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Public Comments from Michelle Nelson, Pauba Valley Elementary Teacher and TVEA Site Leader October 6

Dear School Board Members,

My name is Michelle Nelson and I am a teacher at Pauba Valley Elementary School.  I have the privilege of being both a product of TVUSD and the parent of three successful TVUSD graduates.  Our district has always been a leader in innovation, with a reputation for rigorous academic programs that empower our teachers and put our students first.

I want to thank you for your careful consideration of our reopening plan.  While I know that opening schools is an important way to get our community back on track, I have serious concerns over the logistics of how that will happen.  

Firstly, what can we do to keep classes intact?  The relationships I have developed with my students and their families over the last six weeks are even deeper than when we were in class traditionally.  Teachers have partnered with families to troubleshoot technology, share life experiences, and meet the needs of each individual student from a distance.  We are invited into their homes on a daily basis.  Not only have we met the family cat, but caregivers pop in regularly to ask for help, clarification and information.  How can we ensure the model we choose will allow classroom communities to remain consistent?  Haven’t our students adapted to enough change?

Additionally, how can we keep school communities together?  I love being a Pauba Valley Pilot.  We are a close-knit staff who support each other both through professional learning communities, as we plan for our students, and with emotional support and personal friendships.  Having to change school sites mid-year would be devastating.  Haven’t teachers adapted to enough change?

It’s been truly amazing to see how students and teachers alike have risen to the challenge of first, Distance Learning and then, Online Learning.  No doubt we will all continue to adjust to whatever new model lies ahead.  I am only asking that an attempt be made to put relationships first.

Thank you for your consideration,

Michelle Nelson


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