#ReopenStrong Spotlight: Tyler Elementary SchoolSpotlights
Written by Principal Jasmine Brann
“It’s (still) a great day to love and learn!”
The transition to virtual learning amidst a global pandemic has taught us many invaluable lessons. At Tyler Elementary, our commitment and inspiration to serve our students and families have remained intact even though we are socially distanced.
United in hope and shared leadership, we have taken a holistic approach to supporting all members of our school family during these unprecedented times. Our teachers and staff leverage technology to teach not only content in English and Spanish, but we also strive to reach our students and build relationships with them through mentoring, student-family check-in meetings, and more. Our Tyler Live! Morning announcements provide the opportunity to start the day with positive affirmations and social-emotional lessons. Teachers and staff have also innovated to offer students virtual enrichment activities and clubs, including drama, art, Minecraft, yoga, fitness, student government, and more.
As a DCPS Student Support Center, we collaborated even further to foster students’ social-emotional well-being with in-person enhancements in October and November. We offered optional, outdoor enrichment activities including a Fall STEAM event, Garden Club activities with FoodPrints, and Class Recess sessions on our school playground.
Our family partners have been essential. There are several opportunities to engage and collaborate with us through weekly “dismissal chats” via social media and our Tiger Talk presentations hosted by our school counselor, members of the administration, and other guest speakers on a variety of topics – including Special Education. A volunteer team has also been on-site to offer contactless support, and we serve as a DCPS meal site.
Importantly, we also care deeply about our staff members’ health and wellness. We have a New Staff Mentor group, weekly optional Staff Circles, and have launched challenges to increase our exercise and healthy eating habits. We celebrate one another and express our appreciation with sincerity.
Over these last 9 months, we have gained new perspectives, shown generosity, and unearthed new talents and qualities born amidst adversity. For example, our Parent Teacher Association has generously sponsored grocery gift cards for distribution by our Tyler Wellness Team. Our school community has also come together to donate Thanksgiving and Winter holiday items for families in need.
Reimagining School with Courage for Term 3 and Beyond
As a school district, DCPS has taken bold moves to conceptualize and operationalize a safe return to schools for students and staff. In conjunction with our building walkthrough with shared leaders and our equity focus groups, I believe the new DCPS Reopening Corps initiative promotes authentic community engagement to plan for the transition to Term 3.
Although these are challenging times, we want our children to have positive and joyful memories of this unique 2020-2021 school year. We will continue to personalize our children’s learning experiences according to their needs and goals. Empowered by dedication, inclusion, and innovation, we believe every member of our school community will be safe and experience success.