Staff and students pulled together during recent water and weather woes which left John Gregg Elementary closed for more than a week and leaders couldn’t be more grateful.
Principal Tammy Burchfield said the school utilized calamity days during two snow days and the water outage that struck a portion of Jefferson County on Jan. 24-28, but those days were used when Winter Storm Landon dumped snow and ice throughout the country the week of Jan. 31. She was most pleased that a majority of the school’s 375 grade PreK-6 students managed to work remotely while everyone collaborated to ensure operations ran smoothly.
“We used nine snow days and were given five calamity days. From Day Six on, we used remote learning so we didn’t have to make them up at the end of the year,” she added. “We had over 80 percent participate, which was phenomenal even with the loss of water, power and internet. They were able to do it by some means. As a staff, we are proud of our kids and how much we appreciate the district for having us implement Google Classroom, not only during COVID but also to use in the classroom. I’m impressed with the fact that our students know how important student learning is.”
She said with remote learning, students have an opportunity to continue intervention and it fills in the educational gap.
Additionally, cafeteria workers, teachers, staff and bus drivers handed out 300 breakfast and lunch meals to students during their departure the Wednesday prior to the storm to ensure they had sustenance for the next three days, plus District Technology Coordinator Rachael Granatir manned the help desk and assisted with any glitches by keeping in contact with parents and tech support representatives.
“Everybody was all hands on deck and it was extremely successful,” Burchfield noted. “We’re really grateful to have another avenue to make work up at the end of the day, and we’re also grateful the state allows for that and the district allows the opportunity for the students and their families.”
Edison Local Superintendent Bill Beattie was glad to see officials handle the disruption at John Gregg and said the principals put contingency plans in place prior to the storm. He said collaboration is key to being successful.
“Students, parents, teachers, staff and faculty work together in times like these, which makes it possible for everything to run smoothly,” he said.