By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon school district leaders recently offered kudos and thanks to faculty members for their work adapting to a new teaching environment.
Yukon Public Schools’ students will return to classroom starting Wednesday after the board of education acted at its September meeting.
Students have been learning online to start the 2020-21 school year but will soon rejoin their teachers and principals at 13 YPS school sites.
YPS educators have provided online instruction in recent weeks but will transition to the traditional school setting on Sept. 16 (pre-kindergarten through third grades) and Sept. 21 (fourth through 12th grades).
Don Rowe, who officially took his new Post 5 seat at September’s YPS board meeting, commended Yukon’s teachers for becoming “experts” at instructing their students by video.
“Our teachers have worked so hard and they are doing such a magnificent job with the situation they’re in,” said Rowe, who teaches at Mustang High School. “They still care so much about kids.”
Rowe and other board members emphasized that online, virtual learning is not ideal, but today’s times are most unusual.
“In a pandemic, nothing’s ideal,” Rowe shared.
Some teachers have gone “above and beyond” and thought “outside the box” by taking their video lessons outside to parks or even the mountains, he added.
“I appreciate you,” Rowe told YPS educators. “Just keeping loving on our kids.”
YPS Board President Suzanne Cannon credited Yukon’s teachers for what she described as their outstanding performance. Cannon noted they have been thoughtful, creative and flexible.
“They have risen to the occasion of a 100-year event,” said Cannon, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yukon is the only Canadian County school district that fully implemented a continuous learning plan with students receiving remote, online instruction daily from their teachers.
When YPS returns to in-person, classroom instruction, Cannon believes the transition will be seamless because of this opportunity.
“So, I’m so very grateful to our teachers for everything they’ve done,” she said. “They have really, really worked hard. Our administrators have also, but our teachers are really carrying the burden of this – and they’re doing a fabulous job.”
YPS Board Vice President Chris Cunningham said the district’s teachers are striving to “make things work for everyone.”
“It’s a tough situation,” Cunningham said. “It’s really a no-win situation either way.”
YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth referred to the “admirable job” the school district’s staff have done with virtual and online instruction.
“It’s a tough situation; it’s a new situation we’ve been in for two weeks,” he said Tuesday night. “They’ve just done so many things right.
“We have professionals in our school system, and we have caring professionals on our school board as well.”