Redmond School District launches website to help parents with homeschooling efforts

The Redmond School District has launched a new website to serve as a one-stop-shop for parents to engage students during the month-long state-mandated closure.

Superintendent Mike McIntosh unveiled EngageRedmond in a letter to families on Friday evening, saying he recognizes the activities and lessons doesn’t replace classroom instruction but will help keep kids’ minds sharp.

“Some of these resources include learning with devices and technology, while others do not; similar to the student experience during a typical school day,” he said. “They are intended to be opportunities and resources, but are not mandatory.”

McIntosh’s full letter to families is below:

Good afternoon Redmond School District community,

It seems like only yesterday that things were relatively normal, with students going to school earning credit and our community members carrying on; business as usual. Then hourly updates began to change the landscape, creating more questions than answers. Having said all of that, the work of making sense of it all and supporting our students and families remains our highest priority. Our governor and the Oregon Department of Education are working alongside us to lead the entire state through what has become the challenge of the decade for not only education but our state and the nation.

I cannot thank you enough for your continued support as we respond to the needs of our community during this closure. As we head into the next week of Spring Break I want to take the opportunity to extend our district’s heartfelt intent to serve every single student to the best of our capacity in this difficult time. Also, please know that your school district staff will be engaged in making plans to support the communities of Redmond, Terrebonne, Crooked River Ranch, Tumalo, and Alfalfa in even different ways.

As a lifelong resident of Redmond I can attest to the resiliency and strength of our community. Each of us make up the collective village that it takes to raise our kids. I am encouraged by the outpouring of love and energy from our talented district team and the huge number of community partners and volunteers. I have seen nutrition services team members assemble meals in a moment’s notice to help ensure our children are fed. I have seen teachers and technology team members collaborate to create resources to aid families during the break. Our custodial team has meticulously cleaned every school and district facility (and school bus) to ensure safety for our students and staff for when we do, eventually, return.

Redmond School District is committed to helping our students and families through the statewide school closure. We understand how difficult it can be for students to take such a break from their coursework but we are here to partner with you to help keep students engaged at home.

We have created EngageRedmond, a one stop shop for information that will allow families to engage students in activities that will help keep their minds sharp. This website will continue to be updated on a regular basis and with resources that our teachers have found to be valuable in working with students. Some of these resources include learning with devices and technology, while others do not; similar to the student experience during a typical school day. We recognize that these activities do not replace classroom instruction. They are intended to be opportunities and resources, but are not mandatory.

We are working on additional resources that will be added to this page beginning April 6th. Thank you for your patience as we are working with our staff remotely to provide ongoing engagement opportunities. Redmond School District is in constant communication with state officials, health departments and the Oregon Department of Education as planning develops.

Although the future is uncertain and the way that we do school is changing before our eyes, I want to remind all of you that we have come this far together and if we can continue to love and support each other through this turbulent and anxious time we will emerge from this intact. I encourage you to provide grace and patience with not only the school system but businesses and our state and local leaders.

Resiliency is the word that comes to mind when I think of our students, staff and families. Sound thinking and a level headed approach to this crisis are the main ingredients for success. I will apologize for not having all of the answers to the most basic questions but I assure you that we will communicate the plans and answers as soon as they are known. The danger is that lately, those very plans and answers are short lived. Things have been and continue to change often, sometimes within the hour. My goal is to get the communication right, not over communicating and annoying anyone while at the same time keeping everyone up to date.

Thank you for your time this afternoon. We value your partnership in supporting our students and hope that you can enjoy a healthy and safe Spring Break.

Mike McIntosh

Superintendent

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