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Unified School District of De Pere

Superintendent's Message

Friday, March 20, 2020
 
To Our De Pere Families, Caregivers, Staff and Students,
 
On Monday, March 23, we will launch the District’s Online Learning Experience as a result of the statewide school closure and coronavirus pandemic.

In the last 3 weeks, our lives have been turned upside down in ways we could not imagine. I appreciate your patience and cooperation as we navigate the outbreak of COVID-19 in our nation and the closing of schools in De Pere. It appears the school closure will be extended for a longer period than when the Governor made his initial announcement on March 18. We will all need to remain flexible as the situation evolves.
 
We are pleased the District is able to offer this opportunity for students to continue learning while our buildings are closed. Collectively, our staff has put in hundreds of hours in just over a week to pull together a meaningful online program. As I visited each school in the last few days, I saw people collaborating, problem-solving, learning and supporting one another. While our teachers have enthusiastically embraced this new challenge, there will be bumps along the way.
 
Please be patient with yourself and others. Everyone is doing the best they can. We cannot fully replicate the amazing learning that happens when our students are face-to-face with their teachers and classmates, but we will provide a quality online learning experience nonetheless.
 
We are aware that for some students, online learning will present a myriad of obstacles. Know that we will work with you-- families, caregivers, staff and students-- to address these challenges-- whether technical or personal. The ability to come together in support of one another is part of what makes our District great.
 
For the duration of the closure, our food service will continue to provide free bag lunches and next day breakfast bags for all District students under that age of 18, Monday-Friday between 11:45 am and 12:30 pm at Dickinson Elementary and Optimist Park. On Fridays, a weekend non-perishable grocery bag will be available to those in need during the same pickup time.
 
I look forward to the day when our teachers once again welcome students back to school. Until that day comes, be safe. We hope to see everyone back in school soon.
 
Sincerely,
 
Benjamin Villarruel
Superintendent