June Family & Community Letter (6/1/21)

June 1, 2021

Dear CCSD Families and Community Members:

The 2020-2021 school year is almost in the history books.   This time of year is always an exciting time as we prepare for our end of year student celebrations and welcome students to the next stages of their lives.  This is also a sad time of year as we say goodbye to students and families who will no longer be with us, as well as staff members who are making transitions into the next phases of their lives.  CCSD celebrates the educational careers of our staff members who have dedicated years of service to our district and community and who have chosen to retire at the end of this school year or in the near future.  Please join the district in celebrating the careers and contributions of Pam Penrose, Neva Robertson, and Kim Brand who are all retiring from public service in the state of Alaska at the end of this school year.  Please also join the district in celebrating the careers and contributions of Julie Yates and Cindy Bennett who will retire from public service next fall.  Each of them has made significant contributions to our students and families and helped CCSD provide a welcoming educational environment for every student we have had the privilege of serving.  These staff members will be missed and their contributions will not be forgotten. 

CCSD is also preparing for our transition to the 2021-2022 school year.  One significant aspect of this planning is developing a budget and supporting documents for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding the district will receive after July 1.  The district is scheduled to receive $585,735 in funding through ARPA of which $117,147 has to be targeted towards summer school and after-school programs for enrichment and academic support.  The district will have until September 2024 to expend all of these funds.  Additionally, the district must develop prevention and mitigation policies aligned, to the greatest extent practicable, with the most up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the operation of schools.  CCSD’s current Smart Start to School Guidelines can serve as the starting point for the development of our prevention and mitigation policies.  CCSD has recently sent a survey to all parents, staff members, and CCSD 6th – 12th grade students to gather input from these stakeholder groups as we prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.  CCSD is also in the process of developing a CCSD Mitigation Board Advisory Committee that will be comprised of the following seats:

  • Certified Teachers - 1 seat
  • Classified Hourly - 1 seat
  • Craig Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) - 2 seats
  • POW Medical Provider - 1 seat
  • CCSD Administration - 1 seat
  • CCSD Athletic Director - 1 seat
  • CCSD Board Member - 1-2 seats

This committee will meet monthly and develop recommendations for the CCSD School Board’s consideration regarding the district’s mitigation and prevention strategies.  As the committee membership is developed, information about the committee meetings will be publicly advertised. 

In closing, thank you again for the guidance you provided the school district this year and for your flexibility and patience as we all learned together how to navigate the complexities of operating a public school system during a pandemic.  We have much to celebrate given that the district only had to transition to distance learning for three weeks during the school year as a preventative measure.  Although I believe none of us would say distance education is the best option for all of our students, the fact that we had to move to distance education for only three weeks speaks volumes for the preventative measures that were put in place and the efforts of our community and CCSD staff to ensure the safest learning environment possible. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at the phone number listed above or the email address below if I can provide additional information about any of the items noted in this letter or any other district initiative.

Sincerely,

Chris Reitan, CCSD Superintendent                                                             

Email: creitan@craigschools.com

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