School works to keep students, community connected

A+flyer+with+essential+information+organized+by+Community+in+Schools+coordinator+Adalee+Hidalgo.

A flyer with essential information organized by Community in Schools coordinator Adalee Hidalgo.

Antonia Seltzer, Adviser

The day before spring break started, March 13, Covid-19 prompted city and state issued stay-at-home orders after President Trump declared a national emergency. Coronavirus was here.

When it became apparent that school would not resume as it always had in the past, plans were made to start school in a different way.  By March 23, under the direction of Principal Antonio Acuña with the help of assistant principals Felipe Barraza, Victor Lara, Daniel Medina, Laura Ponce, Efren Tarango,  the school cafeteria staff began serving breakfast and lunch curbside from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Saturday as security stood at the ready. Soon Chromebook devices were being distributed to students so school could continue despite school building closures. And on line school training for faculty took shape. Efforts to provide connectivity to students and faculty kicked off.

As the pandemic continues the school works daily to provide services as well as classes through coordination efforts by administration personnel who work tirelessly to make it all happen. Faculty and staff pulled together early on to go online in an unheard of two weeks. Librarian Elena Ortega quickly followed-up to provide internet resources.  Security, cafeteria, and custodial staffers remain on site as essential personnel.  Clerical staffers now work out of their homes as do so many of us. All coordinating to keep the school running.

Rtl coordinator Roberto Armendariz set up tutoring sessions to help students with English, math and science with the help of Academic Center director Gabriela Diaz.  CTC coordinator Greg Longstreth handles the tough job of maintaining connectivity as well as providing training sessions all the while spearheading troubleshooting efforts regarding any connectivity and program issues. Meanwhile counselors prepare, organize and launch online registration efforts for next year. Part of the school’s community outreach effort includes Community in Schools coordinator Adalee Hidalgo’s up-to-date food pantry locations for the community. Student Activities director Chris Lopez works to organize events and efforts to end the year as it should be, a celebration, the same, but different.

Weekly, teachers proudly post student work and it is a joy to share. Weekly the faculty meets on line and it is good to see everyone. Weekly I miss my students, I miss my friends, I miss the friendly faces. I miss all things Del Valle and although I have never said it, I now understand the sincerity of those who say, ‘I bleed blue’. I love this school and we will be back.

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