Q: What have you learned through the process of reopening schools?
A: That processing communication is really important. That means communicating with our state and local health officials, communicating with our public, understanding the “why” behind initiatives and being able to explain those “whys,” and that we may not be right, but if we work together, we can get it right. And, we will continue to work together and communicate and evolve our practices to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students and teachers and staff.
Q: Walk me back to this summer as you were approaching the first day of school. What was it like for your team as you were preparing to bring students back to class?
A: Thankfully we had the foresight to have a team of admin, directors, teachers and even community working on the COVID problem and solution. A lot of the focus was on precautions for mitigating viral transmission, not just identifying solutions, but also sustainability, so funding, supply chains and protocols, and even human capital. For instance, knowing that hand washing and sanitizing are important in viral transmission mitigation, making sure we have increased cleaning supplies, increased hand sanitizer, towels and even custodians to be able to provide that, working backward from there and being able to set those up during the summer so that we could be prepared come August.