This summer has been full of challenges as we have had to manage the impact of COVID-19. There has been planning, then planning again as we attempt to meet all the health and safety requirements, establish a school profile that works for our students and staff and keep everyone as safe as we possibly can. It has not been easy to decide on the best way to do on-site education. It is far more complex than we imagined.
Our students have come from backgrounds that require individual attention. They need a full therapeutic community that can provide specialized education, counseling, group therapy and specific interventions. Even our therapy dogs can play a special role in their lives that help them regulate and better learn in the classroom.
Therefore, it is important that we engage them as personally and as regularly as we can during this pandemic. Our school staff, maintenance staff, technology staff, food service staff and administrators have all joined together to provide the safest and most prepared environment for our students as possible. We have changed our sanitization protocols, we are cleaning our vans after every trip, we have worked through logistics of student movement, we have socially distanced our classrooms and we will supply masks where they are required. We also will be offering our classes and counseling on-line for students who are unable to attend our schools.
The list goes on and on as we work through all the mandates for school functioning with COVID-19 still fluctuating throughout the nation and in our counties. Our Mobile Support Program will continue to support community students. Our In-school Counselor Program has grown by several positions and can operate either live or online. All our trauma training programs continue to function virtually and we are reaching thousands of professionals with that training.
This has truly been the most unique summer we have ever had. I will presume that this will also be a unique school year as well. What we do know is that there are many students who have been impacted negatively by COVID-19. I believe these students will be identified and that we may realize one of the busiest years ever.
I appreciate our staff being so willing to step into the lives of our students. I am so thankful for all their planning and efforts. All the changes for this new normal will make their jobs much more difficult. However, if we can keep everyone safe this may be a huge year of impact for our four schools as they have such meaningful impact in the lives of hundreds of students who may need some special support and care.