“Flexible, resilient, and extremely selfless.” These are the words Summitview principal, Eva Lust, used to describe her teachers and staff. Throughout the many changes our community has undergone this school year, Eva has remained grateful for her staff and is proud of the way they have handled the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We have no deer in the headlights. Our staff has done a great job sticking together and keeping the kids first.”
Part of the reason Summitview Elementary staff have done such a great job sticking together is because of their tight-knit relationships with one another – that started even before the pandemic. “I feel completely comfortable asking any teacher in this building for advice. From Kindergarten all the way through fourth grade,” says fourth grade teacher Susan Olden, “Without our staff, it would have been a lot harder for me to utilize online tools, like Google Classroom, this past spring.”
Over the summer, kindergarten teacher, Maggie Thurlby, created an online badge book for her students. The virtual book was designed to help students progress through the skills and practices necessary to graduate Kindergarten. Maggie had no hesitation sharing her concept with her West Valley staff and received a lot of praise from her colleagues. Similar concepts were later adopted around the District as teachers began forming their own versions of Maggie’s online badge book.
With the return of K-4 students, teachers and staff have also been working together to create engaging classroom games and activities – that also abide by COVID-19 health and safety standards. “Collaboration is not only important for us teachers, but for our students too and for their social and emotional health,” says first grade teacher Katie Heary. Summitview staff have worked together and developed activities such as the dice game. This game puts students in competition as they race through their multiplication tables while maintaining their distance at their desks.
Eva says, “we have such a great staff here. I can’t thank them enough for all that they’re doing!”