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COLUMNS

Yoder: Try to maintain structure and stability

Traci Yoder Special to
the Times
The Apalach Times

It is in the midst of the most difficult situations that we often find strength even we didn't know we possess. I am extremely thankful to see how our students, staff, families, and community are coming together to stay strong and united during these uncertain times.

Although it has been a steep learning curve for everyone, I am very proud of the continuous collaboration between our schools and families as Franklin County has embraced distance learning. The Franklin County School District will continue working to provide stability and sustain some form of normalcy for our students, staff, and families and in our community.

Our district has distributed over 500 Chrome books to students for use in virtual learning during this extended school closure. Our district’s partnership with the Florida Department of Education, which dispersed devices to small and rural districts statewide, allowed for additional availability of devices. The district still has some availability of devices for students who may be in need of one to participate in distance learning digitally.

Our team of dedicated custodial and maintenance staff has been hard at work and taken great pride in sanitizing and beautifying our campuses. Our food service and transportation departments have worked tirelessly to ensure we can continue to provide healthy meals to our students, without disruption. Our district has served over 25,000 meals and will continue to deliver more meals to families in the upcoming days and weeks.

Our district staff has worked around the clock as information changed, sometimes by the hour, to plan for continued support for our students, staff, and families through the extended school closure. I am thankful for the partnership with our school board, and our countless phone calls and conversations to work together to ensure all our school board employees have an opportunity for continued employment and pay, without interruption.

When schools are not in session, we know families may have fewer predictable routines, and that there is no substitute for face-to-face instruction. The school district is committed to facilitating continued learning and keeping our students and families engaged and equipped during this extended school closure. Our teachers and support staff have prepared a multitude of resources to support learning at home for our students, and for assisting our parents and guardians as partners in educating their children.

Most children and adults thrive when they have predictable routines and structure. This time of uncertainty has forced a new normal for schools and families. Parents and guardians can help maintain a sense of structure and stability through:

• Staying in touch with their child’s teacher

• Creating a schedule and routine for learning at home:

• Having consistent bedtime and morning wake up routines, during the week

• Structuring the day with scheduled times for learning, free time, healthy meals, and physical activity

• Finding ways to make learning fun

The school-to-home connection is vital for the success of our students. Our teachers and staff stay connected with students and families virtually via ZOOM, Google Classroom, Remind, FOCUS, and email. Students and families can also stay connected through our FOCUS portal and app, our School District app: Franklin SD, our official Facebook page, and our district website at www.franklincountyschools.org.

Our campuses may be closed but school is still in session, and our hearts remain united. I am committed to serving alongside our district team of teachers, staff, administrators, and school board to maintain support for our students’ continued learning and assisting all our families to stay connected and stay safe.

Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support. We look forward to being together again. Stay connected, and Stay Safe Franklin County!

Traci Yoder, superintendent of the Franklin County District Schools, can be reached at tyoder@franklincountyschools.org