I just read a great article in the NYS School Boards Association newsletter entitled "Let' stop saying 'our kids are behind'". The phrase "our kids are behind" begs to ask, "behind what?" Children worldwide have had their education interrupted for a variety of reasons and in a number of ways over the past year. Education changed, but it did not stop.
Our students are stressed, anxious, lonely, worried, frustrated and afraid of what happens next. They live in the moment and for many they are fearful of what tomorrow brings rather than being excited. As for their education, they are learning as they have been since last spring when we went to remote learning. Skills and content are taught in school, and retaught more than once. When a child struggles to learn something we wrap around intervention strategies to assist with their agency to learn. Learning never stopped. Along with the standard curriculum our children learned a lot more in regards to civics, health, science and data.
As an educational community we need to worry less about where students fall on yearly benchmarks and care more about what they really need to know. Today's educational communities have embraced change at an incredible speed and changed the formatting of learning in less than a month. Since last march we have mastered a variety of learning platforms, learned a lot about hygiene and the spreading of germs, we have devised a schedule where students learn together whether they are here at SVCS or at home. We have learned empathy for our world in which we live, we have learned how to show our love for one another when we cannot be near one another, cannot see everyone, nor be near everyone.
Unlike many other schools across the nation, SVCS has provided a warm and caring school for all our students, whether they chose to come here or learn remotely. We model good citizenship, love and commitment and have provided for our students in ways that other districts are just beginning to contemplate.
No, we are not behind. We are changed, for the better or not so better. No one will miss not having to wear a mask, and everyone will enjoy the ability to see one another's smile. We are not behind because our staff is here and our students and their families trust and respect you. We are and shall always be, Cougar Strong!
Dr. Susan Vickers