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GraniteSchoolDistrict Teachers Well-being & Mental Health

GSD Wellness Center

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Academics News! Other Districts in Utah Well-being & Mental Health

Canyons hires a new superintendent

A few days ago, Mr. Robins was announced as the new superintendent for the Canyons district. Mr. Robins will replace Mr. Briscoe who is retiring.
This is noteworthy news, because of Mr. Robins’s accomplishments at the Juab district where he served as superintendent.

Mr. Robins has an impressive resume and the trust of the Canyons school board who unanimously voted for his appointment.

Please read the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune articles below for more information. https://www.deseret.com/utah/2020/4/14/21220596/canyons-school-district-selects-rick-robins-as-new-superintendent

https://www.sltrib.com/news/education/2020/04/15/new-canyons-school/

What interested me greatly was the fact that under Mr. Robins’s leadership, the Juab district has emerged as a national leader in competency-based education and personalized learning.

The accomplishments of Juab school district are described in the Deseret News article.

“In 2015, the school district was inducted into the Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, which recognizes some of the nation’s most innovative and forward-thinking school models. There are only 114 districts which have earned that distinction in the nation. In 2018, Juab School District was honored at the National School Boards Convention by the Center for Digital Education .”

I am also impressed by Mr. Robins’ priority in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, both in bridging the academic gap and taking care of the looming mental health crisis. As reported in the SL Tribune, “A lot of students, Robins said after the announcement, will likely come back with new fears and concerns, and some with ongoing ones. His goal will be making sure all have a place to go to talk about what they’re experiencing.”

I applaud his priorities as I believe that these should also be front and center in our district.


Congratulations, Mr. Robins, on your new appointment.

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Academics Coronavirus Equity GraniteSchoolDistrict News! Well-being & Mental Health

The soft closure is officially extended to the end of the school year

We will all remember this school year 2019-2020, won’t we ?

The end of the school for the Granite School District was planned for May 22nd, 2020. March 16th, when the soft closure was announced by the Governor to the end of May 2020 is a period 10 weeks. 10 weeks of uncertainty, financial anguish, exhausting role-changing, responsibility-juggling, disease-worrying times. Say no more.

We will survive this once in a lifetime pandemic. But we do have to acknowledge the losses that this crisis forced us into and the challenges ahead.

Besides the obvious ones, I’d like to consider a few school-related ones.

Awards

Awards were given and earned by terrific teachers and students, but went pretty much unnoticed.
I’d like to acknowledge the Sterling Awards, made official on March 19th.
A large number of these remarkable young students came from our Granite School District. The ceremony was cancelled, but let’s recognize them here.
GENERAL STERLING SCHOLAR (English category) – Cindy Phan, Skyline High School

DANCE
Runner-up: Lily Bruce, Skyline High School.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC:
Winner: Zoe Schramm, Olympus High School

MATH
Seyij Jung, Skyline High School

SCIENCE
Winner: Sreemanti Dey, Skyline High School

SPEECH/THEATER ARTS/FORENSICS:
Runner-Up: Julane Machado, Skyline High School.

VISUAL ARTS:
Runner-Up: Nicholas Heiner, Skyline High School.

Congratulations to these fine young students for a well deserved award. We admire and respect you !

Also, the Granite School District Excel Awards have not been officially announced yet. Our fantastic teachers and administrators will need to be recognized by all of us in style at some point.

Saying goodbye !

We have missed our teachers, and our teachers have missed our kids. It would have been nice to part as we do other years. We will find a way to say goodbye, but it will involve a safe physical distance.

Graduation

Seniors will miss a typical graduation and will have to have find a way to a different, still meaningful but safe rite of passage. Students have been surveyed and schools are hard at work coming up with an acceptable alternative.

Academics

As we are in the middle of a 10-week period of soft-closure, I am very concerned that a large number of our students have fallen through gaping cracks. Yes, parents now understand better what teachers have been doing in the classroom. I hope that this gives a much larger appreciation for our teachers. But how is the Granite School District planning on addressing the little learning that has happened in so many households ?
If I am elected on the board, I will make it my number 1 priority for the upcoming school year.

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Coronavirus Well-being & Mental Health

Lifting Spirits Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

I take our governor’s request very seriously. The social distancing is the only thing that is scientifically proven to work well to stop the spread of the virus and flatten the curve. Each of us must take this very seriously if we want to avoid vulnerable populations suffering and to ensure that our health workers and hospitals are not completely overwhelmed.

But how do you deal with the isolation in your home ?
If you are like me – you miss the contact of people. I admit that I miss hugs with my friends and the closeness that true friendship brings!

We may not be able to meet with friends, but we can still talk with them right? In our household, we started reaching out and having ‘phone play dates’ with friends both for the adults and children. It is amazing what the voice of a friend will do to lift you up.

Also, I have heard from several friends that elderly people are getting very lonely. True, we are trying to protect them, but let’s make sure we tell them how much they mean to us and being present whichever way we know, in their lives.

This virus can separate us physically, but it can’t separate us emotionally. Call your friends and tell them how much you love them.

See the ingenuity of our Italian friends who have been so severely hit by the virus.