Sidney School Board commends students, staff on navigating unprecedented school year

SIDNEY, NE — The Sidney School Board wants everyone in the district to know how they feel about their accomplishments during a school year unlike any other. 

The board published a letter this week highlighting what the district pulled off this year. While many events, such as prom, sporting events and graduation, are normal in school, the COVID-19 pandemic could have canceled any of them at any point this go around. Sidney managed to host these events and the school board says it is because of the efforts students and staff put forth to keep kids in school and participating in those events. 

The kitchen and custodial staff were specifically mentioned for running the summer lunch program and following strict cleaning procedures. 

School board member Kathy Nienhueser said the board read the letter at Monday's school board meeting before giving all those in attendance a standing ovation for their efforts this year. 

You can read the full letter below:

2020-2021 has been a year we hope we never repeat. There is a saying that what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger. We think that has certainly been the case for Sidney Public Schools. Students have an increased respect for school, parents are so thankful they don’t have to teach their children, and our school community has a closeness and new appreciation for everyone’s talents and efforts.

We feel that commendations are in order at the end of this school

To the administrators, for their many hours of hard work constructing and tweaking a reasonable plan to keep students in school learning safely. We know you have faced some negativity, but you have fulfilled your mission to keep our students in school while so many other districts across the country have been unable to do so.

To the teachers and paras, who welcomed their students back with joy, and put their best efforts into bringing up students’ deficits from the spring closure and continuing to instill new learning. All of this while enduring masks and safety protocols all day long.

To the students, who were so eager to be back in school. They also tolerated all-day masks and did whatever it took to bring back normalcy to extra-curricular activities, contests, prom, and now an in-person graduation.

To the support staff, especially the kitchen staff who provided sack lunches all summer and the custodians who followed rigorous cleaning procedures and saved the district much money due to not having to hire outside firms to provide a safe environment.

To the vast majority of parents who were so supportive and grateful to the Sidney Schools for rising to the challenge and providing the very best for their students.

Congratulations to all for working together and making this difficult year a success.

With much gratitude,

The Sidney Schools Board of Education