Be thankful for strong educational leadership during COVID-19 crisis

As we navigate this ongoing crisis in our country, here in Denver, there are two moms who have been doing everything they can to support and love the children in our community: Superintendent Susana Cordova and Denver Public School Board President Carrie Olson.

Within the first 24 hours of DPS canceling in-person learning, they had meal sites up and running in every part of the city. They set up daily Facebook Live sessions to update families regularly and made it clear that their first priority is caring for the wellness of community.

We have gratitude for our teachers, who have been adaptive and thoughtful.

We have gratitude for our food service workers, who have made over 90,000 meals to hand out over the last month to families in need.

We have gratitude for our school leaders, who have built the strong communities we are relying on. 

I am extremely proud to be a part of the DPS community during this time, the collaboration and intentional support of our kids.

As we move forward with remote learning in DPS, we must do so with grace, patience and an understanding that the learning we are providing is bringing comfort and joy to all our children and their families. Our classrooms were a place to connect, we must now include families in this community more than ever. 

As Denver Public Schools moves to a place of remote learning, it is commendable how district leadership has been available, thoughtful and pragmatic about solutions. As we move into the space of remote learning, I can’t help but remind myself that parents are the best problem solvers when it comes to our kids.

As parents begin monitoring their students’ learning at home, we trust in them to know what is working and what is not for their kids. Perhaps this lesson will translate into permanent changes in attitude, and parent voice will become more widely respected throughout the district and on the board. 

Ariel Smith
Ariel Smith
Ariel Smith is the co-founder of Transform Education Now, TEN. TEN works with families across the Denver Metro area as they advocate for high quality schools. She was a high school teacher at a turnaround school and has been organizing with families since 2010.

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