This semester, though not over yet, has been like none other! PCSD has worked hard with the aid of seven different task force groups since the beginning of May to create a safe, positive learning experience for all students throughout this uncertain time of COVID-19. It has been a time of great learning: adapting to different protocols and procedures, creatively figuring out what works in a social-distancing world, offering flexible learning options for families, and trying out new teaching and learning methods. Administration, staff and students have made the most of this difficult time and have experienced great success.
Students have been so excited to be with their friends again, as well as learn from their teachers in person. They are happy to be back, and for the majority, are healthy as well. Teachers have also been thankful to be able to teach in-person and come alongside their students face-to-face once again. Teachers, learning how to teach in a COVID-19 world better each day, have also worked to remove unnecessary objectives and focused more closely on the academic and social-emotional needs of their students. And, while learning online is a struggle for many students, it is doable and has been useful for when students get sick or have to quarantine due to exposure.
The mitigation protocols implemented throughout PCSD schools have been a large part of this success. Though cumbersome at times, they are helping keep everyone as safe as possible. From extra cleanings to contact tracing to washing hands more often, teachers and students have been intentional to follow the set procedures. The most influential of these has been the enforcement of wearing facial coverings. They have truly kept the spread of disease to a minimum. Because of these measures, the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in schools has been low and PCSD has been able to support learning for students at all levels.
Overall, the opening of schools to in-person learning has gone better than expected and has been a great experience for administration, teachers and students. Looking forward, PCSD is intent on staying reflective and flexible, remaining safe and open for students. By engaging more and more with students and families, staff and administration are able to respond to needs and support learning. PCSD will continue to recognize areas of need and respond to concerns that can be appropriately addressed.
This is all possible through the amazing work of the administration and teachers, the support of parents and families, and the partnership of the community. To teachers specifically, Dr. Amy Hunt, Chief Academic Officer at PCSD, says thank you: “The appreciation that we have for our school community cannot be understated. We have always known how fortunate we are to have such a talented, devoted and hardworking team of educators. Their passion for their work and their commitment to the children of Park City are unquestionable. I have witnessed their tireless energy and compassion. There are really no words to describe my admiration and appreciation for our educators who continue to move forward through the complexity and challenges of schooling during a world-wide pandemic.”
With everyone working together – including the crucial partnerships between parents, families, the community, staff and administration – PCSD will continue to see success in the upcoming months.