As this strange and challenging year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to reflect on some of the good. We’ve come so far since the pandemic shut our doors last March. We’re making remote learning work, and we will continue to make it even better. We’re successfully educating small groups of preschool and kindergarten students in schools. We’ll safely expand in-person learning. I’m so proud of our students, their families and the entire VPS staff. I’m so grateful for the community members and organizations who have supported us throughout the past 10 months.

Among the bright spots of 2020: our family-community resource coordinators’ response to the rising need created by the pandemic. In VPS, FCRCs are vital. They’re a helping hand. A lifeline. Sometimes even a shoulder to cry on.

Here’s Carla Feltz, coordinator of community outreach and engagement, describing our amazing FCRCs:

“I think we’re in this work, all of us are, because we have a heart for people. We really care about our students and we care about the families.”

That’s evident in the many hours that coordinators devote to meeting students’ and families’ needs.

“Their days are very, very full in terms of meeting families where they’re at, in terms of crises, supporting them technology-wise. The coordinators have done a lot of home visits for families who maybe don’t have transportation or access to get to the school, so they bring them a box of food and often will troubleshoot any kind of iPad issue and connect the family with our IT department, who have been great at supporting families.”

With the upcoming winter break, the FCRC staff is working hard to ensure that families’ basic needs are met:

“With the school breaks, like Thanksgiving break and winter break, our families really struggle with food insecurity. Particularly even more so now, with COVID and the economic impact that a lot of families have had, we’ve really beefed up as much food support as we can.”

This is a collective effort. Many organizations, faith-based partners and generous staff members and families are helping ongoing efforts to lift our students.

There are many stories of staff, students and families helping one another and finding ways to connect. It gives me hope for a brighter 2021. In spite of all the uncertainty that our world holds, I find myself looking ahead to the days when more students return to our schools and the entire team VPS can be reunited with one another, doing what we do best: serving our students, their families and this great community.

Until then, I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe. I wish you a peaceful holiday season.

Take care,

Image: Steve's signature