GROVE - Pat Dodson is a Rotary Frontline Hero.
Grove Superintendent Dodson immediately says that he is not the hero, but the entire staff and workers at the Grove School District deserve the credit for adapting quickly to the new challenges facing the school district. Not only did the staff deal with the sudden shutdown but quickly stepped up to do a distance learning program as well as a mobile feeding for the district's 2,500 students.
"Everyone has been amazing. All our support staff as well as our teachers. It takes everyone,” said Dodson.
Dodson notes that Tuesday begins a new phase in the district’s feeding program.
Now that school is over, the summer feeding program begins at the Middle School every Tuesday and Thursday. Each student is eligible to pick-up take-home meals not for just one day, but for multiple days. The staff now prepares a combo packet for each child.
At the same time, the staff is preparing for three types of possible school openings in the fall. The traditional opening, a blended opening, or a totally virtual opening. Dodson says it appears that the decision will be left up to each school district depending on the circumstances.
"No one can predict what will happen, so we have to be prepared for all scenarios,” said Dodson.
He also believes that they may start in one mode and have to switch to another type of teaching depending on the medical necessities.
Teachers are not the only staff members facing uncertainties. Dodson pointed out that social distancing will dramatically affect the school's bus schedule. Some buses already leave as early as 5:45 a.m. for their routes.
"With social distancing, we think that all of our buses will have to be sent to a single area to allow safe transportation and spacing. That means the 18 buses may go north at a certain time and then return to go in a different direction. Students will arrive at the school over an extended period," said Dodson.
Dodson says he relies on one of his favorite sayings which is: “Good is the enemy of greatness.”
It appears the school district is determined to reach for greatness.