After a long break due to COVID-19, the Genesis School finally opened its doors in July to welcome students and staff back. Summer session was a hybrid model, which included both direct in-person instruction and virtual instruction. Summer school was broken up into two sessions, and every student was able to have direct in-person instruction for three weeks. The other three weeks were done virtually through Google Classroom and Google Meet. Some students continued to engage in remote instruction for the entire six weeks.
Virtual teaching has been a learning experience for all staff since mandatory closures in March. Over the course of the next weeks and months staff have honed their teaching skills through virtual instruction. The summer session brought new challenges for our staff. How do we merge virtual classes with students who are directly in the classroom? Teachers, speech teachers and teacher assistants have done an amazing job with navigating this new task. Classrooms have been able to merge students at home with students in the classroom.
With COVID-19 comes a new normal, and staff are adjusting to wearing masks, extra cleaning routines and lots of hand sanitizing. Our school nurse Nirmala “Molly” Mazzella has been helpful in assessing possible symptoms in our students. Luckily, we have only had to use our isolation room a few times over the course of the summer months. Both Molly and fellow nurse Cathy Neuberger have trained staff in personal protective equipment, COVID-19 symptoms and, thankfully, so far we have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Genesis building.
The Genesis School would not exist without our hard working teaching staff and our exceptional students. It has been awesome to hear the echo of laughter from both students and staff. Students have come back with smiles on their faces. Staff have been highly motivated and I cannot thank them enough for everything they have done. This includes coordinators, teachers, speech teachers, behavior specialists and teacher assistants. I hope everyone feels they work as a part of the Genesis Team. I am proud to work alongside everyone on our team!
This summer has gone by quickly and I'm happy to say that it has been a success. I hope everyone can enjoy the next two weeks of summer vacation and I look forward to seeing everyone in September!