Op-Ed: Staff, parents focus on successful school year

Kathy Yolish was reappointed chairwoman of the Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Kathy Yolish was reappointed chairwoman of the Board of Education during its meeting Wednesday, Dec. 16.

Brian Gioiele / Hearst Connecticut Media

The following letter was sent to the staff and parents of Shelton public schools students.

The pandemic is upending our lives and our education system, but I’m certain it won’t upend you, our dedicated and talented team of Shelton public school employees and our supportive yet concerned families.

First, as I thought about our staff, I questioned “what would we do without all of them?” The answer quite truthfully would be to close down the schools and see regression in all that had been achieved. For the staff are the singular agency that keeps our school system functioning, keeps our children learning and makes Shelton public schools a place where education flourishes.

I know this because I have had the privilege of teaching in Shelton for 35 years as well as now serving on the board for my 11th year. I watch them in action as they strive to make every effort to see that the schools function like a well-tuned machine, thus providing an education that is second to none. Whether a cafeteria worker, a custodian, a maintenance employee, secretary, nurse, paraprofessional, tech engineer, tutor, building sub, teacher, administrator, security guard or central office employee, they need to know that what they do is very valuable and I recognize this and so do our BOE members. Their skills and abilities are applauded as is the warmth of their hearts and the concern for the children.

Add to this list the willingness to go above and beyond what might be expected of them. As they begin this new school year with much trepidation and concern for the uncertainty that comes with it, please know that I and the BOE membership send our support and care and appreciation. We will do our very best to provide a safe and protected environment for all to the best of our ability. Our deepest gratitude for the many and valued services provided to our school system.

To our parents, be assured that, although this year is going to be very different and filled with day-to-day concerns, we the board, our central office leadership team and our dedicated staff will watch carefully over our most cherished treasures — your children. We will consistently check that all safety protocols are met and followed. We will encourage the children to feel secure and comfortable in their learning environment. We will provide continuous learning, whether hybrid or virtual, and strive for an equitable education for all.

Remember we are Shelton strong, and together we will do what needs to be done one day at a time. Our very best wishes to all for the best 2020-21 school year possible.