Greetings Cypress School Community,

As we wrap up our Extended School Year, which marks the end of the 2019-2020 school year, it is really hard to capture in words what a year it has been.  I want to thank our staff and families for navigating the challenges we faced during this school year by maintaining our support network and keeping engaged and connected.  I also want to acknowledge our district partners who have been helpful in collaborating and coming up with creative solutions to the unique obstacles we have been presented with.  We look forward to a new school year of continued and renewed creativity to propose practical and meaningful solutions to the challenges we will undoubtedly face. 

Reflecting on the recent passing of John Lewis and the extraordinary life he led has given me some perspective that challenges that seem insurmountable can be overcome with persistence and a calm resolve.  This pandemic has forced us out of our routines and many of us are experiencing a restless impulse to move beyond it.  However, when we try to rush the process, we find ourselves further delayed.  We have to limit our activity, the company we come in close contact with, our proximity to others.  Within those limits, we have to find a way to stay connected to our community and engage so that we can make it stronger, make it more inclusive, and make it more loving. 

Thank you to the parents who attended our behavior training Monday.  I hope some of the tips shared can be applied to create a more comfortable home environment and provide pleasurable learning experiences.  You will be hearing from your teachers soon about our new and improved distance learning plan for the fall semester.  I want to thank our curriculum consultant Colleen Arnold for her leadership of our amazing distance learning team.  I also would like to acknowledge Addie and Isabel, our lead teachers at primary and secondary for helping to imagine and implement our new distance program with more live interactive opportunities, as well as independently accessible content.  We have worked hard to come up with something that both meets the requirements set forth by the state and is responsive to the needs of families based on feedback we have received. 

We will work with families to come up with a schedule that allows participation and access to be individualized to the strengths and needs of our students and in recognition of the in-person support that may be needed and unable to be offered currently.  It is important that families who are not participating in the live interactive virtual classroom activities maintain regular contact with teachers, therapists and the Cypress team.  We hope to be able to offer some in-person support soon, but in the meantime, we will continue our remote program and services.  We can adjust to make participation more practical and meaningful on an individual basis, but that is a collaborative process that requires your commitment as a family to make it happen. 

If you have chosen to take part in our Adaptive Behavior Program Summer Session for the next two weeks, enjoy! We delivered materials yesterday and have two weeks of great classes learning languages, moving your bodies, making music and art and more.  Our staff are excited to see you then!  To those of you taking a “break,” I hope you get some time to prioritize recreation and relaxation and make it a part of your routine. 

We have a full day of staff training on 8/17 and will start our new school year and new schedule 8/18.  Our next parent meeting is scheduled for 8/24 at 2:30pm.  I want to send appreciation to our amazing staff, to our wonderful parents, and to our students.  Thank you for your patience and perseverance. 


Nate Yates

Director of Educational and Behavioral Services

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