“Nothing is going to be perfect, and that’s o.k.”
When Sound Discipline convened a group of educators to discuss the transition to in-person learning, this is how Christine Mooney, the Principal of Redwood Elementary School, opened our discussion. Redwood Elementary is in Grants Pass, Oregon. They started the 20-21 school year with grades K-3 in hybrid learning and grades 4-5 in distance learning. At the end of November, they moved to all distance learning. On February 1, 2021, they moved back to a hybrid model with all grades.
A group of their staff met with us on February 11 to share their experiences and offer tips and resources for partnering with families, setting up the classroom, supporting students’ social and emotional needs, keeping everyone safe, moving through the school, playing outside, and collaborating with colleagues.
Redwood Elementary Staff shared tips and tools they’ve learned during their transition back to in-person learning. Thank you, Christine Mooney, Lisa Jaraslow, Annie Blanchard, Crystal Pump, Lorelei Dean, and Missy Fitzsimmons.
The staff had many ideas to share, including specific tips like label every item from home – every crayon and marker! As well as resources to share like posters and lessons for high-speed hand washing. Read the full report with all of their ideas and resources here. A video of the panel conversation is also available to watch.
In addition to the useful resources and ideas, one of the most helpful aspects of the discussion was their authentic lived experience of this transition. They shared a picture of the possibilities and the reassurance that others were figuring this out too. Each community has its strengths, challenges, and timeline when facing these school transitions. The Redwood Elementary staff offered hope and encouragement, and we appreciate them sharing their experiences with us.
Jody McVittie is the Founder and Director of Strategic Partnerships at Sound Discipline.