Wherever our kids are, whatever it takes; CIS is here to break down barriers to academic success and graduation
Published in the Elko Daily Free Press on August 20, 2020
August is synonymous with back-to-school — a time typically filled with excitement and anticipation for what the new school year will bring. New classrooms, new classmates, new teachers, and new learning opportunities. This year, it’s a bit different.
As our own local school districts and educational leaders grapple with plans to conduct in-person classes, virtual distance learning, or a combination of both, one thing remains constant: Communities In Schools (CIS) of Northeastern Nevada is here to continue to support our students in flexible ways as they reengage in their schooling, including distributing wholesome weekend meal bags and connecting our students with various basic needs resources.
From learning in front of a whiteboard in the classroom to a computer screen at the dining table, education has shifted rapidly. We all had hoped this would be temporary and yet here we are — staring down a fall semester filled with continued uncertainty and mounting challenges for families and households.
As unemployment continues to climb and economic conditions deteriorate, parents are struggling to meet kids’ needs. And, for those who are still earning an income, anxiety around who will care for children while the adults are away at work is growing as the start of the school year nears. To those reading this, I want you to know: We hear those needs. And we see your struggles. We want to be here for you as a reliable support so that you can feel confident about this school year.
Our full-time trained Site Coordinators, who typically work inside public schools stand hand-in-hand with schools, students, and parents as we seek to reengage students in school and reimagine their learning environments so they’re effective and safe. Since the onset of the pandemic and school closures, our CIS Site Coordinators have continued the weekend food bag program, providing virtual student support, and delivering mental health services, hygiene kits, and technology items to students’ doorsteps.
While the learning experience this year will look different, our Site Coordinators are committed to connecting each and every student with the necessary items and services critical to their well-being and success in school. Alongside our schools, parents, and community partners, CIS of Northeastern Nevada continues to innovate our model to serve our students in and outside the classroom. We remain ready and committed to meeting the growing needs of our students during these extraordinary times.
Wherever they are, whatever it takes, CIS is here for our kids. CIS is here for our families. CIS is here for our community. We see you. We hear you. We will get through this, together.
Author: Sarah Goicoechea, Executive Director, Communities In Schools of Northeastern Nevada