Letter: Saucon Valley School District Response to Crisis Has Been Impressive

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Note: The following is a letter to the editor. Letters should concern local issues of general interest and may be submitted to josh@sauconsource.com. As of this letter’s publication all K-12 schools in Pennsylvania are closed until at least April 6 due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

My husband and I wanted to thank the Saucon Valley School District for their impressive, timely, constructive response to the current coronavirus crisis. The pragmatic approach this administration has taken is to be commended. Providing meals for food-insecure families, assisting with equipment or Internet access and offering mental health counseling have all meant success in their goal for robust, continuity of learning. It allowed our children to get back to class and on a productive school schedule.

Panther Saucon Valley School District

The Saucon Valley School District mascot is the Panther. (FILE PHOTO)

Many of our friends are disappointed in their districts’ delay in rolling out a remote program. Their children, some in neighboring districts, have not even started online instruction, while we’re one week down. Our teachers switched up their schedules and immediately got to work to prepare once the decision was made.

As a college educator, I know how difficult it is to “flip a classroom,” especially with little notice. My own campus scrambled to meet the needs of teaching students remotely and trust me, it’s not an easy task. These K-12 teachers and aides have done an incredible job this first week. Working from home, I’ve been lucky enough to listen in to some of these lessons and they are top-notch. On top of participating in the online schooling program, our Saucon teachers are also dealing with some of the same difficulties we are experiencing as parents: running a household, working and helping anxious children navigate a homebound near future.

But they’re not just teaching our kids. They’re checking in on them, being patient with them and reassuring them that things are going to be alright. I got choked up watching one touching video message a teacher delivered, where she teared up telling them how much she missed them and how she hopes they’re taking care of themselves and giving them hope for the future.

Our daughter is a freshman, but it’s not just the high school teachers that deserve praise. My sister said my niece’s fifth grade teachers are doing a wonderful job as well. I’m sure all grades are part of a district-wide effort that is making us proud!

I’ve seen the Saucon Source comment section and the negativity regarding the school district. Social media can tend to be a platform to vent frustrations. I’m not dismissing legitimate concerns of how controversial issues have been handled in prior years. No school district is perfect, nor can they make every parent happy all the time. However, what we are living through right now is uncharted territory for everyone. It’s comforting to know that our daughter is in a school district taking a sensible approach to an unprecedented situation. To the administrators, teachers, staff, school board members and volunteers, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do. Keep up the great work! My husband and I are proud to have our daughter in the Saucon Valley School District.

Liz Keptner Babashak

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