[00:00:00] Jessica: [00:00:00] So with that being said and being cutting edge and being a school district that others are coming to and desiring to have their children a part of when COVID-19 hit your school district, what was the first priority to help find a solution for your staff and for your school?
[00:00:22] Christine: [00:00:22] It’s a good question. I have a very strong central office team. And we were watching the math on the spread of the Corona virus across our global community. And in New York, districts wound up closing around mid-March. But in anticipation of a potential closure, our administrative team at the central office and our teacher leadership team, our union we met and did some pre-planning to prepare for virtual [00:01:00] instruction.
[00:01:01] And although we may have thought that the time period would have been shorter than the reality was we had some structures set in place. So that when we eventually did close, there was expectation between our community and our staff of how we would approach instruction in the virtual environment.
[00:01:22] And we also had the opportunity to leverage some professional learning prior to having to close the buildings for our staff to be engaged in. So they would be able to transition to online instruction the best they could, immediately, when we found out I wouldn’t be able to reopen school.
[00:01:47] Jessica: [00:01:47] Got it. So you guys got together as a team, figured out what the expectations were going to look like.
[00:01:54]Christine: [00:01:54] And the platforms that we would use to communicate with our kids, the software that we [00:02:00] would use. We made sure that we had a way to many of our students we provided devices for.
[00:02:06]So we immediately put structures in place to be sure that in the grade levels where those devices weren’t going home, they were able to leave with kids in anticipation of us not returning. So we had done a lot of pre-work because of our foresight into what could potentially happen based on what we were seeing take place across the globe.
[00:02:30] And just in terms of our geography, we were very close to the space where this big, a lot of this outbreak began in Westchester. So we saw what was happening around us. And so we began conversations early and I think that really served to our advantage. I’m not saying that I’m no, I’m not saying that we were fully prepared in that we hit the ground running.
[00:02:57] But what I can say to you is based on the [00:03:00] situation that we found ourselves in, we were able to pivot pretty quickly to support our kids real time and not with real time using digital tech digital tools. So that the instruction could continue to happen and content and skills could still be introduced, even though we weren’t in front of each other in the classroom.