CCSD2 Staff Understand the Big Picture
Despite missing students, teachers and staff understand need for school closures
April 15, 2020
“The Carbon County School District No 2 (CCSD2) decided to use the Saratoga High School stadium to honor all our seniors who were not able to participate in their spring activities this school year, as well as show our support of our local first responders, medical personnel and all others who are risking their own well-being during this pandemic by participating in the nationwide ‘Be the Light’ campaign this Friday,” Zach Schmidt, assistant principal and former Saratoga High School head wrestling coach said on April 10. “The lights go on at 8:20 p.m. because in military time that translates into 20:20 and doing it for 20 minutes is also a tribute to the seniors of this year.”
Schmidt said he is proud of how the students are responding in this time of crisis.
“I am ecstatic with how the kids have participated in the Adaptive Learning Plan. There has been a 100 percent attendance,” Schmidt said happily. “The teachers and staff have come together and it shows.”
He said it has not been easy not to have the students back in school.
“Selfishly, we want the kids back to interact with personally but there is a bigger picture,” Schmidt said. “It is about keeping the staff and kids safe. We will get through this together.”
Shelly Cooper, last year ‘s CCSD2 Teacher of the Year, concurred with Schmidt’s assessment.
“It is not easy to be out of the classroom, but the teachers at CCSD2 are doing their best to make the shift a little bit easier for our students,” Cooper said. “We are trying to connect with our classes by using internet meeting sites, email, phone calls, posters, Twitter, messenger and many other options.”
She said the students are also doing their part during this time of crisis.
“Our students are trying to reach out and keep up with their studies,” Cooper said. “It is not easy but they are giving it their best shot.”
Cooper said it has taken effort by all concerned for the students’ education to make the tough situation of school closure work.
“I have been able to hold classes, have book discussions, and conduct study sessions with many of my students,” Cooper said. “Parents are taking the lead and helping their children with learning activities. I have heard of board games being played, crafts being made and cooking being enjoyed. I am so happy to see that families are trying to pull together and help each other get through this pandemic.”
Cooper pointed out there are many staff members working hard to see this time of closure through.
“Secretaries are holding down the fort, principals are working double time, cooks are making /handing out lunches, nurses are sending out health videos/articles and custodians are working hard to keep our facilities safe,” Cooper said. We are all in this together.”
Cooper said “there have been new skills she has learned since the schools closed down”.
“So far, I have been learning about Zoom, Google Classroom, and how to make a webpage. I am trying to figure out the best plan of action to make sure that all my students are connecting and getting the supplies they need,” Cooper explained. “I wish that things could be different and that we all could be back in the classroom but, until things change, we will just have to make the best of it.”
Dario Soto, the beloved octogenarian P.E. teacher at Medicine Bow and Hanna, Elk Mountain, Medicine Bow Middle School head basketball coach has been having his “Mr. Soto Field Day” for more years than he cares to count. Each year in May, he has elementary students from Hanna, Elk Mountain and Medicine Bow participate in a series of physical games and competition that teach students lessons of team work. It is the highlight for many students. Soto will admit it is his favorite time of year. He is hopeful, that there is a chance the “Field Day” won’t be cancelled this year.
“Its not a true school year unless field day happens,” Soto said wistfully. “I have sent the kids sheets on how to take advantage of nice weather days on individual activities they can do, so at least they are still getting some exercise.”
Soto admits he loves to teach the kids each year and the closure is sad for him.
“I might be sad not to be around the kids teaching them like I am used to, but it is more important than anything for them to be safe,” Soto concluded. “Like everyone says, we will get through this together.”