Mid March usually brings with it a level of excitement for many reasons. Warmer weather is on the way, plans for graduations are starting to take place both for our seniors and our 8th graders, spring sports teams are beginning their preparations for the upcoming seasons and there is a general excitement of the approaching summer months. Mid-March painted a very different picture for all of us in 2020, so I wanted to reflect and share some thoughts related to the recent pandemic and its impact on Arthur CUSD #305, it’s students, staff, communities and families.
I want to begin with a huge shout out and thank you to the students, staff, parents, board members and communities that we serve. I have witnessed so much compassion, and genuine care for each other. I am amazed at the ability to be flexible and the support that has been provided for all during these trying times. We have been asked to reinvent how we educate and take care of our students virtually overnight, and I couldn’t be more proud of the results. It’s been said many times that it takes a village to help raise our children, and this situation has validated the truth behind that statement. It has taken all of our communities to help us develop and execute a plan that would first and foremost take care of the basic needs of our families as well as continue to provide learning opportunities for all students at all grade levels.
There is no doubt that we have all been impacted by the social distancing and stay at home orders that have been implemented. With those restrictions have come challenges, but also opportunities. I have heard comments of how being required to stay home has developed a newfound appreciation for our relationships and friendships. I’ve also consistently witnessed people reaching out to support each other during these trying times and making it a priority to demonstrate that support in various ways.
There is little doubt that learning has been impacted and that moving ahead will pose challenges. What I have learned and observed is that yes, learning has been impacted but it’s also provided us an opportunity to rethink how we learn and how we present material to students. I anticipate moving forward we will continue those conversations and develop methods and strategies that will better serve our students and families.
I could not have predicted my first year in the district as your Superintendent to finish like this. It has posed challenges we would rather not have encountered but it has provided me with a different perspective. We all have defining moments and this pandemic has created some for myself. My perspective is that we have been challenged but have come together as one and are going to conquer this challenge. Many challenges still lie ahead for all of us, but I am confident that we will persevere and conquer all that is put in front of us because we are Arthur CUSD #305. I am proud of you all and couldn’t be more proud to be your Superintendent.
Mr. Shannon Cheek
Superintendent Arthur CUSD #305