Highland View Academy (Hagerstown, Md.) hosted an online music festival and virtual academy days from…
By Janesta Walker, superintendent of schools, Chesapeake Conference
In mid-March, life as we knew it began to change rapidly as states, one by one, began to impose restrictions on gathering due to COVID-19. Schools across the nation closed, leaving millions of students and their parents wondering what education would look like in the coming weeks. For most, the past two months have been frustrating, disappointing, and troubling. In the Chesapeake Conference, however, our schools have stepped up in a remarkable way, continuing to provide creative and supportive academic programming for our students.
Prior to the official school building closures, our Chesapeake educators met to discuss plans for providing distance learning that would be meaningful and relevant. With this careful pre-planning, as well as with teachers investing their vacation time preparing adjusted lesson plans, all our Chesapeake schools were up and running with their distance education programs following spring break. Our students had no loss of instructional days. This is a testament to the resilience, flexibility and professionalism of the teachers in our schools.
A couple of weeks into the distance learning experience, each school conducted a parent satisfaction survey to assess our performance. This survey revealed that our families are overwhelmingly pleased with the dedicated service and quality of instruction their children are receiving, especially under the present challenges.
Kristen Homan, a parent in one of our schools, stated, “I can safely say that unequivocally [our Adventist schools] are blowing everyone away with the level of communication, preparedness and online/remote curriculum.” To hear her words of praise and appreciation, click this link.
Our schools are not just buildings. They are the relationships, the care, the support, the quality instruction, and the spiritual nurturing, all of which our students have continued to receive daily thanks to our wonderful team of Chesapeake educators.
As we wrap up this school year, join me in reaching out to the Chesapeake teachers you know and thank them for the incredible efforts they have invested in our young people, and congratulate the students you know for surviving the most challenging semester our schools have seen in our lifetime. It has taken a tremendous amount of teamwork, perseverance, and many prayers, but we have so much to be thankful for. We praise God for the strength and wisdom He always provides and for the gift of Adventist education.