The Crestone Eagle • July, 2020

CCS preparing to open in fall

The Crestone Charter School has ended a remarkable and an unprecedented school year.  Our student Eli Nava, a ten-year old Intermediary student, summarized our experience of remote learning during the COVID school closure in his article,  “How do you think online schooling might be changing our society’s thoughts on public education?” by stating:

“I really like online schooling because I get to stay home. I get to be with my mom, dad and my sis. Honestly, my stress levels have gone down for multiple reasons: We can get up when we want and don’t have to rush out of the house. I can focus more on myself. I have freedom with my day. My home is a safe place to work at and I feel more comfortable. I can eat and drink whenever I want and wear pajamas!

With online schooling there can be challenges. Lack of alone time, my sister is always with me. I can’t see my classmates. We can’t go on trips like 100 Elk or Expedition Thursdays. Lack of internet or computer glitches can cause problems.

I think online learning is changing our society in many ways. Everybody will learn new tech skills to do school. Online schooling can be personalized to the student’s interests.The parents are going to be more hands on with education.  Parents will hopefully have more respect for teachers. I hope it brings families closer and makes their bond stronger.”

Surely, not all students and families have had such a good experience and we are striving to improve how we accommodate student needs better in case we might intermittently be required to revert to remote learning.  CCS is preparing for a variety of COVID related scenarios to open the school in the Fall with social distancing and health precautions in place.  Hence, the school has created a Tiger Team to plan for the next school year. The cross functional team consists of parents, a health expert, a teacher, IT, school counselor, business manager, and the director. It’s mission is to assess CCSs strengths and stakeholder needs to plan systems and structures that enable the school to fulfill its mission under COVID conditions. To garner input and feedback from the families, the team hosted a Virtual Town Hall Meeting and conducted an online survey. Despite social distancing requirements, we will find ways to preserve our school culture that is characterized by a family atmosphere; just as we were able to create a beautiful and moving graduation ceremony in an intimate circle embraced by the wilderness, followed by a joyful car parade in front of the school.

In conclusion, we are working hard preparing for the school opening in the Fall.  We are committed to our students receiving a good and personalized education no matter what scenarios we have to face next school year. Furthermore, we cannot wait to see the students back, filling the school with bubbling energy and enthusiasm. Help us hold this vision!