The Rochester Classroom Teachers Association would like to express our empathy for the families in our community likely to struggle with the impositions posed by the response to COVID-19 and reaffirm our commitment to helping serve as a reliable community resource.

By the time closure of our doors became a reality, our school had already initiated plans to ensure our most fundamental functions will continue to be fulfilled.

Our teachers take seriously our duty to continue to provide a quality education for our students. The relationships between the students and teachers are already forged, and the connections needed to deliver lessons are in place. Teachers have collaborated to come up with a range of ways to communicate with students and keep them engaged. Our staff has posted lessons online and will be available each e-learning day to help guide students.

Many of our students rely on the school for basic needs such as food assistance and mental health services. Likewise, many families rely on our school for a paycheck and insurance. The corporation has plans in place to merge these concerns and meet these needs. 980 RCSC students receive free or reduced lunches. We empathize with families who rely on the school for help ensuring their children are adequately fed. To that end, our school has developed a plan to mobilize our hourly workforce to prepare meal packets and distribute five-day supplies of food each Friday.

The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is likely to be a source of anxiety for our students and their families. Our counselors are on hand to field questions and help families connect with entities providing resources. RCSC is working in coordination with Four County to ensure the continuation of services to students in need.

We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with our students every day, and we remain committed to adapting in order to serve our community.

Talking Zebras is a monthly column written by Rochester Community Schools’ administrators and staff about a subject of their choosing.

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