What are my thoughts? What should I write about during my end-of-year communication? I came up with one word: “We.”
We did this!
We took the path less traveled!
We listened to our community and we acted on it!
We were here for our students when they needed us most!
We accommodated staff when they were in need!
Let us go back…
On March 10, 2020 we were given our first update on what was coming. At that time, I was convinced we would stay open until the larger society issue became an issue here at CVCC. We, as a staff, began to prepare. Remote lessons, restrictions on gathering at the building, and communication with health officials. Then came March 12, 2020: CVCC shuttered its doors. We took these actions to care for our families and our students. We learned quickly the ramifications of remote life.
Negatives – runs on the grocery stores, where to setup video conferencing in our homes, our stress relief processes went out the window (gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, and other locations closed).
Positives – we spent time cooking meals, we listened to our old favorite songs, we binged entire shows (mine was Breaking Bad), and we made a point of reaching out to each other.
Even with our doors closed, “We” never stopped working. I participated in teachers’ remote courses and “WOW” what an outstanding job! Central Office staff, among other key personnel, never stopped reporting in order to keep the organization running. Adult programs that were currently running started planning their return. Nursing and EMT students needed to finish their training so they could assist with the pandemic. I’m not sure everyone knows, but throughout this time we had weekly meetings with the leadership of both employee groups and the emergency response team. We began to plan for reopening.
Communication was key. How do we get the information we need? How do we share our plan? And how do others share with us? We created our plan. We stuck with our plan. At the end of the day, it was our consistency that fortified our success. Here is a note sent by a parent:
“Thank you, Principal Hall and the entire faculty and staff at CVCC, for your quick response and action to this crisis. Your leadership is greatly appreciated.”
One staff member reminded me that I had to write letters to essential staff to keep in their glove boxes in case they were pulled over by the police while they were reporting to work during the stay home order. It was a strange time, indeed.
Then the decision came to open school in the fall. We listened to every voice and weighed each variable and extrapolated their potential effects and even imagined possibilities that could come to light. We did not know for sure if any of our decisions were the right decisions or what ramifications would come from each one. What we did know, was that COVID-19 was not the only risk to students being in a remote environment.
In spite of all of the worry in 2020-21, we:
- had 30 national CTSO qualifiers
- had over 95% of our senior students pass their end of course exams (an increase from 88.8% last year)
- had Jerry Koenig honored with the SkillsUSA Lifetime Achievement Award
- had 80 students on Work-Based Learning
- secured state and federal grants to purchase new equipment and supplies
- renovated the Programming and Software Development lab
- educated nearly 80% of our students in-person
- educated 20% through remote or blended models
- currently have 438 junior students enrolled for next school year - this is 5% increase
Next year, 2021-22, our focus will be on quality instruction. How will you be the best you can be? How can we collaborate to make you the best you can be? How can we support growth and learning so you can be the best you can be? If you are at your best, our students will learn at the highest levels and be at their best.
Have a great summer! Rest, Reflect, and Recharge. Enjoy your summer and return with vigor!