RLES stabilizing small minds
In the wake of the coronavirus crisis, schools across the nation have closed for an unknown future. As of now, our own Rosebud-Lott ISD will be closed until April 6 at the very least.
In the meantime, students and parents alike are struggling to keep the faith that everything will go back to normal one day. That’s where Rosebud-Lott Elementary School staff and Assistant Principal Jonathan Shaw have come to the rescue for their little ones.
A “Morning Announcements” video was released on Monday, March 23, following a string of administrative updates and other community-esque videos.
“Throughout the weeks we have been out of school the most prominent thing on our minds as educators at RLES has been the students,” said Jonathan Shaw in an interview.
Students hear the announcements from Shaw on a daily basis. They congregate in the cafeteria each morning to have breakfast and the announcements are given after.
“The idea actually came from one of our RLES PTO moms who asked if we could do a video to help with their morning routine,” the educator explained. “I loved it and pitched it to our administrative team and we all thought it was a great way to give our students a sense of normalcy in their mornings.”
The idea is that the “generic morning announcement video” gives parents a tool to use in the mornings to start their child’s day the same way they do while at school - a way that students are familiar with and helps them get motivated for the day ahead.
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the biggest benefits for continuity, or repetition of the familiar, are less stress on the children, empowerment to families, and the facilitation of a smooth developmental process.
Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation (2015) says that care and education professionals are tasked with creating organized environments that support learning and the socioemotional development of children.
That’s exactly the task the RLISD educators have tackled.
“Today I will do more than I have to do. I will treat others as I want to be treated. And, I will try to become a better person,” the Cougar Pledge reads, reminding students that even at home, they can invest in themselves.
“The students love their routines of saying the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge, and the Cougar Pledge,” Shaw said. “We also discuss things like the weather, that day's music/PE rotation, a word of the day, and a character trait of the week.”
The generic video also includes birthday shout outs, lunch/nutrition reminders, and even reminders from staff members to engage in learning, music, and physical activities. Shaw also gave out special instructions on how to access the buzz word of the day.
It all began on March 19, when the Rosebud-Lott Elementary PTO Facebook page released a video message from Shaw, giving parents (and students) an update on how their children would be impacted and what the elementary school would be doing during this time away from the classroom.
These involved updates on academics, nutrition, and notes from Superintendent Steve Brownlee.
It was followed later that evening by a “Bedtime Story Read by Your AP” video, where Shaw gave additional updates and read ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’ He said that the idea for reading stories came from missing the students.
“The storytime part of the video was honestly just a need to send some comfort and love to our students,” the educator explained. “I wanted them to be able to see me or hear my voice and know that we missed them and loved them dearly.”
From there, other staff members have picked up the trend, transforming the idea with their own creations.
“Some teachers even have their personal kids reading bedtime stories,” Shaw continued. “A parent even challenged other teachers to release videos of them reading bedtime stories out of good fun and enjoyment.”
The district is grateful to parents for their support during these tough times.
“RLES administration and teachers are loving the new found partnership with parents/guardians to help make this time away from school productive and supportive,” Shaw said. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and thankful.”
“Parents/guardians have continuously given us feedback on things they would like to see and questions they have,” the educator continued. “We will continue to grow this method of support for our students using their feedback.”
Rosebud-Lott ISD is really working hard to make sure their students, families, and staff alike feel supported and heard during this global crisis. District officials have shown and continue to show their outstanding leadership through the creation of continuity for their students.
Elementary parents, grandparents, guardians, and caretakers can keep up with the action by keeping in contact with students’ teachers and on the Rosebud-Lott ISD Facebook page or the Rosebud-Lott Elementary PTO Facebook page.