Thanksgiving Message from Superintendent Ragon

November 24, 2020

Dear Manhattan 114 Staff and Families,

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday break, I’d like to share a message to all of our staff and families expressing my sincere thanks and gratitude. 

In normal years, it’s a simple message of appreciation and thankfulness for being allowed to be a small part of such a great community and school district. However, COVID-19 has shaken everyone’s world and the positives that are occurring in our district can easily be overshadowed by the unprecedented challenges we face. If we choose to do so, we can focus on all of the challenges and everything that we have lost during this time, rather than focus on everything positive that has come from yet another challenge that we have had to face in this lifetime. I hope you will choose to focus on all of the positives with me, especially the people who have had and continue to make a difference in our schools and our community. 

With that in mind, I thought deeper about what I am thankful for this school year. What I realized is I have even more gratitude for …

My family and friends, our teachers, who have adapted to incredibly difficult circumstances, our parents who altered their work schedules and their lives for their children, our custodial staff for keeping buildings clean and sanitized, and my other administrators for their leadership. Mostly, I have gratitude for our students who have demonstrated tremendous patience and understanding as they navigate new learning models and the social and emotional challenges through this pandemic. Finally, let us not forget all of our first responders and their unending efforts to provide care and comfort for everyone that has become very ill. We cannot begin to measure their time and sacrifice for all of our benefit.

At the end of the day, each of us are trying to do the best we can under incredibly difficult circumstances. It hasn’t always gone smoothly, but I believe we have learned a lot since the first day of school that will make us more prepared and stronger for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year and beyond. 

Please be safe and happy over the next several days as all of you decide how you will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We will return on Monday, November 30th, to Full Remote Learning through Friday, December 18th, then for the first two weeks after Winter break, January 5th - January 15th. We will recognize Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 18th before returning to school and in-person learning on Tuesday, January 19th, with a full remote option for families that choose to do so.   

While this school year has not been what anyone would wish for, I hope each of you can still find gratitude and plenty that you are thankful for this holiday season. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Sincerely,

Rusty Ragon

Superintendent of Schools