With the arrival of Spring comes the end of the 2019-2020 school year. The end of this school year has been anything but normal. Due to the pandemic, face to face school has been closed. We have continued to do our best to educate kids virtually. Staff and parents have been amazing, stepping up for kids.
The School Board’s and District’s forward thinking has had the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District one-to-one for a number of years now. That has really helped us facilitate virtual learning. Google Classroom has been a great platform for the distribution of education material. Google Meets has allowed educators to provide one-to-one, small group, and whole group instruction. Educators have also used other tools such as Screencastify to record video lessons and share instruction. Paraprofessionals have been meeting virtually one-to-one with students to provide additional assistance. We also have tried to continue to provide mental health services through teletherapy. All while providing meals to about 470 kids, thanks to an amazing kitchen staff. Meanwhile, parents have been essential to making this work. Thank you staff and parents. I would also like to give a shout out to Baldwin Lightstream for their help with getting students connected.
With the end of the school year comes some big events, none bigger than graduation. At this time, we are not able to run graduation as normal. Based on the graduating classes’ input, we are holding out for an in-person graduation ceremony as opposed to a virtual ceremony. At this time, we have set aside the weekend of July 25, 2020 to potentially hold a ceremony. We will continue to explore options as situations change. Summer school is another big event for kids and families. With school facilities closed through June 30, we are not able to run our normal summer school. We are currently planning to have summer school options available in August. We will certainly share plans as they become available.
On April 7, the school district passed a referendum to build a new pool and make improvements to our athletic facilities. We will be building an outdoor pool with a dome for year round use, along with a new pool house. The football field will be getting field turf so that soccer, band, and physical education classes can use the field too. The baseball field will be getting a new look that includes field turf. Softball will be able to use this field also. The track will be redone to include a full eight lanes. New lighting will put some finishing touches on these projects. We are currently in the planning and design phase, which will take most of the summer. We hope to begin some construction this fall, with substantial completion of these projects by the end of next summer, 2021.
Finally, I want to thank all of our retiring staff. The following teachers will be retiring at the end of this school year, Bruce Ashlin, Char Grant, Lori Isaacson, Mary Landry and Wanda Wells. The following support staff will also be retiring — Carolyn Iverson, Colleen Leavitt and Ellen Lindbom. Between these retirees, the Baldwin-Woodville Area School District will be losing almost 250 years of experience. Thank you so much for your years of service and commitment to kids!!
Stay, safe, stay healthy, and keep smiling!