Now is an incredibly difficult time to be an educator. Long before we suddenly were forced to shift to distance learning, we have been steadily raising expectations of our teachers: from providing increasing social, emotional and mental supports, extending a growing list of services for our most-at-risk students, to raising academic expectations for all of our learners, regardless of their income, disability or language. Many take for granted what is being accomplished on a daily basis in our classrooms, all with limited resources.
Then, in the span of two weeks, we asked our staff and teachers to shift an entire educational system online for all of our 31,000 students, while everyone, including students and teachers, are grappling with the anxiety and uncertainty bred by the international pandemic. They are doing a phenomenal job, learning new systems and skills and working long hours to ensure that they're connecting with every student. Amazingly, some 96% of our students are engaged online and continuing their learning, thanks to the flexibility, creativity and professionalism of our teachers and staff.
Every aspect of our school district stepped up to support this effort. BVSD's IT staff worked overtime to create internet access for more than 1,000 students and distribute 6,000 Chromebooks. Our food services launched emergency food distributions serving 36,000 meals for 4,400 families every week, and growing. Custodians, bus drivers, security personnel, community liaisons, warehouse staff, and many others employees across the district have answered the call, helping in new roles to make sure students are safe, connected and learning.
We are always inspired by the individuals who choose to be educators. We would like to take this moment, as we kick off BVSD Employee Appreciation Week, to thank our educators and staff in the Boulder Valley School District for helping our students and our community. We appreciate the job you perform tirelessly everyday, and especially now by creating some stability and continuity for our students and families in an unpredictable environment.
Finally, we hope and encourage all community members to recognize or thank or distance hug our educators and staff. Our educators and staff are an essential part of our community, giving instruction, providing supports, lending an ear, brightening faces and inspiring passions in our students.
We wouldn’t be a community without you. Thank you!
Tina Marquis, BVSD Board of Education President
Kathy Gebhardt, BVSD Board of Education Vice President