Wyo4News Staff, [email protected]
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (August 21, 2020) — After the first week of school for Sweetwater County School District #1, a message was sent out to families and staff letting them know they are happy to be back in school:
“Hello Sweetwater #1 Families & Staff,
Well, we have successfully made it to the end of the first week of school for this very unique 2020-2021 school year. During this last week, we were reminded again and again of why we chose our professions in education. Seeing the happy and smiling faces of all of our students with teachers truly warms the soul. Sweetwater #1 has weathered a lot of change over the last five months and together we have reopened schools as safe as possible. The students were respectful of our new protocols and procedures. They were respectful of the staff and one another. Thank you for that and for remaining vigilant in our safety efforts and re-opening plan.
The simple truth remains: Teachers need their students, students need their teachers, and we need each other!
We have had a great first week. We are proud of our entire staff, students, and parents for their hard work and preparation. Let’s take a step back and reflect on the amount of change our school community is enduring. A global pandemic is transforming education. Sweetwater #1 is persevering to be on the leading edge of this new reality. But with this tremendous amount of change asked by so many, we must remember that small steps still move us forward. It will take time to adjust to all that is needed from building routines, learning in-person or virtually, teaching in both venues simultaneously, and striving to be together when we are physically apart.
Grace and patience with ourselves and others are critical for success. It’s okay to make mistakes as we navigate the new world of education. Each mistake brings us closer as we learn how to make systems better. In order to accommodate the start of school with classroom-based virtual and in-person teaching, we were required to make significant changes to the way our classrooms operate. Teachers were asked to turn their classrooms upside down and teach in new ways! The same reform efforts were asked of transportation, nutrition services, facilities and custodial, IT, administrators, directors, support staff, and parents . . . we all are evolving to do what is best for kids.
Here are some of the undertakings our school community is embracing:
|Canvas Learning Management System||Google Classroom|
|Google Meetings using iPads and laptops simultaneously||District-wide use of Planbook for teacher lesson planning|
|True Classroom-Based Virtual Education||Recording Lessons|
|Coming Soon – Swivel Cameras||District-wide seating charts for contact tracing|
|Bus drivers taking temperatures||Individual desks vs. tables|
|Building entry with temperature kiosks||Meal service with social distancing|
|Teaching and learning with masks||Specials (PE, Art, Health, Music, Library Media) with social distancing|
|Individual student and staff supplies||Constant cleaning and sanitizing|
Laptops set up for students – 3,793
iPads set up for students – 1,571
Help Desk Tickets opened this week – 1,329
Help Desk Tickets closed this week – 725
TAWK Chats (student support) this week – 242
New Students since Monday, August 17th – 61
We do need your help with a couple of issues. Children who are symptomatic should NOT be in school. Children waiting on the results of a COVID-19 test should NOT be in school. Sending symptomatic children and those awaiting test results to school is compromising our ability to keep staff and students safe. If this continues, it will compromise our ability to keep schools open. We expect EVERYONE on campus to: Mask up, Wash up, Cover-up (coughs and sneezes), Back up (give space), and Clean up.
Enjoy the remainder of your weekend and let’s have an awesome week two! We will pick up the pieces and smooth the next set of challenges we face.
Let’s continue to be the cutting edge District conquering challenges and fearless of change. Sweetwater #1 is a place for all of us. Together, we can do this!”