Sarah Stultz: A whirlwind couple of weeks for educators

Published 8:11 pm Tuesday, August 18, 2020

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I must say, I’ve been quite impressed sitting in on the Albert Lea school board meetings and hearing about all of the planning and discussion that has taken place in the district in recent weeks as students, teachers and administration prepare for the start of another school year with COVID-19.

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While there is always a sense of uncertainty that comes along with unknowns, the district leadership and everyone down to the teachers have worked diligently to make sure the start of the new year runs as smoothly as possible.

Earlier this summer, districts were told to prepare for one of three possible learning models, likely thinking they might have to switch from one to the next at any given time, depending on the levels of COVID-19 in the community. But never did they imagine that they would actually be implementing all three at the same time.

It is quite amazing to think of all the work that has gone into arranging teachers for both the in-person and hybrid learning styles, in addition to those who choose to be involved with the district’s distance learning academy. Then comes arranging schedules of the students, considering families with multiple children, and lining up transportation, meals and classes for each child. Not to mention all the new protocols in place for COVID-19. Wow, what a task!

District administration detailed plans for the start of school during the Monday school board meeting, and board members asked thoughtful questions to find out additional answers for families.

Though it has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for everyone who is a part of the schools, there are now only a few more days until the year officially begins for students.

Our family has chosen to have our son in the in-person setting, and by the time you read this, we will either be getting ready to go to the school or just have gone to the school to meet with his teachers and learn more about the year ahead. 

Am I nervous with all of the precautions and changes? Yes.

Am I excited as I typically am at the start of a new school year? Of course.

I hope that all families in the district, no matter which learning style they choose for their child, will have a successful year. Education is critical to our children’s success, and I think it will be critical for us all as parents to be more involved than ever in the process.

A quote hanging in my office states, “A child without education is like a bird without wings.”

Let’s help give our children their wings.

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.