A Message of Gratitude
March 20, 2020
Dear P.G. Chambers School Community and Friends,
So much has changed in just one week! The P.G. Chambers School leadership and staff went from methodical contingency planning to rapid, all-out implementation. In a matter of 5 days, our local health department directed us to close the school program, which was quickly followed by the Governor closing all schools. On Tuesday, the State directed us to close our Early Intervention (EI) and, in keeping with social distancing guidance, we closed Kids Count Child Care.
Effective Monday 3/16, we were jet propelled into remote learning. With a couple of prep days under our belt, we launched our virtual classrooms on Wednesday. Staff had quickly learned the ins and outs of the e-platform, adapted lesson plans, assembled tote bags for each student with individualized materials and assistive technology, and taken some deep breaths. By day’s end one teacher remarked, “I have to admit I was nervous about all of this, but the kids and parents seem to love seeing me live and that’s what is important.” In addition, therapists worked diligently to develop individualized activities consistent with each child’s Individual Education Program and prepared to provide support remotely for both their P.G. Chambers School students and those in our contracted districts.
We all know that difficult times bring out the best in people and communities. This has certainly proven true here. I have witnessed first-hand the resilience, compassion, and love of the P.G. Chambers School staff as they were asked to do what would have been unthinkable a little more than a week ago. The energy and creativity this past week were palpable and the collaboration among our teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals was truly remarkable.
Also remarkable was how many of you contacted many of us in the last week to see how we were doing and to offer assistance. I know recent events have added stress to our lives and all of you are dealing with major disruptions at home and at work. Thank you for persevering through the chaos, and for taking the time and energy to reach out. Whether you are a parent of a current or former student, a community volunteer, a dedicated staff or board member, a donor and/or a friend, we thank you for your continued support of our work. Our children, students, and families are counting on us. While we know that there will be challenges ahead, I know the P.G. Chambers School community will continue to do as we always do . . . rise to the challenge and accomplish the unthinkable for the children, students, and families who depend on us.
We are available should you have any questions or need our assistance. Many of us are working remotely, so the best way to contact us is via email. We will continue to keep you abreast of news via email, Facebook, and our website. In closing, I would like to share a comment made by one of our parents at the close of our first virtual day:
“Our daughter’s teacher is REALLY REALLY AWESOME! She has great energy and perseverance given this really tough situation. It’s not easy but you would never know it based on her communication, imagination and energy!”
Enjoy the attached photos of our students and teachers, as they began their remote teaching and learning journey. Be safe, be well, and take time to take care of yourself and your loved ones.