It has been so amazing to have students back on our campuses. Their energy infuses us all with a greater sense of purpose and community. We are truly excited to phase in more opportunities for in-person learning.
Equally exciting, and equally important, has been our students having the opportunity to engage is athletics and activities. Participation in co-curricular events enhances leadership, commitment to a team and boosts esteem.
All of these are steps in the direction of returning to full school operation next fall.
That is the goal for our district and for the state. One of the many lessons we have learned during the pandemic is that community partnerships are critical to our success. Our district enjoys and benefits from outstanding community organizations that have supported us throughout the pandemic.
It has been so wonderful to partner with Tim’s Pharmacy to assist them in getting vaccinations out to our community and to school employees. As more people, including students, become eligible, we look forward to co-hosting more vaccination events. Food insecurity is a real problem for families, and we are blessed to partner with All Kids Win, Bounty for Families, the city of Yelm, and the Yelm Rotary Club for their incredible determination to provide meals to those in need.
During remote instruction, our district has enjoyed incredible support from community members who have stepped in to be speakers in Zoom classes, served as online mentors as students work on their career exploration and high school and beyond plans.
We also enjoy a strong partnership with the Yelm Police Department. The school resource officers have really stepped in during the pandemic to help with home visits, wellness and safety checks, and have completely updated the Rapid Responder System with information about all our schools. This information provides critical support for all first responders if they need to access a school campus.
These are only a few of the many organizations that so generously support our students and district. It is incredibly gratifying to work and live in a community that cares so much about students and families. In our mission to return to full school operations, we will continue to seek new and supportive partnerships that help all our students.
Brian Wharton is superintendent of Yelm Community Schools.