Throughout the Great Pandemic of 2020-2022, the employees of the Boulder Valley School District have stood out for their leadership and tireless work to support students.
Today, our outstanding educators and support staff are continuing to serve students as a new COVID-19 variant, omicron, makes its way through our community.
Knowing the importance of in-person learning and support to our students, they are steadfastly working to keep our buildings open and students learning amidst staffing shortages caused by illness and the impacts of the Marshall Fire. Prepared for the possibility that we may have to go to remote learning from time-to-time at a classroom or school level, the goal remains keeping students learning five days a week in-person, whenever possible.
Following a summer relatively free of pandemic restrictions, it was hard to imagine the struggles that teachers and staff would face this school year.
As students returned to class, however, the Delta variant emerged forcing our communities to once again require health precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and to make matters worse school districts across the nation are facing critical staffing shortages. Without enough bus driver, food services and child care candidates, as well as substitute teachers, our school staff is stretched thin.
And yet, they are still doing outstanding work -- finding innovative ways to support students and collaborating to improve their instructional techniques -- all of which aligns with our All Together for All Students Strategic Plan.
As we approached the end of the 2020-21 school year, it was a good time to reflect on how far we had come since the beginning of the pandemic as well the many ways we have continued to serve student needs through improved remote learning and equitable services to meet the needs of all of our students and families.
On May 24, 2021 representatives from BVSD schools and departments gathered at Recht Field in Boulder for a special event led by Superintendent Dr. Rob Anderson.
While COVID-19 had closed our schools, our goal during the early days of March was to keep students engaged and learning. Knowing that many families did not initially have technology and internet access, BVSD staff got to work, building backpacks filled with supplies and age-appropriate educational activities.
Our caring educators missed the daily interaction with our students, but they found new ways to connect with families, providing support and encouragement to both students and parents alike.
With only one week of preparation, BVSD teachers made a tremendous transition to Home Learning. It was an entirely new mode of instruction and learning that required having teachers learn how effectively teach over Google Meet, as well as shooting and editing educational videos.
Community liaisons reaffirm essential role in BVSD, acting as district’s face and ears during the pandemic
Every Tuesday and Thursday, dozens of BVSD staff members hit the road, picking up food, books and supplies, before safely hand-delivering them to the doorsteps of the district’s most vulnerable families.
Over the summer, a group of elementary teachers, led by Foothill Elementary principal Nicholas Vanderpol, developed thousands of instructional videos to support elementary teachers and students. It was a labor of love meant, aimed at supporting their colleagues during the pandemic.
School supplies were given out to students in need during Impact on Education's annual Crayons to Calculators school supply drive.
Employees across the district took on new roles to prepare school buildings for reopening when other positions (bus drivers, kitchen leads, etc) weren't needed yet.
“Whether people are working from home or remotely, we have custodians in the building every single day making sure that the buildings are clean and safe for students and staff to be there,” said Molly McLoughlin, Director of Facilities.
Between September 29 and the end of October, students at all levels had the opportunity to return to in-person learning. The students were excited, but we think the teachers were even more excited to have them back.
Several teachers at Superior Elementary are exploring the best ways to provide HyFlex Instruction. That is when a portion of your students are in-person and some are learning remotely from home.
BVSD has long been a leader in indoor air quality. During COVID-19 our team redoubled its efforts. This winter break, however, it took the entire BVSD team coming together to add one more safety layer -- air purifiers in every classroom and classroom.
Approximately 30 members of the central admin team including Area Superintendents, Executive Directors, Directors, and certified staff stepped in to provide support. To keep buildings open, they jumped around from school to school, anywhere that needed help. Whether it was with classroom support, bus duty, recess duty, playground duty, or lunch duty.
When it comes to SPED paras, some call them angels and some call them unsung heroes. Whether they are teaching online or in-person, they have adapted, and they have continued to thrive at building close relationships with their students.
Chances are, a Paraeducator has touched the lives of each and every student at one time or another. Whether it’s inside a classroom or not, Paras serve in various capacities throughout the district.
Joining together has definitely been a theme during this pandemic for school Nurses and Health Room Paras. There have been uncertainties, switching guidelines, and changing directions. However, they have stayed tightly woven together to find the best way to keep everyone healthy and safe during the pandemic.
Serving the students and families of Boulder Valley is only possible through the support of our community and especially our partners at Impact on Education. Our foundation has been with us every step of the way, raising funds and coordinating volunteers. With their help, we've been able to ensure our students do not have to go without food, face coverings and school supplies. Join the effort by filling out the form on this website.
Inspired by these heroes? Learn about the Boulder Valley School District's heroes from the Marshall Fire.