Hope Amid Crisis

Schools Find Ways to Connect with Students Amid Closures
Posted on 04/06/2020
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Many teachers and individuals with the Carson City School District are finding innovative ways to connect with students and families during mandated school closures from the COVID-19 pandemic. From encouraging online videos from principals and staff to thoughtful messages pressed into the fences at school sites, educators are finding ways to instill some hope, security and stability in a very fluid and volatile environment.

“These past several weeks, students and families have had to implement a lot of new changes in their regular day-to-day routines, and with those changes, many, particularly the younger population, may not have adjusted well,” said Christine Lenox, Ed.D. and director of student support services for the Carson City School District. “Maybe some have adjusted to this new environment. Likely though, there is an underlining sense of anxiety, a sense of confusion or dis-order.”

Those stresses are compounded with parents learning to work from home or worse being laid off, she said. There are also families figuring out Remote Learning, students being cooped up without an outlet or regular connection with their friends, a growing uncertainty of an un-seeable threat from a highly contagious virus and earthquakes to boot.

“There is still much to be hopeful for, though,” Lenox said. “There are many supports and resources. So many people with the Carson City School District who are doing so much good in an unprecedented format.”

Although there are many untold stories and examples, below are some of the more recent things happening within the Carson City School District.

  • In lieu of missing Band-O-Rama, the elementary, middle and high school bands performed from self-isolated homes in a combined musical performance online.
  • Students at Empire Elementary School are enjoying weekly messages via YouTube from their Principal Susan Squires.
  • Principal Paula Zona and staff from Seeliger Elementary have video shout outs to help put students at ease.
  • Mrs. Bethany Herman, P.E. teacher at Fritsch Elementary School organized a “Ball Drop” where she cleaned up and delivered playground toys/balls to students to use for outdoor fun or recess at home.
  • Educators at Mark Twain Elementary School created a “We Miss You” sign on the fence in front of their school.
  • At Bordewich Bray Elementary, Principal Lisa Hutchison provided a morning announcement to families and students.
  • The teachers and staff from Fremont Elementary School crated a video for their students so they could see many of their teachers.
  • Carson High School created a virtual nod for prom and prom candidates.
  • Digital platforms are being utilized to meet the needs of special education students.
  • Many students in particular who may have been intimidated in the classroom and don’t normally speak up, have opened up in conversation via video conferencing.
  • Telatherapay platforms are also assisting speech students.
  • Meals are prepared and distributed daily for those students and families in need.
  • And so much more.

“There is hope. There is peace. We feel deeply and are concerned for the wellbeing and physical health of all our students,” said Richard Stokes, superintendent for the Carson City School District. “I know these are challenging times. We all miss our school friends and teachers and look forward to the time when school things can be ‘Normal’ again. Until then, keep being strong. Focus on the things you can control like your school and home responsibilities and duties. Be hopeful. Things will be okay.”