Despite Quarantine, Schooling Continues ???? With Invaluable Lessons

“We have never experienced anything like this before,” said Superintendent Sherry Durkee. “But our team came together, and we just got to work.” 

Once spring break ends, it’s a race to the finish line to the end of the school year. With spirit week, field trips, state testing, prom, kindergarten and high school graduation, and everything in between, time seems to fly when students return to class after a week off in mid-March. But this year with the global outbreak of COVID-19, everything came to a screeching halt ???? and students didn’t come back from the break. 

Instead of returning to school, students started attending classes through Google Classroom. “In just three days, I watched our team get to work and get creative and get our classes online,” said Mrs. Durkee. “One thing that became obvious right away is how much our staff loves our students.”

Moving the entire district to a digital learning platform in such a short amount of time wasn’t without its challenges, but Mrs. Durkee says the teachers are making the most of it. One teacher, she noted, posted a video of a few bloopers that happened when an instructional video was first being created, which made Mrs. Durkee smile. She shared, “We’re taking it in stride and making the most of it.”

“Sherry Baker, for example, is a high-qualified Sandite who has adapted so well,” Mrs. Durkee said. “I can’t express how proud I am of all our teachers and administrators. I just stand in awe.”

Anxiety is high for some, Mrs. Durkee said, but that teachers and students alike are learning to adjust and that everyone will be stronger for this experience. 

“Morale has been high,” Mrs. Durkee shared, “which is a blessing.” She said one teacher recently used the phrase where there’s a will, there’s a way. “This is flexibility to the enth degree,” Mrs. Durkee said.

Life goes on for Sand Springs Public Schools. Thousands of breakfasts and lunches are being served, the morning announcements are still being made via video, and the construction continues at Charles Page High School. 

“In life, there are obstacles, there’s no doubt about it,” said Mrs. Durkee. “We’re going to use this opportunity to learn and grow stronger. This is a lesson in strength, tenacity, and resilience.”

Events that students look forward to all year long have been cancelled or postponed, but the education the students of Sand Springs Public Schools are receiving is better than ever.

“If we’re not teaching our children how to respond to real-life issues, they may not know how to react,” Mrs. Durkee said. “Through this, our students are learning how to be tenacious and how to be leaders for when their time comes ???? and it will.”

Though the time frame remains unknown, classes will eventually resume for Sand Springs Public Schools. “We’re going to be ready for it,” Mrs. Durkee said. “We’re going to find that we’re better for having had this experience.”

Perhaps the return to school, whenever that time comes, will be a bigger celebration than all the cancelled and postponed activities and events combined. “I can’t wait to get back,” Mrs. Durkee shared with a  smile.