Remembering the 2020-21 School Year

There’s nothing quite like the sound of school. Thousands of lessons are learned each school year and in 2020-21, learning lessons happened in more ways than we’ve ever seen before.

“I hope this school year is remembered first and foremost with resiliency,” says Waukee Middle School Teacher Angie Jones. “We’ve all had to be strong and supportive of each other and man we’ve made it happen.” 

But the progress did come with a couple of nervous moments.

“When we started the school year, it’s like how are we going to do this? What are we going to do? How are students going to handle this? How’s the staff going to handle this?” says Waukee Middle School Teacher Angie Jones. “I can’t believe how many people have gotten together, figured things out and it actually turned into one of the most memorable years I’ve ever had.” 

We are starting to see a common word in this story, resiliency. A great way to describe the efforts from everyone.

“Everyone knew they were in for a challenging year, everyone accepted that and they started working together,” adds Dr. Greg Carenza, Walnut Hills Principal. “Whether it was students working together in new situations, teachers working with each other to help plan and prepare, that level of collaboration, I haven’t seen before.”

The collaboration involves everyone, including those who are sending their kids to Waukee schools, both in-person and online. 

“I think of it as two words, innovation and grace,” says Waukee parent Paul Dayton. “Whenever I was worried, and as parents we were worried. I knew that our students, whether it was from our support staff or teachers, I knew that grace was the driving factor to how our students were treated during the day.”

From online students creating the first ever virtual girl band, to a record-breaking food drive that turned a principal’s face into a watermelon, this year had incredible moments.

“We were able to accomplish so much this year and do it together,” says Waukee Middle School Teacher Amy Quam.  “I think as challenging as things were, I can’t imagine it being any other way.” 

“I think of teamwork and everybody pulling together,” says Waukee Superintendent Dr. Brad Buck. “There were hiccups and bumps along the way, but everyone did their part to make sure students had an amazing and exciting school year.”