NEGAUNEE — The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed how the duration of this school year looks for both teachers and students. When they first heard the news, teachers at Negaunee Public Schools quickly went into action to ensure their students would still have a successful year.
“One of the phrases we keep using is, ‘We want to make these abnormal times as normal as possible for our students,’” said Superintendent Dan Skewis. “And I think because our teachers didn’t panic and we took our time and we put our plan together, and because the teachers took it on so smoothly, it carried over to the students. And things have been going as well as possible during these times.”
Teachers have been contacting students regularly and holding office hours over Zoom to make sure the students are understanding their material and to answer any questions. They’ve also come up with a few creative ideas to touch the hearts of their students—especially the seniors who are missing out on their final months of school.
“Our teachers have done quite a few things over these last several weeks to make sure that this remains positive not only for our students, but our parents and community as well,” Skewis explained. “Our teachers decided to put together a “We Miss You” video. We aired that a few weeks ago and that was very well received. We’re doing Senior Spotlights right now where we’re highlighting our seniors, and we created yard signs and we put those signs out in the graduating seniors’ front yards. There are a lot of activities that hope to boost the spirits of our students, our parents, and community members that the teachers have been the backbone of.”
Superintendent Skewis says these teachers are a great example to their students all year long, and even more so during this time. They’ve gone above and beyond expectations to provide their students with the best educational experience possible in the midst of a pandemic.
“They’re looked at by the students as very positive role models, and I think the students are seeing them in a different realm right now,” said Skewis. “They’ve answered that call and the students probably appreciate them even more now than what they have in the past. To go online when students may not have that capability at home and maybe don’t have the parent support, for the teachers to be that solid rock in a situation like this is important, and our teachers have definitely done that.”
As the school year comes to an end, faculty and staff at Negaunee Public Schools hope that students will feel loved and appreciated, even if they can’t be with them in person to show it.