Dear Central Linn Community:
We, the Central Linn School Board, want you to know how hard the Central Linn Staff has been working this summer during unpredictable and stressful circumstances. Not only has admin been working overtime to run up to three different scenarios and schedules, making sure cohorts are not mixing and coordinating that each child take the courses they need for graduation, but a team of teachers has also been working with admin as a committee to create a blueprint for school reentry in the 2020-2021 school year. This is just one of the many tasks they’ve had to navigate in an every-changing pandemic. (Principals are not contracted for the month of July, teachers are not contracted for summer, but our CL staff is working regardless.)
At the August Board meeting, the board was able to view this extensive blueprint which has been submitted and approved by the State. Being a small District has so many benefits, but it also means that our staff wears many hats. We are so fortunate to have the staff that we have, that put students first, who love our community, and who are looking out for the long-term financial health and stability of our community school. Vital schools equal vital communities.
In the midst of all this, the board continues to look forward. Yes, our goal is to survive this pandemic, but this too shall pass. We have history that tells us this, and when it does the Central Linn School District will already have the momentum to continue to move from good to great; we are already seeing glimmers of this greatness emerging.
The board, not only meets for monthly board meetings, but also plans and runs work sessions on topics the board feels will continue to improve our schools. A school board should always be working towards excellence.
On top of keeping up with daily changes in what the fall will look like, our administration is managing two building projects. If you’ve driven past the elementary school, you’ve seen the seismic work on that roof. That project is progressing well and has remained on target for completion. If you drive past the high school you can see the newly painted modulars and right in front, the foundation for the pre-fab junior high building. It will be beautiful once it is completed: eight classrooms, inner hallway, and bathrooms just for our junior high students. Celeste Van Cleave is also keeping us on track for applying for a seismic grant for the high school. This fall we will be working toward our Tap Grant which involves gathering community input on facilities. Even in the midst of a pandemic, these grant deadlines still exist and have not changed, and we don’t want to miss out. This also shows the community that the District is still moving forward in the midst of the coronavirus.
After the August board meeting was complete, I was able to visit with one of the teachers in attendance, and was so impressed with who we have teaching our children as she proceeded to tell me about all the planning she has done already for the 20-21 school year. I know our teachers did an unprecedented job with no warning as they transitioned to distance learning this spring. Remember when we were all sure it would only last a few weeks? No one had time to process what was happening. My children continued to learn, were taught by highly trained teachers, and stayed connected with their peers while I was able to support them in their learning. (Helping your children learn at home, and continuing to work yourself is no small feat, and we want to recognize how difficult this was for all of you.) At times it got a little crazy. But we did it! I know that our Central Linn teachers will rise to the challenge this fall if we are able to be in-person or if we have to be flexible and do our learning on-line. In anticipation our Superintendent purchased touchpads early this summer for K-3rd graders and new chrome books for our older learners. Each student will have the technology they need to succeed with the Central Linn School District. Superintendent Gardner also purchased other necessary technology and supplies to effectively pivot from in-person to online learning. Now these supplies are difficult to find. The district has also secured hot spots.
Roughly 2/3rds of the Central Linn Community has registered their children for the Central Linn School District, either the in-person option or the online option. That’s awesome. We know we are asking folks to register earlier for school than what has been the custom, but this is a necessary step in the process for fall planning. There are logistics that the school can’t plan for until we do our part. We are a school district of roughly 600. Every student counts. Budgets are based off of student enrollment. Not only does every student count, but every staff member counts, and we want to come through this as a whole and complete community, stronger than we were before.
We appreciated all the feedback we got from families this last spring. The survey results helped the District plan this summer for the fall. As we continue this next year together, the District plans on using the same survey system to check-in, see how things are going, see what needs to be changed, and hear what’s working. Education has always been a partnership between school, families, and community. The fact has just been heightened. Thank you again for your community support. Go Cobras.
Rebekah D. Schneiter
7th Grade Language Arts