The world has changed so much since my last community communication. Everyone is practicing social distancing and we are all monitoring the spread of COVID-19. While the world may have changed in many ways that we are uncomfortable with there are still many elements of positivity to be seen.
While the limitations on unnecessary travel have impeded our ability to get out and about, these limitations have also forced us to spend more time with our family. During this time of social distancing we have had more time to connect and spend time with our immediate family. Rather than constantly chasing down the endless activities and following our favorite sports teams, we can now concentrate on chasing down our kids and following the course of their lives. Could it be that a pandemic while catastrophic, could also be instrumental in refocusing us on what is really important?
The governor has given schools three very important tasks during this time: providing daycare for first responders, healthcare workers, and specified critical sector employees; providing meals for children age 18 and under; and providing distance education for our students.
We were given an eight day planning window in order to deliver on these expectations and the staff at Crookston Public Schools used this time to great effect. I have been so impressed by our staff’s dedication and diligence during this time. Our distance learning staff composed of Paraprofessionals and Teachers were charged not only with the creation of this plan but also with the delivery of instruction starting on March 30th. As I write this, we are presently on day three of implementation. While there are a few issues that we have had or will have to address, overall the rollout was fairly successful. We continue to adjust as with any major change in systems.
The Food Service Staff and Transportation Staff have been busy working on preparing and delivering meals to students who are in need of meal transportation. What started out as a little more than 400 meals has grown to 862 meals a day as of yesterday. If a student is in need of a meal, they should call Highland Elementary School and we will prepare a meal for you as we want to make sure that this important service is offered to all students. If transportation is an issue, we can deliver this meal within city limits.
Our Paraprofessionals and Educational Aide’s are currently staffing a childcare center at both Washington School and Highland School to provide care for staff of critical sector workers, first responders, and healthcare staff during this time. We average around 40 students each day in these programs. The philosophy with this program is that we need to support those that support us each day.
Lastly, I want to thank the community of Crookston for your generosity and care during this situation. Whether it is donations, show of support for our restaurants and local businesses, helping out your neighbor, or simply following social distancing parameters to keep others safe, it all helps during this very difficult time.
At some point life will return to normal and I hope that we will all be proud of the way that we treated each other and the way that we helped those around us. It is times such as this that reveal our character. Take care of those around you and once again thank you for your support of Crookston Public Schools!