A Message from Student Board Representative Will Guisbond

Dear JDHS students: 

This was certainly not how any of us thought the year would go when we stepped foot into school back in September. No one ever imagined that we would be sheltering in place, being forced to physically distance from our friends, and learn from home in a completely new environment. Class of 2020, this is not how we imagined the end of our senior year would be going. Nevertheless, here we are — primed as ever to take on the challenge that’s come our way. 

In the past few weeks, I’m sure that you and your families have been through a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from initial happiness at not having to wake up so early in the morning, to stress and sadness as you begin to miss your friends, teachers, and classmates. I can personally attest to feeling all of these things, as well as the mellow numbness that comes in between the highs and lows of them all. 

I can also imagine the countless questions that you may have in light of this incredibly fluid and ever-changing situation. While I certainly invite you to keep reading to where I provide some details about the district’s response, in the end, the best way to help with all of this uncertainty and apprehension hovering is, without a doubt, our community. 

In times of trouble, we must learn to lean on one another, regardless of if we can’t do it physically. Check in on your friends, and conversely, don’t be afraid to say “I’m having a hard time right now” — we are all in this together and we all have an incredibly empathetic community of teachers, peers, parents, counselors, and pets to help us through this historic time. While physical interaction may be on pause, emotional connection (albeit, over Zoom), isn’t. 

As a result, know that the same community is hard at work, providing the best possible experience to you, as students, despite the current circumstances. Here’s the latest information at the district level: 

– Our child nutrition program is still running strong, providing 2 meals a day (breakfast and lunch), at no cost, to any student within the district at Jamesville Elementary, Moses Elementary, and the High School. Locations are open from 11am to 1pm on weekdays (meals available for the weekend on Fridays).

– The district has been working closely with state and county governments to develop the next phase of our continuity of learning plan (this is a fancy way of saying that we are continually looking at ways to improve your learning experience at home). If you have any comments or feedback about your experience that you would like the board to be aware of, feel free to reach out to me!

– Yes, Regents Examinations have been cancelled for high school students and the state has revised graduation requirements so that they will not get in the way of the credit you’ve earned from completing the class. More information can be found here.

– In an attempt to further protect our community, grounds within the bounds of any district building have been closed to comply with Governor Cuomo’s social distancing policy. Please abide by the posted signs. 

The bottom line with all of this information (and there’s a lot), is that no one has ever done anything like this before. As a result, we, as students, must play our part as well: we must patient with our teachers as they continue to navigate this new space, be there for our friends if they need some support over FaceTime, be nice to our parents (even if they try and wake us up at reasonable times), and most importantly, stay home! 

Through all of this, at the end of the day, no matter how you chose to spend your extra free time, we must remember one thing: our humanity. That despite these terrible things happening in our world today, we are JD, and together (and only together), we will weather this storm. 

Will Guisbond is the Student Representative to the Jamesville Dewitt Board of Education. He can be reached at any time by email: 20wguisbond@jd.cnyric.org.

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