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Arissa Viering | Goodday Mineral Wells | 08/10/2020 | MWISD Updates & Announcements

MINERAL WELLS, TX – Superintendent John Kuhn released a public address to all students, families, teachers, and staff regarding the upcoming school year preparations on 8/10/2020.

“Today is a big day in Ramland. We sent everyone home except for maintenance, food services, technology and a few others in March, then we let central office and campus administrators and some office staff back into their buildings on July 6, and now today we are bringing back the rest of our staff: teachers, aides, clerical workers, and the rest.

Like with everything else, we face a tough task this week. We need to train our people on many changes: a whole environment of new safety protocols and a new Remote Instruction Academy chief among them. We also need to touch on the things we look at every year: changes to the employee handbook, student handbook, code of conduct, technology plan, and so forth.

But we also need to make sure our teachers have time to work in their rooms. We left in such a hurry last spring and each teacher was only given a few hours to get their rooms empty for summer cleaning, so things weren’t left as well-organized as in a typical summer. I know this because I helped my wife vacate her room and a lot of stuff got crammed into cabinets when she wasn’t looking. They will have to have time to rebuild before the kids come back.

I have the privilege of starting things off this morning. It will be so different. We usually start with all the MWISD employees shuffling among kiosks in the high school where local merchants have giveaways and door prizes. We have photo booths and breakfast and an MC and a speaker.

This year we will be on Zoom. I’ll be alone in my office talking to my computer screen. And I have so many things I want to say but I won’t have time to say them all.

I want to welcome our 22 new teachers by name, and I want to tell everyone that before we gave our teacher raises we would normally have over 60 new teachers each year. I want to tell them how we had teachers choose us over larger schools to our East because they’re hearing good things and because we pay competitively now.

Then I want to tell them how their job is as important as any, how we don’t have a job but rather a mission—to educate for the future, to teach and model leadership and character and integrity and acceptance of others, to leave the world better than we found it.

I want to tell them that though we live in a divided time, we have to be 100% united in this mission, and we have to rise above the pettiness that has somehow become a defining characteristic of modernity. We have to put aside our preferences and our biases and our personal hobbyhorses and work side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, to lead, model, and teach kids.

I’ll spend the time I have going over the MWISD Prevention and Response Protocol. I want to make sure everyone understands it. What are the rules on hygiene, disinfecting, social distancing, and face coverings? What do we do if we have fever or a cough? What do we do if a student isn’t feeling well? How will we handle lunches, PE, bus drop off, and everything else?

I’ll go fast through it and encourage them to read the document and learn it and ask questions of their direct supervisors if anything is unclear.

Others will talk to them about our new remote learning model and about Human Resources and COVID leave and—in the middle of all of it—about the importance of continuing our trend over the past several years of improving our students’ academic performance.

Thanks to those of you praying for us and rooting for us. We want to do a great job—we want to do right by our community, our parents, and our taxpayers. We want excellence in every facet. And most of all right now, we want to keep our kids and adults safe and healthy.

We need parents more than we ever have.

Education has always been a triple responsibility, and I’ve seen how well education works toward incredible human outcomes when the teacher and parents and student all embrace their responsibilities. When all three parties rise to the challenge, education never fails to produce strong, prepared people.

Our nation’s need for strong, smart, curious, honest, and decent people hasn’t gone away. If anything, the need is amplified now. That’s our job. That’s why we’re coming back, even though it’s dangerous. In my mind, I liken it to our roads. Thousands are injured and killed on them every year, but the state keeps them open because we need to be able to move around, to ship foods and medicines and so on. So we buckle up and we drive on them, knowing it’s the most dangerous thing we do daily. Likewise, schools have implemented layered safety precautions that, like seatbelts, may not be popular but will help keep us all safe. But safe doesn’t mean perfect, and we know there are risks.

I wish COVID wasn’t here. I wish we had a solid treatment already. I wish we could put 500 people in the high school this morning and feed them breakfast and welcome each other back like we always do.

That day will come. Until then, we will do our best to recognize and hold onto the things that remain unchanged. Light bulbs will still come on when students learn a new concept, whether on a Zoom or in-person. Friendships will still blossom this year. Kids will have favorite teachers and subjects. Students will learn a new passion, maybe will be inspired to pursue a career.

School will still be school. And in Mineral Wells ISD, for our 3000+ students, it all starts with our teachers walking onto their campuses this morning, rolling up their sleeves and adjusting their face coverings, and getting prepared.

I’m ready to see these people. Elbow bumps all around. Let’s roll.

Go. Rams.”

Superintendent John Kuhn

From the Goodday Mineral Wells Team:

To the students, families, teachers, and staff as you prepare to begin the upcoming school year in the midst of this pandemic, you have our thoughts, our prayers, and our well wishes.

The Mineral Wells community is strong and we will make it through these unprecedented times.

As fellow parents with children who are preparing for this school year, the Goodday Mineral Wells team stands alongside you. We will support you in your upcoming endeavors as best as we can. We will do everything we can to promote proper access to information, news, and announcements throughout this pandemic. We hope that a cure or vaccine will soon be found. We hope that all families, students, teachers, and staff remain safe, healthy, and well-supported throughout the entirety of this school year and beyond. We look forward to showcasing your future achievements, as we know they will be great and plentiful in numbers.

Our community is a strong one and we are so proud to be a part of it. Thank you to our schools for all that you do!

-Jonny Goodday & Arissa


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