August 14, 2020 - #SVSStrong - You may have seen this hashtag posted across Spring Valley School's media channels over the past few months. The SVS school community has derived this theme from our motto of making strengths count. Whether on-campus or virtual, near or far, SVS' dedicated team of faculty remain committed to providing their students with the opportunity to excel by encouraging creative outlets for learning and employing each student's unique strengths. Not only does this model enable our student body to celebrate their everyday triumphs, but it also nurtures the very core of each individual that will ultimately change our world.
Beginning in March 2020, Spring Valley School demonstrated that this very effort persists even in a virtual world. In the final stretch of the Spring 2020 semester - classes met daily via Google Meet and incorporated one day each week where students would participate in an at-home learning activity of their choice, from crafts to cooking and beyond. The SVS Family reconnected via virtual Bingo Nights and a surprise (socially distanced) parade organized to send of our faculty for the summer!
In addition to establishing and executing innovative learning in order to continue our deserving students' education in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic, there were honorable mentions and milestones yet to be uncovered...
* SVS' very own Executive Director, Dr. Laura Fiveash, was sought after to fulfill the position of Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) facilitator for the Revision of the 2011 Alabama Action Plan for Literacy. The Alabama Literacy Act 2019-523 was signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey on June 10, 2019, with an effective date of September 1, 2019. The Alabama Committee on Grade-Level Reading revises the 2011 Alabama Action Plan for Literacy Birth Through Grade 12 in consultation with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading group. Additionally, the Committee provides recommendations for programming that will improve the effectiveness of this act. Dr. Fiveash saw the Plan through to its completion just last month.
* The SVS Leadership Team kept diligently at work through the summer months, compiling a procedural plan (in collaboration with the Jefferson Count Health Department) for returning to campus in the Fall of 2020.
August 13, 2020 marked the grand re-opening of our doors! We welcomed both returning students and some new faces (including Spring Valley's premier first grade class) back to campus for socially distanced instruction. SVS families volunteered their time assembling 70 standing desks, servicing the school grounds, and prepping classroom spaces to accompany students at 6ft apart.
SVS faculty have made strides to simultaneously accommodate virtual learners via Google Meet by incorporating iPad technology into their instruction. Additionally, in-person classrooms are serviced continuously by Molekule Air Purifiers. These additions to our facility, among others, have been made possible by the generosity of the SVS Family and our community partners at Protective Life Corporation.
Students are greeted every morning with a smile and a temperature check from the convenience of their vehicles. Staff deliver individually boxed lunches to classrooms and students take a break from masks to enjoy their meal while wearing face shields provided by Art Bindery - a Birmingham-based business providing full-service print finishings. Physical education is able to continue as each student is designated a 6ftx6ft square, spaced 10ft apart from their peers.
We have only just embarked on a full year ahead, but with the confidence and the community that assures we can achieve without limits. Thank you to all SVS families, faculty, staff, board, and community partners for your participation in building safe learning spaces for Spring Valley students!