From the Superintendent
Dear Fort Zumwalt Community,
It has been one year since Fort Zumwalt School District, in cooperation with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health and the other four school districts in St. Charles County, closed our doors to staff and students in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the time since, all categories of Fort Zumwalt staff and all corners of the Fort Zumwalt community have come together to ensure that teaching and learning continued in person and online. Together we found a way to provide as typical a school year for almost 18,000 students, Pre-K – 12, as we could during the pandemic. It hasn’t been easy, but, as they say, nothing worth doing ever is.
There have been sacrifices. Parents and guardians have committed themselves to assisting with online learning. Families have taken on transportation to help keep high school students in their activities. Teachers have taken on new ways of teaching and staff have implemented new practices and procedures to minimize exposure of our buildings. The district was forced to deficit spend, but provided important components of the Return 2020 plan to keep in-person instruction safe and online instruction effective.
There have been many celebrations. Students, staff and community members have pulled together to ensure those in need had access to resources. At Thanksgiving alone more than 1,700 turkeys were donated to No Hunger Holiday by the Fort Zumwalt community. The South High boys soccer team won a state championship. The North High boys basketball team finished fourth in the state. Our high school students have participated in their state-sanctioned and co-curricular activities. And our performing arts groups found innovative ways to ensure that their shows went on.
Now, three quarters of a pandemic school year is behind us. Even a tough stretch of weather didn’t really slow us down. Because of what we’ve learned this past year, we were able to use Alternative Method of Instruction Days to keep students engaged online and will only have to make up one of the six days canceled due to weather.
Students and teachers are on Spring Break and Election Day is next week. We have two items on the April 6 ballot. You can learn more about the candidates running for two 3-year terms on the Board of Education on our website, fz.k12.mo.us. You can learn more about Proposition Strong Schools in the graphic at left or at go.FZSD.us/StrongSchools.
Now we must remain diligent. The mitigation practices I have written about so often remain the most effective way for us to fight the virus, especially its newer strains, and finish the 2020-2021 school year strong. Wear a mask. Wash your hands often and well. Watch that you are social distancing as much as possible. Limit your contacts. Spread in our schools consistently has been lower than 2 percent and, as we approach the finish line, I know we each will continue to do our part.
Thank you for your trust in our schools and for your support during this pandemic school year. Stay safe, and enjoy Spring Break from March 29 – April 6, which is a Professional Development Day for teachers. Classes will resume Wednesday April 7.
Dr. Bernard DuBray