficult time, our district has continued moving forward with completing bond construction projects. Districtwide, we are achieving safety, building, and technology upgrades and improvements, thanks to the generosity of our supportive community.
While COVID-19 has put a pause on certain facets of our programs or changed the way we deliver some of our opportunities, it has not taken away our commitment. In fact, it has increased our innovative spirit.
We know school will look different in the coming weeks. And, sadly the first day of school will be a much different experience. What hasn’t changed is the level of excitement and interest our teachers have to connect with their students.
I encourage everyone to remain patient and supportive in this new rollout. This will be the first launch of our new Return to Learn plan. There was no “pilot” phase. And, because this has never been done before, there is no guide to follow. The best recipe for success with this new plan is to work together. We know there will be some bumps in the road, and we know we will continue to adjust along the way. I can assure you no time has been wasted over the past two months in developing this plan. This has been the direct result of the care we have for our students and families.
As Superintendent of Holly Area Schools, I am proud to work with a hard-working and dedicated staff who strive to make our district one of the best educational institutions in Michigan. I am also privileged to partner with the wonderful students and parents in our community. Our collective efforts make Holly Area Schools a wonderful school district.
Together, we will continue to build and sustain a positive, nurturing learning environment that helps all Bronchos achieve and succeed, whether they’re bound for college, technical school, apprenticeships or jobs right after graduation. Now, more than ever, we must commit to our culture of Kindness, Compassion, and Respect. Let us continue to practice Civility and encourage #BronchoPride and #BronchosUnited!
It is an honor serving as your superintendent, and I am pleased to welcome you back to the 2020-21 school year.
Thank you to everyone for making Holly Area Schools a great place to learn and achieve!
Scott M. Roper