I hope you are doing well in these strange times we find ourselves in! I try to do a Superintendent’s Corner each month. My normal routine is to write the document about a week before the actual letter comes out in the paper on Wednesday. I actually had the March letter ready to go and dated March 10th, I just hadn’t sent it to the paper yet. Things have gone sort of crazy since then. This morning, March 30th, I find myself trying to rewrite the letter, and I’m floored by how much things have changed from the 10th until now! Schools, businesses and agencies have closed all over the world, and we are literally living in a time that will be put into history books and studied in the future.
Every family, business owner, or leader is trying to deal with how to stay safe in all of this, often in different ways. As a husband and father I am trying to do all I can to keep my family safe and healthy, and as the leader of this school district that same thing goes for our students and faculty. I appreciate your patience during this time as we work to address the basic necessities for our school. We too are trying to stay separated as much as possible. I am encouraging our staff to continue to do the necessities of keeping the daily business of school running, otherwise I feel it best if they remain home whenever possible. This will no doubt cause for some periodic difficulties in reaching someone, and we hope that everyone can understand the situation.
As far as how we are handling the continuance of school and education to the best of our ability, we do have what I feel are some good processes and systems for moving forward especially under the circumstances. I’m really proud of our administration team, as well as our teachers and classified personnel. Everyone has really stepped up to help in these trying times, and they have really shown their professionalism.
Student work has been shared both in paper form, and in electronic form. This will continue for as long as necessary. We are currently installing cabinets that will be housed underroof outside the doorways of each of the three main buildings. These files will have grade level labeled sections for getting AMI work in paper form should they be needed. We will also have these assignments available at our district website Waldronschool.org. Teachers will be available through email to answer any questions you or your child may have regarding their work during normal school hours.
We are continuing to clean and disinfect our building and busses, and we will be ready to go with clean disinfected buildings as soon as we are allowed to return. This of course is a very fluid situation which changes almost daily. The Waldron School District Facebook page has been designated as the official source of information. Any updates that need to be shared with the public will go through the site.
We are also continuing to offer food for students in need. We have a system established for families to pick up breakfast and lunch each day at our adventure Learning Academy which is across from the city park with breakfast being given from 8:30-9:30 and lunch from 10:30-11:30. We also have offsite locations at the Mt. Moriah Church in Haletown, Boles Freewill Baptist Church in Boles, Bates Baptist Church in Bates, and The Pentecostal Church of God in Waldron. Offsite pick-up times are from 10:30 -11:30 Monday –Friday.
In conclusion, I would like to extend to the students how much we miss you! Though some students may see this just as a big extended break, we educators view this as too much time away from the kids. I know sometimes teachers joke and make cracks about needing breaks, and admittedly, we look forward to them sometimes, but this circumstance is not one that anyone would have wanted, and it truly puts things into perspective. I know that I personally will never take for granted a simple handshake, or a group meeting, or even worrying that I am less than six feet from someone. I have spent more time thinking, and praying for my neighbors than I probably ever have, and I am reminded of just how fragile a normal life really is in the grand scheme. What I know is that this will pass, life will settle down, and hopefully the whole world can come out of this with having learned something more about both health and happiness. I have hope that this will be all over soon, and faith that we can all be stronger from it, and I look forward to seeing all those smiling faces once again.
Thank you and God Bless
Daniel Fielding, Waldron Schools Superintendent