WP SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS FIRST HALF REPORT

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Dr. Ricca in one of his virtual interviews he conducts frequently for the school district

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By Dr. Joseph Ricca, White Plains Superintendent of Schools. December 21, 2020:

Dear WPCSD Key Communicator,

Happy Holidays!

It is hard to believe that we are in the holiday season, the first semester is ending and that for the past nine months we have all been dealing with one of the greatest public health challenges in the history of the United States of America and the world. 

Unfortunately, even in the best of times, the holidays are often difficult for some.  This year that challenge is magnified.  2020 brought with it a time of stark contrasts:  the joy and excitement of the season versus the difficulties and misfortunes caused by a horrendous pandemic. 

We know many of our families are struggling and along with our effort to be as supportive as we can, we try to impart the hopefulness and happiness that December usually brings. We are committed to hope and we are determined in our mission to ring in 2021 with positivity and a vision for a better, stronger year for all.

As you know, the WPCSD has operated a hybrid system of in-person and remote instruction since September, with learning opportunities both at home and in school.   We have been fortunate to have had a limited number of cases of COVID-19 among our school community. 

Still, when they do occur, we are quick to act — closing a portion of our facilities and/or quarantining affected people.  In some cases, we have had to close an individual school for a short time. 

We will continue to be vigilant and protect our staff and student population.  Safety is our primary consideration. Still, we are #WPProud that we continue to press forward and look for ways to bring stability and continuity to our children and community, wherever possible.

We cannot thank our staff and community partners enough for their dedication and commitment to our students and their families.  They have all gone beyond the ‘call of duty’ to provide whatever is needed to keep us moving forward, not only academically, but socially and emotionally.

If 2020 showed us something, it certainly showed us the everyday heroes in our community, those willing to do whatever it takes to move us forward. We are grateful for all and their on-going efforts to bring support to those in need.

Through the challenges of the pandemic, our students continue to amaze us!  Our students and staff continue to look for new ways to spread joy and share their accomplishments. The High School Theatre Unlimited production was an original play written by WPHS Senior Max Kohn called “A. I. Certification.”  It was created specifically for a Zoom performance and directed by WPHS Teacher, Seren Cepler.  You can enjoy this one-of-a-kind work HERE

We are also very proud of our Fall Scholar-Athletes who were honored at the December Board of Education Meeting – 78 members of six athletic teams with 90-or-better averages.  Athletic Director Matt Cameron and our WPHS coaches led a video tribute available HERE. And, let’s hear it for WPHS Senior Christopher Cardenas! Chris was nominated to the US Presidential Scholars program – a tremendous honor. We are so very proud of Christopher and we hope you share in our #WPPride!

Finally, don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/wpschools, our website, www.whiteplainspublicschools.org and twitter:  www.twitter.com/wplainsschools 

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

On behalf of the WPCSD Board of Education and the entire WPCSD educational community, we wish you all the very best for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!              

Respectfully,

Joseph Ricca

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