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July 29, 2020

Danforth Jr. High Newsletter
Monday, July 27th, 2020

Principal’s Message
I really wish my first 20-21 Newsletter for Danforth parents was about topics like our just completed classrooms in the new addition to the school. I could write long paragraphs about those eight classrooms, the art room, the new locker rooms and everything else out there. I’d tell you all about our improved security measures and maybe even when the first dance was going to happen. But it's 2020 and know….this year looks like it’s going to be different……..and sadly, no dances for the foreseeable future.

My name is Greg Howard and I'm the Principal here at Danforth Jr. High. I've been here for a while and some of you already know me and our amazing staff here at the Jr. High. Some reading this are brand new to our campus. You would typically have questions about the school year and I would know those answers. As you know, normal and typical are gone and all of us just seem to want information about health, safety and academics. Fortunately many of your questions have been addressed in a document the district sent out titled "Return to School Procedure Handbook". Something that’s not addressed in that lengthy handbook is what some of the day to day will look like here at the school if you choose face-to-face instruction. As always, our goal at this campus is to keep students safe and provide them with a comfortable learning environment. In this time of COVID we’ll try to eliminate large gatherings of students. According to the Governor’s order, masks will be required. When car riders are dropped off, those students will proceed immediately to their first period classroom unless they need to grab a breakfast in the cafeteria. If they do that, we’ll make sure they are socially distanced and then move on to class. Bus riders will also go to their first period class unless they need a breakfast. We are not assigning lockers this year so that should help with crowding in our hallways. During the school day we’ll have a plan in place that only allows two students at a time in the restroom. During passing periods we’ll have one way hallway traffic in common areas of the cafeteria during transition. At lunch we’re going to open up the outside area so our cafeteria is not overcrowded. At dismissal car riders/walkers will be released at 3:15. Once a student leaves the building they are not allowed to return inside or to the bus area. They need to be picked up or leave immediately. Bus riders will stay in their 7th period class until an announcement is made to go to the bus area.

That’s just a quick snapshot of a day. For some of you, the information I shared will give you the snapshot you needed in order to feel like you have a sense of what we are doing. Others of you will have additional questions and that’s okay. Please call me and let me know what those thoughts are and I’ll get you answers. I have talked to many parents this summer and we all know until we actually begin in person (Sept. 8th) we won’t really know how all this goes. And of course Synchronous and Asynchronous bring up many questions as well. We’ll constantly adjust any plan we have until we get it right for teachers, parents and most importantly students.

Most of the communication you’ll receive each week will take the form of these Newsletters. I hope in the future we’ll be talking about band, choir and athletics. But right now it’s difficult to know exactly what all of that will look like. I do know that your child’s health and safety will continue to be our number one priority. We’ve always wanted them to be safe in our parking lot, classrooms, hallways and cafeteria. This year we obviously have additional concerns for health. We’ll continually address those and make adjustments when needed. As we’ve always done here at Danforth, our staff will do our very best to take care of your children whether they are in-person or at home receiving instruction.

If you continue to have questions please email me at or give me a call at 512-847-2181. Thank you for your time. I hope your family is continuing to have a healthy and safe summer.
Greg Howard, Principal