I’ve heard the word “unprecedented” nearly a dozen times a day in the past weeks. It accurately describes almost everything in our lives, including school. In our third week of delivering remote education, I’d like to share the reasons the Loveland City School District has been able to continue to serve our students and families and demonstrate service to the larger community. While this is in no way a substitute for experiences created in our school buildings and classrooms, I am incredibly proud of the work of our team. Loveland has maintained a focus on students first.
Every planning meeting with teachers begins with a student check-in. The faces of our staff members visibly change when they talk about their students. Now, more than ever, we love our Tigers. We have been able to implement remote instruction while continuing to seek ways to provide support for all students, both academically and emotionally. We are providing comprehensive interventions and support services that are in line with what students had been receiving at school. Educational aides are also assisting students. In addition, students have maintained access to remote mental-health services through our partner agency. Having these supportive relationships has hopefully eased the stress during this time. We are constantly trying to improve.
Over the past several years, we have worked to develop a strong system of school improvement and have built a high-performing leadership team. We have established teams working within the system to support instruction, and who now are able to problem solve quickly and adapt existing district and building plans to support the changes needed so that we can provide instruction in new and different ways. We have been able to target consistency in our instructional practices and materials, including standardized technology platforms that make it much easier to communicate with students and families. In collaboration with building principals, teachers have created purposeful instructional plans that will be continually adjusted based upon parent and student feedback. We have a strong system of teacher support, including instructional coaches and teacher leaders who have been busy locating and organizing resources for teachers and parents and to help in this shift to remote learning. We invested in improving our schools.
Our investment in technology resources and instructional programs as a result of the 2014 operating levy continues to pay off. It is thanks to the technology investments over the past six years that we now have the access to resources, devices, and programs to support remote learning. Our technology team and instructional coaches are doing an amazing job of ensuring that both teachers and students have access to the tools and the support they need to operate in a remote learning environment. Our principals, assistant principals, and counselors have worked with classroom teachers to identify students who need access to technology at home and to make sure they are given the resources they need.
With our established 1:1 learning environments at LMS and LHS, all students in grades 7-12 were assigned a district Chromebook or had their own personal device heading into remote learning. In grades K-6, we have made available close to 300 Chromebooks for students who did not have the access to a computer at home. As we have always had students who lack access to the internet at home to complete school work, we have provided a small number of T-Mobile hotspots to students in the past. Now supporting the remote learning environment, and again working through the identification of students in need at the building level, we are providing hotspot internet access for additional students.We value our strong relationships with our community.
It is the efforts of local volunteers, the schools’ food services personnel, and organizations like NEST Community Learning Center that have enabled the distribution of meals and materials. Together, this team has prepared about 600 meals a day since the building closure, including spring break. We have also been able to support our local Safety Center, NEST, and a local hospital system by sharing supplies. Several staff members collaborate weekly with the newly formed “Loveland Community Resources
” team in response to COVID-19 to address needs in the community. We created the Loveland Community Resources website, which may remain in place as an ongoing effort to serve. Our health services professionals are reaching out to students to see how the schools can help connect them with basic needs resources. All staff in Health Services are able to continue their work remotely due to the technology infrastructure that was approved by the 2014 levy and conduct virtual meetings to serve a long list of student needs.
In service to our Tigers,
Dr. Amy Crouse, Superintendent