This article was contributed by the Hollister School District.
The governing board of the Hollister School District is expressing its appreciation to all the people of our community that have come together during this time of crisis. These are unprecedented and very difficult times. Everything we know about day-to-day education has been thrown out the window and no one knows where it will land.
During these uncertain times, the Hollister School District did not sit back. Our employees at all levels took action and we want to recognize them. The parents who have now had to become the hands-on educators of the children of the Hollister School District are heroes.
There are too many shining stars to acknowledge each one here, but we would like to point out some examples that give us faith that we have what it will take to survive this crisis, and even be better when it is resolved.
A fundamental part of elementary education is making sure nutrition is available to all students. This has not stopped during the crisis. The week of April 15, we served 50,000 meals. Their real accomplishment? The staff involved in this undertaking have had to reconfigure their operations from serving individual meals on eight campuses to serving a weeks’ worth of meals delivered on a drive-through basis, not only for our schools, but those of two other school districts as well that do not have the capabilities we do.
Teachers have had to figure out how to keep their students academically engaged, separated now by distance, and having no control over the learning environment. Creating academic content in paper and online form is not what was in their lesson planning four weeks ago. We know nothing about how effective this is, which is terribly frustrating for any professional, but our teachers continue with dedication with what ultimately will be a trial and error exercise.
We educate in a digital world that was not settled before the crisis, but what we were doing with technology also got turned upside down when we took children out of the classroom. Many of our families do not have computers in their homes or ones that can be consistently shared. Our information technology department and other school district employees recently distributed 2,000 devices to students lacking access so that they too could participate in what will soon be a common term: distant learning.
We ask that you join us and applaud the employees, parents and students of the Hollister School District during these difficult times.