Principal Update: April 6, 2020
I hope this message finds you and your families safe...
As you know on April 2nd, our superintendent Denise Jaramillo announced that students would not be returning to campuses in Alhambra Unified this school year. This of course, included us at Emery Park.
The safety of students and families has to come first for all of us. This is why the decision was made. It was a difficult one, but with COVID-19 numbers continuing to climb across the country, physically closing schools for now had to be done.
My immediate reaction was definitely an emotional one. I will miss the morning valet line on Orange Grove, our Monday assemblies, seeing the students every day, talking to parents on Meridian after school, watching our wonderful teachers in action, and working with our amazing support staff, etc. Schools are a people business. Emery Park is no different. When there are no people, it stings, a lot.
But, despite our collective hurt, we forge ahead. We will be committed as a school to get through April and May together. The way we do business for now will change. Our learning will be done through distance. Our connecting will be done through distance. Connecting will still be of extreme importance to myself, and to the staff.
I ask that you remain patient with us as we navigate new, online ways of connecting with our students. We have to make sure that we are doing so safely. There have been several verified media reports of hackers getting into Zoom meetings across the country with inappropriate messages. Our kids have been through enough. We have to make certain that however we communicate, the risk isn't extreme.
To our 8th grade parents and our 8th grade students, my heart breaks for all of you. This isn't how you or we wanted your time to end at Emery Park. The highlight of the year is always promotion at Alhambra Park. Don't let this setback define your time with us! You have been a credit to the school, and your legacy at Emery is not done yet! We will be in touch soon in regards to several things that will still come your way, the panoramic photo, and the yearbook. Our staff is still committed to finishing the yearbook for all students. :)
To all parents, please make sure that you have connected with your child's teacher regarding distance learning. Distance learning resumes Tuesday, April 7th, and it is expected that all students participate. I am concerned teachers have shared with me they have not heard from some families. If you need any help connecting with distance learning, please let us know. Next week staff members will be calling families that have not connected with their child's teacher for distance learning.
During this new normal of online learning, our teachers will be working to make sure that we help you strike a balance between your child continuing to learn, and parents taking care of your household while everyone is at home. It's hard right now. We understand completely. We don't want to add to your stress levels. The most important thing is that you stay healthy, and our children stay healthy. Not just physical health, but mental health too. Our support staff will be working to check in and connect with students as needed. Please stay connected with us. I will continue to respond to all emails, plus you can leave a message at school and your call will be returned. The team will remain fully committed to being accessible, despite our office being closed.
I end with this tonight. In today's LA Times, columnist Bill Plaschke highlighted the late Kobe Bryant's election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Plaschke recalled Bryant's sentiments after Bryant sustained a devastating Achilles tendon injury in 2013.
Bryant posted a message on his Facebook the night he was injured that read, "There are far greater challenges in the world than a torn Achilles...find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive, and same conviction as ever."
We're ready to get to work. Emery Park will be back. We are small, but forever mighty.
With appreciation and gratitude,
Jeremy M. Infranca
Principal, Emery Park