Dear Trinidad families

Life as we knew it has changed. As parents and families of Trinidad School District students, you are dealing with so much as a result of this global crisis. On behalf of the Trinidad School District, thank you for being thoughtful, patient and understanding while we navigated our new normal.

Thanks to all who shared stories, quotes and funny anecdotes during this serious time. I wish to share a quote that captures my feelings on how we can make the most of this journey. Educational author and speaker Dr. Brad Johnson reminds us “Relationships before rigor. Grace before grades. Patience before programs. Love before lessons.” This quote resonates especially during this time of stress and anxiety that school closures have caused many of our families. While we are offering a variety of continuous learning opportunities for your child, it should not come at the cost of you or your child’s social and emotional well-being.

Remote learning is a measure to keep our students, staff and families safe by supporting countywide, statewide and nationwide efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our hope is that every student has the opportunity to participate in the remote learning opportunities. Student devices and Internet accessibility continues to be a challenge. As educators, our greatest fear is not reaching every child or missing one that needs our support and attention. It has been challenging to reach each and every student in the district.

The work that has been done to transform our district and others across the nation would normally have taken at least a year to do correctly. Gathering data, researching best practices, professional development for staff, training students and families through an ongoing robust outreach plan all would have had to been done and even then, we would still be refining our plan as it was implemented.

Given essentially a week to shift from in person learning to a remote learning model has been a huge undertaking. Nevertheless, we strive to provide continuous learning for all students regardless of the mode of delivery. The work done by staff and the resilient response of our students is a testament to the strength of our community.

Our dedicated teachers and staff are committed to providing learning opportunities through the end of the school year, including teacher office hours and academic, social and emotional wellness check-ins. As we are nearing the end of the school year on May 21st, building principals will provide you with information and instructions for closing out the year.

What does reopening in the fall look like? The answer to that question depends on the status of COVID-19 in the fall. Some options being considered are remote learning, in school instruction, or a hybrid. At this time there are not enough funds to ensure each student has a device and internet access in the event reopening school in the fall continues in the remote learning mode. District staff is working diligently to secure grant opportunities to purchase student devices to be used for Summer School and into the fall.

There is also time left in our school year to make new memories. Trinidad High School Principal Chuck Smithey looks forward to sharing an approved graduation plan with students and the community. While the celebration itself may be different from the past, the joy in accomplishment is just as great. To the THS senior class who are making the walk into the world, we know you are up to the challenge. Go out into the world and make us proud!

While our schools remain closed, our hearts remain open. While we cannot be together under one rooftop, we still are together as one community. We look forward to the day when we celebrate our schools reopening and welcoming kids into our classrooms once again. Our hope, too, is that you remain healthy and safe as you stay home, stay healthy and stay connected.

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