Foreword by Ama Karikari Yawson, Editor and Publisher
We blinked, and our entire way of life changed.
We could no longer run in and out of supermarkets. Instead, we were greeted by long lines and the mandate to wear masks and remain six feet apart from all other patrons. Toilet paper, bleach, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant items stopped being regular household items. They became precious resources that could rarely be found.
But perhaps one of the biggest changes is that we had to abandon our daily
routines of traveling to and from home, work, school, houses of worship, and other places. The COVID-19 pandemic in the United States in 2020 caused states across the country to shut down daycare centers, schools, offices, houses of worship, dine-in restaurants, gyms, amusement parks, playgrounds, basketball courts, and other places of communal gathering to halt the spread of the deadly and highly infectious respiratory illness.
Students were forced to be educated at home as they met their teachers for
video conferencing via Zoom, Google Hangouts, or other platforms and did their schoolwork at home.
How did we manage this shift? In this book, we see how the parents, students, and teachers of a small district in California—the Southern Trinity Joint Unified School District or STJUSD—managed to remain resilient during the spring semester of 2020 when, due to social distancing guidelines, they were forced to close their school doors and finish the school year virtually. Through their personal journal entries, essays, and artwork, we are able to understand their disappointments and frustrations, as well as their determination to make the best of the situation and support each other during a time of great challenges.
Their reflections are incredibly significant. Moreover, excerpts from school
announcements and news articles allow readers to understand the policies that shaped the lives of members of the community.
As of the date of publication, many school districts are still perfecting their mix of offerings with respect to in-person instruction, completely virtual instruction, a hybrid in-person and virtual schedule, or a home education option where students work with their parents or tutors and receive support from the district.
It may take years for us to understand the impact of these various models on the educational outcomes of students. However, through these contributions from the Southern Trinity JUSD community, we are able to gain an understanding of the emotional impact of the crisis. More importantly, we are able to appreciate the resilience of the human spirit. It is clear that this community is stronger than COVID-19.
To read more, download Stronger than COVID.
Submitted by Superintendent Peggy Canale and the Entire Southern Trinity JUSD Community, Trinity County – Mad River.