We’ve been hearing good things from friends and parents about the job that the Boulder City High School faculty and staff have been doing since classes were moved to online only. So we reached out to Principal, Amy Wagner to see if she would be willing to chat with us. Here’s our conversation below.
How have your teachers and staff adapted to the learning at home environment?
It has definitely pushed and stretched them in new ways, adapting their lessons so quickly into new technology, that was a challenge for everyone. But as they’ve grown and overcome some of those initial struggles, they’re doing better. We’re going to come out stronger and better in the end.
What have you tried to have them focus on at this time, in particular?
I’ve been trying to stay positive, and to create a sense of normalcy for our students, teachers and community, and trying to inspire everyone to connect to each other. Kids are social, and they are used to seeing each other every day, some of them for many years. It’s important for parents to help them find a routine. But I’ve also required our teachers to meet online regularly via Google Meet or Google Hangouts. Checking in with our students is so important because that used to be something that could happen casually, in the hallway, but now it has to be a different kind of touch-point.
What about State testing requirements?
All of those have been lifted, so we’re not required to have to do those. BCHS is lucky, because our students had already done the ACT (a standardized test used for college admissions).
What types of things are you doing to touch base with your faculty?
I’m having weekly meetings and regular newsletters. At the end of the first week, I sent out a quick emoji check-in with all of them, just so they could quickly rank how they were feeling about things. Then I reached out to them individually to see where/how they needed help. We’re also doing ‘virtual Spirit’ weeks.
How are you working to help parents during this time, as well as the students directly?
I’m sending weekly updates to parents, and trying to continuously emphasize that they should reach out – no one should struggle in isolation, and that we do have resources to help them. It’s a challenge for everyone, parents are now working from home and having to manage a lot right now. But this is the real stuff, to try to find a healthy balance to help families find ways to cope with different games and activities.
What about mental health concerns?
Our counselors are checking in on our kids regularly. We know different families will have unique challenges during this time. Overall, this is a resilient group of teens we have here, and together they will help each other and be stronger.
Graduation is heavy on the minds of our Seniors and their families. Is there a plan yet for Graduation?
It is just too early to say, so much will depend on how things evolve and we won’t know more until we get closer. However, I’m committed to finding a way to honor the Class of 2020 – I’ll do anything to find a way to recognize them for their achievements!
What would you like BC residents to know most right now?
This is an opportunity to find the time and new ways, to love on our kids. 10 years from now, they won’t remember the negatives as much as they’ll remember the time spent at the dinner table, playing games and being together. It’s what is going to matter most in the end.
Is there anything we in the community can do to help you?
The only thing would be to follow us on Social Media, (Facebook Here) and share what we’re doing. Our cafeteria workers from all the schools have banded together to hand out food with smiles on their faces, and they are ROCK STARS! Together, let’s just keep those kids minds active! Get creative and find time to teach them things that you haven’t had time to do.
The week ahead is Spring Break – so we know that all of our teachers in Boulder City as well as the parents and students will enjoy the rest and the chance to catch their breath. Stay safe and healthy.