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Letter to the editor: DEF expresses gratitude to Dare County Schools employees

To the Editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a new perspective on the care, skill, and value that our educators and staff members offer to our schools each day of the school year. The Dare Education Foundation would like to thank the approximately 1,000 Dare County Schools employees for their unwavering commitment to put students first. You are amazing!

Over the past nine months, we have witnessed DCS design and implement on-site, hybrid, and remote options for our 5,361 students, while holding steadfast in the commitment to the community’s safety. During this time, our DCS team has demonstrated incredible grace, flexibility, and resilience as they embraced new roles and accepted additional responsibilities.

  • Custodial and Maintenance staff members have rearranged classrooms, assembled physical safety barriers, and cleaned and sanitized every possible surface of our schools multiple times.
  • Librarians have fundraised to enhance their digital collections and work diligently to continue to provide resources to students.
  • School nurses developed and implemented comprehensive plans for illnesses and quarantines in every school.
  • Technology staff found new ways to capture temperatures and health checks for every single student every day while juggling the distribution of laptops and Wi-Fi devices to students in need.
  • Nutrition staff made sure that students had uninterrupted access to healthy meals, collaborating with the transportation team to coordinate an extensive delivery system.
  • The transportation team radically adjusted service and routes in order to maintain distancing requirements on each bus.
  • Teachers continue to fulfill their traditional responsibilities such as preparing lessons and grading assignments, but they do it in uncertain conditions and in the midst of unique challenges. They’ve gotten creative, finding time to connect one-on-one with students, hosting read-alouds that engage the entire school community, and celebrating many exceptional student achievements.

What is truly extraordinary is that DCS employees continue to create relationships with students to meet their social and emotional needs. This connection is the heartbeat of our school district. Every day, this steady pulse runs through the district as employees connect through handwritten notes, virtual meetings, and mobile apps.

We thank all the members of the DCS team for the additional hours you invest into planning and instruction each day, for the pride you take in keeping students emotionally and physically healthy, and for the sacrifices you’ve made at home to provide instruction consistently throughout the pandemic. For every small act that you think goes unnoticed, we see you. Our students will remember how you showed up for them, faced adversity, and supported this community. We are grateful.

We hope that all of Dare County will join us in supporting our schools. Tell a teacher, administrator, custodian, cafeteria worker, librarian, or substitute that you care and value their work, or donate to DEF to help make sure that our schools have the resources that they need to continue to educate safely and effectively.

Sincerely,

Dare Education Foundation

Barbara Davidson, Executive Director

Board of Directors: Sam Cortez, Chairman of the Board, Dr. Richard Martin, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Mary Robinson, Secretary, Deborah Beddingfield, Adam Blankenship, Tim Cafferty, Benj Lipchak, Jessica Loose, Dr. Holly Robinson, Becky Strickland, Joe Tauber, Sherry Thorp, Ex-Officio Members: Jenny Ash, Executive Director of OBSE, Dr. John Farrelly, Dare County Schools Superintendent, David Twiddy, Dare County Board of Education Appointee

FOR MORE COLUMNS AND LETTERS TO THE EDITOR, CHECK OUT OUR OPINION SECTION HERE.

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