A+ Schools and COVID-19

Message from the Director

Dear A+ Schools Leaders, Educators, Partners, and Friends,

My colleagues and I on the A+ Schools team hope this finds each of you and your families safe and healthy. People everywhere are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The pandemic is affecting all of our families, our schools, our communities, and our way of life. First and foremost, our hearts go out to any of you who are sick or who have a sick loved one, and we extend our heartfelt wishes for a full recovery. While this is certainly a challenging time, it is also bringing out the best in people. We are inspired by all of you and so many more who are working daily to feed and care for others and provide learning, resources, and support.

During this time, we want to stay connected to our A+ leaders, teachers, schools, and communities and offer support and resources as we confront these new challenges together. Jennifer Huggins, Tom Nevels, and I, working from our homes, are gathering and culling resources that might help schools and families. Some of these can be found on the A+ Resources for Educators During COVID-19 page. We are also posting resources daily on our A+ Schools Facebook page that are appropriate both for teachers and families, and our LiveBinder has a wealth of resources and links. The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is also offering NCLearn@Home.

In addition, the North Carolina Arts Council has posted messages from the executive director, Wayne Martin, along with many resources for the arts industry, including information on grants and artist relief funds and resources for artists and arts organizations. You can find all of these resources on the COVID-19 and the Arts page on the Arts Council’s website. We are glad to be a part of the Arts Council, especially now as we all deal with these challenges together and explore new ways to support our constituents.

To gauge what our network needs most from A+ Schools, now and in the near future, we are seeking input from A+ leaders across the state. With cancellations of onsite professional development activities and our Regional A+ Schools Leadership Meetings, we are looking for ways to stay connected through virtual gatherings or online learning or resources. If you have an idea how we can support your work, or the work of teachers, schools, and parents, please email me at michelle.burrows@ncdcr.gov or call me at (919) 618-6175 (cell).

We are planning a virtual A+ Schools Leadership Meeting in mid- to late April, followed by additional virtual networking opportunities. We will share information about these events soon. In addition, we are following day-to-day recommendations of our department as we look ahead to our summer conferences. At this moment, we don’t know what the summer will bring, but we will keep you posted as things develop. In the meantime, should you decide or discover that attending the summer A+ Schools conference you are currently registered for is not going to be feasible for your school, or you want to discuss summer options, please contact me.

Although we can’t be together in person, we remain focused on our network of A+ schools and your continued success and sustainability. We look forward to finding new ways to connect and communicate with each of you. Please stay safe and in touch.

Warmly,

Michelle Burrows

Michelle Burrows, Director
A+ Schools of North Carolina