Submitted by Kari McVeigh
I am writing today to express GRATITUDE. During this time of the coronavirus pandemic, I am extremely grateful that to date, our island has no known cases.
I am grateful for a community that overwhelmingly supports our students by passing levies. It is our Capital and Technology levy that has allowed us to be able to purchase enough Chromebooks so that every student from kindergarten through high school can access teleschooling instruction from their teachers. In addition, I am grateful for Rock Island Technology Solutions for stepping up to provide internet access to those families previously without. What a team!
I am grateful for Kevin Cooper, our Director of Technology, and Bre Urness-Straight, our Director of Instructional Technology, who are each on a part-time contract from Northwest Educational Service District but have been giving 1000 percent to our district. Cooper and Urness-Straight have made sure that the instructional technology our teachers need is ready and that our teachers are ready to use it. Bre is providing our teachers, paraeducators and their substitutes with the training and support they will need to provide state of the art instruction through the teleschooling model.
I am grateful to our technology support staff, Deb Nicholson and Ray Adams, whose tireless work has helped us get ready for this transition and will provide the technical support we will need in the upcoming weeks. Weeks ago, this dedicated technology team began putting our plans in place, ensuring we are all ready to create continuous positive learning environments for our students. What a team!
I am grateful for our amazing teachers who have taken up the banner of creating the best possible educational experiences for their students using a brand new medium for the first time. The amount of creativity I am seeing from our teachers is nothing short of remarkable. Their care and nurturance of their students shines brightly in all of their conversations. What a team!
I am grateful for all of our support staff; our custodians; bus drivers; office staff; food services and substitute staff; who have consistently rolled up their sleeves and said, “How can I help?” They are and have always been rocks of support in our collective school system. It continues to be clear that we could not do any of this without them. What a team!
I am grateful for my administrative team, who never faltered when asked to begin planning for this possibility. They have challenged each other and me by continually exploring new ways to ensure that each of our students does not lose educational time during our teleschooling experiences. Because of their planning, we are only closing school for three days and can provide these amazing real-time educational experiences for your children. What a team!
I am grateful for our parents who have patiently waited to allow us to let this plan unfold. I thank you for the active parenting that goes into ensuring your student stays on track with all the demands of teleschooling. What a team!
Mostly, however, I am grateful for the collective grace shared across our community. We are all truly in this together. What a Team!