Save the Date: Community Conversation on Nov. 18

Superintendent Matthew Haas

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. | Zoom

Teachers and School Administrators: I hope today is a good day for you. I sure am proud of you. You have much to be proud of as you have carried the heavy load of teaching and learning and leading schools in a time that cannot be compared to any other. And the first quarter is in the books. Thank you.

I am writing to ask you to save the date for a Community Conversation on November 18 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

I sincerely hope this message finds you well, and I hope to convey that I am attempting to be proactive in my job to think ahead about our school system’s response to COVID-19 and the virus’s impact on student learning and social emotional well-being and development. This is my intent in reaching out to you. I am hoping to think out loud with you. While I know this topic is of great interest to all, not everyone will have the same appetite for talking about it right now, and I completely understand. I am not sure I do myself; however, I need to, and I want to talk with teachers and school administrators, as you are on the ground making things happen as you always are with a positive effect.

I am hoping that on November 18, I can gather on Zoom with up to 300 teachers and school administrators to frame up our response going into 2021-22. I will be seeking your input on the big picture item of our use of time (calendar and school day) and/or our staffing capacity. It is important for us to start to make at least a broad plan so that I can share our thinking with the School Board for consideration in the ACPS budget for next year. Also, while I think everyone understands why we would still be tentative about naming a start date for next school year and any summer plans we have this coming summer, it would be good to move toward a decision I can recommend to the Board later in the winter with your input.

Just to make sure we have someone from each school on this initial conversation, would you all please talk among yourselves at the school level and be prepared to provide the names of 2-3 teachers and one administrator for your school? Once you have settled on volunteers, would you please type them into the Teacher and Administrator Representatives for November 18 Community Conversation table? I plan on having door prizes!

To make sure all the volunteers in the table can attend, we will invite them first and watch for them in the waiting room to gain access to the meeting before all others.

As you can imagine, I have been reading much lately about remediation for learning and social emotional response/remediation. I have found this report to be my favorite: COVID-19 response – remediation: Helping students catch up on lost learning, with a focus on closing equity gaps (UNESCO). I am going to upload this document into a shared folder along with another report from Hanover Research. I am sure that many of you are researching as well. Please feel free to upload your favorite articles and reports on this topic into the Research Articles and Documents for COVID-19 shared folder for others to see.

I hope that you can join me and that it will go well! I will plan an interesting meeting, and I hope you will find it useful to attend. I know I will greatly appreciate your thinking and input.

Take care,


Matthew S. Haas, Ed.D.