By Gail M. Williams
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent
On Tuesday, March 24, the staff of Muleshoe ISD provided meals and lessons for about 600 students. The meals were planned to last eight days.
“Only three workdays of communicating, planning and coordinating provided activities to help our students in a crisis type situation,” said Superintendent Dr. R.L. Richards in a letter to staff dated March 25. “From your creative thinking about how to provide lessons online, to developing packets to providing thousands of meals curbside yesterday, Muleshoe ISD Staff has responded in an unbelievable way.”
Richards thanked the cafeteria staff in particular for their efforts.
The staff’s efforts continued as students who did not receive meals on Tuesday had them delivered by bus drivers and educational assistants Wednesday.
“We are asking our staff members to make communication with parents and students again today to check on their health, wellbeing, and instructional needs,” Richards said.
On Monday, March 23, school nurses met at 8 a.m. to discuss processes and procedures about returning to school. Discussion included thoughts about screening students and adults before they enter a building to protect the health of students and staff.
“We appreciate the custodial and maintenance department for all the disinfecting they have done after each on-location meeting we have in our buildings to stop possible contamination,” Richards said.
Richards thanked Five Area Cooperative for all the due diligence performed by their employees. Muleshoe ISD and the Five Area Telephone Cooperative joined into a partnership last year to make sure technology and Internet service would be successful.
“If you think about it, when all 1,400 students and 200 staff are at school, all the data is going through one pipeline. But now that we are working with kids from different locations, the Internet is going through many pipelines and has less chance of being compromised.
“Other items helping our technology include Five Area’s expert guidance is using Gmail, Google classroom and Chromebooks. This will be a cleaner way to handle our technology needs,” Richards said.
In addition to distributing Chromebooks and iPads, DeShazo Elementary has created a Google site for everything their students need for student online learning. It includes accessible grade level and subject links. The link for the site is on the Muleshoe Facebook post.
Richards requested that teachers communicate with their principal, and that special education staff communicate with Darla Myatt regarding their contracts. All contracts have been renewed through next year, but paperwork is still pending.
On March 26, MISD held a districtwide Zoom meeting to communicate necessary items and talk about the future. Zoom is a videoconferencing computer app.
“This is new and different, but it will be a positive time to discuss the present issues of our school district,” Richards said.
In a letter to the MISD staff, Board of Trustees president Curtis Preston encouraged staff to “stay the course, be flexible and let’s finish this year as best we can.
“You are an encouragement to this community to see you adapt and change to do what is needed to teach our kids. Thank you for what you do. Take this opportunity to spend time with your kids and family. If we can do that then all of this mess will not be wasted.”