by Erica Zimmerman
With this Spring 2020 issue, Washington Central Friends of Education relaunches this e-newsletter just in time to document a historic challenge to our communities and schools — the period of remote learning during the Covid-19 Crisis.
Back in 1992 Washington Central Friends of Education (WCFE) began Bus Stop Conversations to keep our entire community – not just parents – informed about the challenges our schools and students face. The first issue of Bus Stop Conversations was published on Nov. 17, 1992 to bring schools and communities together to support children and families. (Read our history here.)
Now, nearly forty years later, our schools and communities have encountered unique challenges and needs for understanding and outreach. Schools were dismissed in March, but they were never closed! Teaching and learning had to shift on the fly to reach students throughout five towns. At the same time, our school governance has just changed, with one board now serving all six schools.
How can all of us residents of Washington Central better understand how our schools have met this challenge? How did the teachers and staff continue to nurture our students and rural communities? What needs and strengths have they uncovered?
Throughout this issue you will find examples of the ways our schools have connected with students and families across the channels of remote learning. By no means is this a full accounting; in fact, we welcome you to send us more stories about the successes as well as the needs and struggles that remain. While we may miss the paper copies of Bus Stop Conversations arriving in our roadside mailboxes, this digital format gives more space to share more voices. Also, in coming weeks, we will publish celebrations of graduating classes, teacher retirements and our own transitions at WCFE. We need photos, quotes and more! Please share them to firstname.lastname@example.org.