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Six feet apart, but still side by side

(Editor’s Note: On the evening of August 6, one day before school was to start after the long break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wheeler County School Superintendent Suzanne Couey sent a call-out (phone message) to students and their families. The inspirational message is posted in its entirety below.)

“Good evening, parents. We have all had to adjust to many changes over the last several months due to COVID-19, and we are implementing many changes to our school procedures this year to ensure the safety of our students and staff. We will have to be ready to adapt to changes throughout the year, and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that.

But we know that one thing will NOT change…and that is our dedication to your children, to their safety and to their education. Our teachers and staff never wavered last spring and did whatever was necessary to support your children. They have been working hard the last two weeks to prepare quality instruction that can quickly transition to remote learning. Administrators and staff have worked tirelessly this summer to develop safe procedures and prepare a safe environment for our students and staff.

Before making decisions, we examine official guidance and recommendations and weigh all options to determine the best path for our school system. We understand that parents may disagree with some decisions. It is impossible to make everyone happy all the time, and that is not our goal. Our goal is to continued from page

provide what our children need—a quality education with social, emotional, and physical support—in a safe learning environment.

We provided the remote learning option because we do understand that some parents and children are not ready for face-to-face instruction. We respect that decision and look forward to seeing those students back on campus in the coming months.

There is no doubt we will have many challenges this year, but that will be the case no matter when or where the school year occurs. Regardless of what happens, your children’s teachers know what to do. They have done it for years, and they will continue to do so. They will love your children. They will inspire, care for, support, and lead them to a promising future. This year will teach us all valuable lessons, and we will learn them together, six feet apart, but still side by side.

Have a restful evening. We have a big day tomorrow, and we can’t wait to see our children’s smiling faces.” Suzanne Couey, Superintendent, Wheeler County Schools

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