Hello parents, grandparents, and community,
I would like to give you a quick update about Central Consolidated Schools’ efforts in response to the Coronavirus, and how our team has been working hard to provide information to communities, families, and staff.
Central Consolidated Schools (CCSD) Closed for Three Weeks
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the New Mexico Public Education Department, and the New Mexico Department of Health announced on March 12, 2020, that New Mexico K-12 public schools would close for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16, in response to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. It seems like that proactive measure was made a long time ago, but it was just one week ago.
CCSD followed the New Mexico Public Education Department’s guide and began immediately working on providing answers to questions from our staff (with input from our principals and teachers), and a plan to help our parents cope with the closures. You can find the questions and answers, as well as helpful links for parents on the Coronavirus section of our website, ccsdnm.org.
In the photo: A family of four picks up a hot lunch at Shiprock High School.
Meal Services During the Closure
On March 16, the district started serving “Grab-and-Go” hot lunches for children ages 1 to 18 at three locations, Kirtland Middle School, Shiprock High School, and Newcomb High School. This week alone hundreds of meals have been provided, which also included “Next-Day Breakfasts” since March 18.
The efforts of our Operations Department and Food Services have been tremendous, and will expand to Ojo Amarillo Elementary School and Naschitti Elementary School starting on Monday, March 23.
The reaction from parents has been really positive, and they identified a need to provide services on our bus stops to the more remote areas of the district. And we listened, which is why on Wednesday, March 25, we’ll start providing breakfast and lunches at ten bus stops. Click here to see areas and times for our meals at bus stops.
The community should know that we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of students participating in these services. We are so very pleased.
Checking on the Welfare of Students and Safety
Central Consolidated Schools will be checking on the welfare of students and their families during the delivery of meals at bus stops, as well as telephone calls to families. We are also emphasizing the “See Something, Say Something” program that allows youth and adults to submit secure and anonymous safety concerns.
Staffing During Closure
Spring Break proceeded as usual for most of our employees as they completed pending work. This week, we provided the staff with an itemized to-do list by department (for essential employees), prescribed with social distancing in mind and outlining where we need to concentrate for the next two weeks, as we continue to meet deadlines and provide services (wages and benefits, the possibility of overtime in an extended school closure, to name a couple). You can find that information on our website, ccsdnm.org.
Resources Available for Families and Educators
We have posted the following set of resources on our website and Facebook, which will be helpful to our communities and educators:
- Amazing Educational Resources: A list of educational companies offering free educational subscriptions due to school closings.
- Brainpop.com: A resource that allows students and teachers to be involved in the learning process. CCSD already uses this great tool.
- Edgenuity.com: Students can use Edgenuity for their credit recovery classes.
- Greatminds.org/math: Great Minds offers the Eureka Math curriculum as PDF downloads for free. The curriculum is accompanied by a selection of instructional materials and support resources for teachers at no additional cost.
- Istation.com: Students in grades K-8 can still use iStation for ELA and Math during the closure.
- Scholastic.com/support/learnathome: Scholastic has curated a free digital learning hub designed to support virtual learning plans, called “Scholastic Learn At Home.” It allows open access to daily learning journeys divided into four grade spans—Pre-K–K, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–9+, covering ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning.
Child Care Services
Providing Child Care Services at our locations has been a reoccurring theme at meetings and discussions throughout the district, and though we have facilities agreements with organizations that provide those services at two of our locations, it has proven to be a difficult challenge to solve for us. We believe this is a challenge that should be collaborated between CCSD and our partners in the county and the Navajo Nation governance. The same, in fact, is the case with facilitating distance learning at a time when we can’t provide internet access in buildings that are closed to the staff and the public.
We have included information from CYFD on our website and Facebook, called “Enabling family, friends, and neighbors,” which is an emergency health declaration from the state, allowing individuals to temporarily become eligible to receive child care assistance funding; provided they complete a background check, as will all family members over the age of 18 living in their home. Temporary providers will also be required to complete a three-hour online health and safety training and an online CPR training. The number to call for more information is 1-833-551-0518.
In the photo: Images of our families receiving lunches, our basketball teams playing at state, and Superintendent Dr. Dave Goldtooth and the team visiting with the Shiprock Chapter House.
Our partners at the Kwek Society have done it again, and continue to distribute period supplies to our students. These supplies are costly and even more so for our students that live far from local stores. It has been a real blessing to be able to receive these supplies.
On March 13, the Kirtland Central High School girls basketball team played the 4-A final against Los Lunas. We just want to celebrate the great season the Lady Broncos gave us, and that the second-place finish, for the second year in a row, tells us the program is producing incredible athletes and students, on and off the court, and that the students are in great hands with the coaches and the school. #GoBroncos
We don’t want to forget that our boys and girls teams from Newcomb played at state as well, representing us with great pride. The coaching staff and the school deserve great praise for creating wonderful teams to watch and cheer for, but also for raising the profile of the school. #HeartOverHeight
We can’t forget the families and fans either, whether from Kirtland or Newcomb, they traveled and celebrated with our teams when the students had to play in front of thousands and when the audiences were not there. One more shout-out goes to the Kirtland Central Band that supported all of our teams at state and wore their colors. We couldn’t be prouder of the district. #OneVisionOneMission
Away from our sports and back into the mix of dealing with the Coronavirus, we just want to express how lucky we have been to make great connections with other school districts, health providers, emergency management in the county and the chapter houses, all of whom have provided us with invaluable first-hand information, common-sense solutions, and resources to deal with the closures. We want you to remember to follow the guidelines our agencies are putting out there and to always thank health service providers, our food services staff, and the bus drivers for their great work.
Lastly, I want to put three more items on your radar that we’ll be discussing in the coming days.
- The first one is that we are working on what resuming classes looks like for all grades and what the plan will be if the closures are extended. We know that you’ll have questions that range from academics to credit recovery, proms and other school events, to will I be able to see my son, daughter or grandson and granddaughter graduate. We are thinking about those events, and as they get closer we will need your input.
- The second one is what our Board of Education meetings look like. It is important that we adjust to social distancing and less than ten people at a meeting, which may mean that the work sessions and regular meetings are livestreamed. Let me take a moment to acknowledge our Board of Education for their incredible support and providing a special meeting to provide answers to the community. The event, which was livestreamed on Facebook, worked as a forum and helped us hear from our communities. Special kudos to our CCSD staff for making it happen.
- The third item I want you to keep an eye out is the collaboration and working partnership between CCSD, the county, and the Navajo Nation governance. We will keep you updated of the outcomes, but remember that outcomes rest on whether CCSD can receive the support it needs to offer services, not on making assurances we can’t preserve.
As always, should anything change, we will use our parent call system, and post the information on ccsdnm.org and our social media channels.
Dr. Dave Goldtooth
Superintendent of Central Consolidated School District