Governor’s Emergency School Closing Order

Good Evening Families of HCPS Students:

As most of you have already heard, Governor Northam announced this afternoon his emergency order to close all schools in the Commonwealth for the remainder of the school year.  This decision comes as a result of the continued community spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus throughout our state and nation.  I know that I can personally speak for over 500 of our instructional personnel when I say that while we understand this decision, we are absolutely devastated.  We love your children with all of our hearts, and we are overcome with emotion trying to rethink and redesign "education" for them (but without them) over the next three months.  We do not have any specific answers at this time; however, our state superintendent has promised us specific guidance within the next 24 hours in the following areas:
1.  HHS Class of 2020 High School Graduation
2.  Continued provision of school meals to Hopewell children
3.  Childcare support for emergency, first responder and essential personnel
4.  Continuity of learning through the end of the year for all students
5.  Awarding of credit for students in grades K-11.
Here's what we do know right now:
1.  We will get through this together.
2.  Our HHS Senior Class WILL have a prom and graduation ceremony when it is safe to do so.
3.  We will continue to provide food service to our students indefinitely, including during Spring Break.
4.  We have some of the most dedicated educators ever, who will work tirelessly on behalf of your and "our" children.  We will get them through the content for this year one way or another!
5.  We have mobilized administrative action teams in the following areas to begin a longer-term approach at "schooling" in Hopewell:  Student Wellness, Staff Wellness, Instructional Continuity, Telework Accountability, Communication and Accessibility with Building Closures, Budget Preparation, Balanced Calendar Implementation, Teacher Recruitment, Staff Professional Development and Expanded Food Services.
For now, let's all do our part in social distancing and following all of the guidelines for slowing the spread of this horrible virus.  The sooner we can get a handle on it, the sooner we will be reunited with "our" children.  Thank you as always, for your trust and confidence.  We miss and love our students so much, and if we work together, we will not only get through this, we will be better because of it.  I will update this notice tomorrow night.  Blessings to all!  Please hug your children for me.  HCPS is not the same without their precious faces.
Melody Hackney
Melody Hackney, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Hopewell City Public Schools