Fort Dodge Community School District

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An Open Letter from Dr. Ulrich to Dodger Families

April 23, 2020

Dear Dodger Families, Students, and Staff,

As you well know by now, the Governor has ordered schools, as well as spring activities, to be canceled for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. The health and safety of your child will always be the number one priority for us at Fort Dodge Community Schools. While expected, it didn’t make hearing the announcement any easier for several reasons. Because of that, I wanted to reach out to share some thoughts with you as we try to bring closure to the 2019-2020 school year.

First and foremost, this is not normal. This isn’t how the end of a year is supposed to be. This is difficult.  Whether you have a senior finishing their K-12 journey, or a kindergartener beginning theirs, this isn’t how school is supposed to feel.  We know this is difficult for you and your family.  Many of you are still working or working from home, some of you have been furloughed, and some of you are caught somewhere in between, but all of us are trying to adjust to life with social distancing regulations and quarantine mandates. This has not been easy for our staff, either, as we learn new and different ways to serve your child. 

We have provided and will continue to provide voluntary continuous educational opportunities for your child, but we know it’s not the same. We know that, in some situations, these opportunities may cause more stress. At the same time, these educational activities are important for your child to maintain foundational skills and avoid the “summer slide” that will be longer than usual this year.  Our stance on these voluntary enrichment activities has not changed. While providing your child the opportunity to practice those foundational skills they learned while they were in school, it is even more important for you as a family to connect and make sure the social and emotional health of your child is a priority. You are doing the best you can, and for that, we are thankful you are a part of Dodger Nation. If you need help, our teachers and staff are here for you and your child. 

Information will be forthcoming with details of how we officially finish this year. No matter what that looks like, our commitment to you is that we will be prepared for your child when we return to school. We will be ready, regardless of where they come back academically, socially, or emotionally, to serve them to the best of our abilities. While this is a difficult end to a year, it is also a reminder of how much school plays a critical part in your child’s life. We will not take that for granted. Together we will care for and provide the educational opportunity they deserve. I’m thankful for the dedicated and loving staff we have in our district. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to serve this wonderful community as we partner with you to care for your child. Until we have them back physically, stay safe, wash your hands, and stay healthy! #TogetherWeRise

Educationally,

Dr. Jesse Ulrich, Superintendent

Fort Dodge Community School District

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