Schools throughout the country are figuring out ways to continue business as usual. Cardozo Middle School (CMS) recently held a picture day that would normally be held prior to the school year beginning at the annual Round Up. With COVID-19 setting the tone for the 2020-21 school year the pictures along with other school business was held last Friday on school campus. At least for a day, students had the chance to reunite with teachers, friends and school administrators.
Cardozo Principal Kevin Bizzini explained that they used Picture Day to accomplish a few different things to aid the new distance learning.
“Picture day went well,” said Bizzini. “Since pictures were scheduled, we took advantage of the day and distributed academic materials and supplies, recognized our August Students of the Month, and had kind of an ice cream social. Connecting with kids is an important focus for us during distance learning.”
Shoob Photography was posted up in the CMS Gym to take the students’ pictures. There were 209 students that attended the festivities on Friday including sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The students progressed through several checkpoints where they had their temperature checked before entering the gym. For those that did not attend Picture Day the school will be holding a makeup day.
“It was a much larger turnout than we had expected,” noted Bizzini. “It was great seeing so many of our students.”
After students went through the checkpoints, received class materials and took their pictures, they were treated to an ice cream.
CMS has also continued normal school business recognizing standout students for the month. Although COVID has changed many things Bizzini expressed that it is important to continue to recognize students for academics, effort, and positive behavior.
“If you think about it, virtually or in-person student excellence is being demonstrated every day,” remarked Bizzini. “Students are in classes and doing amazing work. Our Student of the Month criteria has not changed because of COVID-19 and I am proud to say we celebrated the accomplishments of our students. These students deserved their recognition; it goes a long way toward making education meaningful and inspiring all students to do their best.”
The students were recognized for the month of August and they received their certificates and a prize bag this past Friday. Teachers select the outstanding students each month.
“Students were appreciative and several parents commented on how proud they were of their children and that they were glad that we were able to do this,” added CMS Counselor Norma Ramirez.
The students of the month were recognized during the Advisory period virtually with the entire student body and the monthly parent coffee meeting that is also held virtually. Their parents were also sent a text message from the district communication system.
“We are getting very good at communicating virtually with students and families,” stated Bizzini. “I have an amazing staff; they are determined to not let distance learning diminish who we are as a school or dim the light on how amazing the students of Riverbank are.”
This week CMS is having its first Spirit Week of the school year to celebrate school spirit even though it will be done virtually. Students are encouraged to participate in the themed dress day throughout the week that staff is doing as well.