Ahead of the Curve

STEM Initiative in Position
July 22, 2020

Dallas – In the middle of March, our schools, like most, were thrust into a “new norm.” The manner in which our teachers instruct students would be different, at least for the remainder of the school year. Coronavirus COVID-19 came and disrupted the “normal” way of instruction. However, the teachers of the Southwest Region Conference were already prepared to continue instruction outside of the classroom. Obviously, no one could’ve predicted that our school buildings would be closed and that we would be in a “shelter-in-place.” But a couple of years ago, our schools began a STEM initiative that would place our schools in position to provide personal devices for every student. Whether through laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks, schools were in a position to provide instruction to our students through distance learning, if needed. Instruction is being conducted using educational applications such as: Google Classroom, Class Dojo, IXL, Jupiter, Google Suites, Zoom, Spelling City, and many others. 

As with most Adventist schools, we follow the directions of our local public schools when it comes to school closings due to inclement weather. We also follow the guidelines of our local counties and/or parishes regarding safety and health measures. When instructions were given for school buildings to close and for students to stay at home, we complied. 

Throughout all of this, God has been and is good to us. He has allowed all of our principals and teachers to be safe from the coronavirus. Unfortunately, it has been reported that some of our families were infected with the virus. But again, God in His infinite mercy and grace healed them and they have made a full recovery. 

I am very proud of the principals, teachers and staff of the Southwest Region Conference. I commend them for the way they have attacked this new challenge and been successful. While public schools were late and delayed in providing instruction to their students, our teachers were on top of things from the beginning. Through their hard work and determination to not allow students to get behind in their education, our teachers have done extremely well and made sure that our schools stayed ahead of the curve. 

By Buford Griffith, III, 

Education Superintendent