Letter to the Editor: Celebrating the end of the school year

As the 2019-2020 School year draws to a close, I am reflecting on the challenges our students have overcome and the achievements accomplished despite these many challenges. From ferry cancellations resulting in the loss of many learning opportunities, to plane crashes, to COVID-19, this year our students have faced events that no-one could have predicted or prepared for. Despite this landscape, students, families, staff, administration and community members have persevered and continuously demonstrated their commitment to education.

With the onset of COVID-19 and the state mandates to close school buildings, in a matter of weeks, the school district retooled how education is provided. Staff developed and delivered online curriculum. Students mastered the art of online school and showed up for class in their living rooms. Parents took on the role of teacher’s aides and academic coaches. The administration reallocated resources, made sure students had the devices and technology they needed and in addition, made sure students were fed. Community partners including CTC, GCI and Cordova Valley Telephone ensured that all students had the internet and data access they needed to do school.

And the end results? We all learned a great deal. Our students learned valuable skills: skills they will take with them for the rest of their lives; skills that include perseverance, problem solving, how to rejoin a Zoom meeting, to not speak over one another during an online discussion, how to pay attention when there are a lot of distractions. They were forced to be more self-directed, more independent learners. They learned that their teachers and aides missed them, a lot!

And our seniors graduated! They were accepted to colleges and trade schools and apprenticeships and jobs. They planned and executed their futures.

There are days of uncertainty. We are not sure of what the future will bring. We do not know how long we will have to wear masks in public, limit our social contact, take our temperatures, worry about our elders. One thing is very sure — Cordova supports education and supports our children. We have a school district and a community and a future to be proud of.

Barb Jewell
Chair, Cordova School District Board of Education