Large turnout for student forum 2/3/21: What was discussed & next steps

Leila Touati, Senior Editor

During the access period on February 3rd, Amador students attended the High School Student Town Hall through a live video broadcasted on Youtube. 

Hosted by Patrick Gannon, Janelle Woodward, Pam VandeKamp, David Haglund, Nimarta Grewal, and Ed Diolazo, approximately 900 separate users logged in to attend the Town Hall.

“The topics [in the meeting] included how remote learning was (or was not) working for students, how we might improve our efforts, and to determine if a return to the classroom during the pandemic was preferred to adding small group activities (cohorts, team sports, co-curricular groups, etc.) to be held at non-instructional times during the week,” said David Haglund, Superintendent of schools.

The goal during the town hall was for students to give feedback and insight as PUSD plans for the time between this month until the last day of school. Students were given opportunities to share their opinions through the Youtube live chat, and through ThoughtExchange, a live exchange of thoughts on how PUSD can offer support to better the academic, social, and emotional well-being of students during this time.

“Based on the number of thoughts that were added to the ThoughtExchange, top rated thoughts included the challenges of online instruction, mental health concerns, impact on student motivation and the desire for more social interaction,” said Pam VandeKamp, Director of Assessment and Accountability.

The input that high school students give is valuable when it comes to making decisions that will benefit the Amador community. The mental, physical, and social well-being of students is a huge factor in the next steps to be taken by administrators.

“We wanted students to learn of previous survey data, and be able to share their perspective on how remote learning was working, challenges, successes, and what did they need us to adjust for the remainder of the year,” said Janelle Woodward, Assistant Superintendent, Teaching and Learning Division.

What is important right now is to continue staying safe and healthy while us students wait for further action. The pandemic is not over, and we should continue to act accordingly to keep ourselves and others around us safe.

“As our middle & high school teams continue to plan for students to return for in-person learning, the biggest next step for our community is to remain vigilant in following health and safety guidelines — primarily wearing a mask when outdoors or in public, and to limit close social interactions to a small and stable group of individuals,” said Patrick Gannon, Coordinator, Communications and Community Engagement.