Forth Quarter Prep
Posted by Larry Roth on 3/22/2021
A year ago, schools across the state and nation were just beginning to come to grips that our world was going to significantly change. Our teachers and students were venturing into the unknown. With only a week to shift the entire education process, our teachers and support staff begin to work on tackling this monumental challenge. At that time, May 19, 2020, was on every Sedgwick educator's mind. We have to make it to the end of the year.
Fast forward to Fourth Quarter 2021. We are still grappling with the challenges of the pandemic. Our students have seen enormous changes in their lives both inside our buildings and in their world. I have to say, our students have done great! Our educators have done great! They rose to the challenges and met them head on.
Despite all the challenges, there are some positive discoveries that have been made over the past year. The new commons area was created out of necessity for more space. Many of our students found eating outside was a place for conversation and sunshine. More classes have been held outside. New ways to provide support services have been discovered at the elementary school. In fact, there have been positive changes in the elementary school's processes and even culture. Even the dreaded annual flu season was for the most part, nonexistent this year. I can only attribute to distancing, masks, and frequent handwashing.
Now we are at a time when many of our staff have received the vaccination. As we move towards "normal", it is time for the Cardinal team to make a comeback. Massive changes have caused many students to fall behind academically. Our goal over the next year and perhaps beyond is to establish programs to help bridge any gaps. This may include extended summer programs, after school programs, and extended credit recovery. Much of this will depend on how the Emergency Elementary and Secondary School Relief Fund is made available. Because the Kansas Legislature is considering using the dollars to backfill its obligation to provide general school funding. Using ESSER funds in this way abandons the true intention of the ESSER 2 funds. Because of the legislative actions, school districts may not know if these funds will be available for academic recovery until May.
The last thought as we enter the final quarter of school year 20-21 is a question I have heard several times over the past month. When will we know when the pandemic is over? There is not as a conclusive answer for that. Positive changes are being made. the Center for Disease Control now says that distancing can be reduced from six feet to three feet. Mask mandates are being modified. Social gatherings are seeing less restrictive guidelines.
So in regard to the end to a very challenging year here at Sedgwick, there is light at the end of the tunnel. There will be a Prom. There will be an Eighth Grade Promotion and Class of 2021 Graduation. Things will continue to progress back to "normal". Our students have continued to show resilience and perseverance. We have a lot to celebrate here at 439. Go Cardinals!