Lakewood schools helping however they can during outbreak

  • Friday, March 20, 2020 1:30am
  • Opinion

The Lakewood School District is doing all we can to support the well-being of our community while ensuring the health of our staff and students.

The outbreak of COVID-19—the disruption, fear and pain that it has created—has changed life for all of us. Even with the social distancing that we now have to practice, it challenges us all to draw closer as a community. As we talk about the spread of disease, quarantines and businesses being shuttered, there is no more important time than now for Lakewood schools to step in to offer help, support and abundance to our students and families.

That is what drove our school board’s decision to postpone the special levy election April 28. Fully engaging our community was a commitment that we made as a district in running the levies a second time. But August or November may prove to be better times to engage the community in dialogue about the vitality and value of our schools.

For now, we have more immediate work to do. Our district has been charged with feeding the children of our community while our schools are closed. This is a task that we have taken to heart and fully embraced. Our “Meals on the Bus” program is designed to place breakfast and lunch in our children’s hands at their bus stops. With the support of federal and state dollars, we have designed a delivery model, unique in our state, that ensures all children who want and need food, get it—every morning. All they have to do is meet their bus as it rounds the corner in their neighborhood.

We are planning to provide child care to the first responders and health care professionals in the district who have K-6 grade students in our schools. These plans have advanced to late stages and await guidance from the state. We are also preparing enrichment opportunities for all of our students, designed by their teachers, to be available throughout the closure.

None of us has ever faced a challenge of this magnitude and scope before, or at least not for a very long time. It will end. We will get through it, though with loss and pain. The Lakewood School District, its board of directors, administration and staff are ready to show the way.

We are here for our students, our staff, their families and the community. We will give you all that we have to give.

Scott Peacock is superintendent of the Lakewood School District. His column runs monthly.

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