Calvert shares her thoughts on the first day of school

After the first day of an unprecedented new school year, with many students returning to the classroom while others began remotely from home, Stanly County Schools Acting Superintendent Vicki Calvert shared her thoughts on how it all went.

“We boldly approached a new beginning today,” she said in an email. “I am pleased to report we were ready and excited to see everyone entering our buildings or logging on for remote learning.”

She said the staff continue to spend “endless hours” preparing for a reality that “none of us could have ever imagined.”

“Despite the challenges they face in their personal lives, they continue to ask how else they can help us better serve our students,” she said, adding that “this selfless thinking reflects how our SCS family is made up of dedicated personnel.”

She said the central office visited all of the schools “to provide extra hands on deck to staff members” and that many community members, including mayors and police officers, also were at the schools to welcome the students back.

SCS, like many other districts across the state, including Rowan-Salisbury and Union County, opted to reopen under the hybrid Plan B model, where elementary students will be in school full-time while middle and high school students will alternate between weeks of in-person and remote learning.

Like most school districts in the state, SCS did experience some technical glitches with NCEdCloud — the system used by students and teachers to access learning tools like Canvas and PowerSchool — but Calvert said those issues have since been resolved.

She also thanked parents “for being patient and understanding” as school staff “navigated through the new safety check procedures during drop off” Monday morning, which includes temperature checks of all students before they can enter the buildings.

Calvert said that Child Nutrition reports that breakfast meals increased by 1,136 from last year and hopes students will take advantage of free meals provided through at least Aug. 31. She said that the transportation department “worked diligently to get students scheduled within a route for the first day of school, all while staying within capacity requirements. “

She encourages students and staff who are not feeling well or have been exposed to the coronavirus to not come to school. Those that are able to attend school should wait six feet, wear a mask and wash their hands, she said.

“I encourage our community to embrace our new opportunities and commit to providing students and staff with a safe working and learning environment,” she said. “We will always strive to find the best answers in service to our students, our staff, and the entire Stanly County Schools’ community.”