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Guest commentary: District services continue through the summer

By Staff | Jul 15, 2021

Mary Fischer

Summer break — time to review, rest, relax, renew, and refresh our bodies, minds, and spirits

As we reflect on this past school year, we find ourselves in a changing environment. We have been faced with the challenge of identifying ways to continue serving students and families. Our incredible leaders, teachers, support staff, bus drivers, food service and maintenance employees have come to the rescue! We owe special thanks to our staff who are creative, innovative, adaptable, and incredibly hard working.

Under the leadership of Superintendent Greg Adkins, we were able to keep our schools open to provide face-to-face instruction for our students. We fed thousands of students and partnered with community agencies to provide support for families. Now, as he retires from a 30-plus year career in education, we thank Dr. Adkins and wish him happiness and success as he turns the page to the next chapter of his life.

We welcome Dr. Ken Savage, interim superintendent, who takes the helm as we search for a new long-term superintendent. With more than 20 years of service in public education, Dr. Savage has made leading for equity his personal mission in schools at all levels, as well as with district and state level leadership positions. We will look to him to lead us through our transition.

During this summer break, we will continue to educate, feed and support our students and families. The Summer BreakSpot program will be distributing breakfast and lunch to students and families at 35 school sites, along with 13 of our community partner agencies (https://summerbreakspot.fdacs.gov). Summer learning opportunities are being offered across our district (https://www.leeschools.net/), including the SOS program at Dunbar Community Center, a free camp for students enrolled in grades 8-11, designed to mentor youth by allowing students to attend classes where they explore careers and learn life skills such as budgeting and resolving conflict.

We also continue to support mental health and wellness. Our Student Services Department has licensed mental health professionals, who maintain communication with students and are available to assist virtually and by phone, and provide referrals to trained professionals as needed. To access help, please contact your child’s school or call (239) 337-8132.

We were excited to provide the class of 2021 with face-to-face graduation ceremonies after having to cancel last year due to pandemic. These are kids who are adept at being connected virtually, academically and socially. We are experiencing a tremendous moment in the history of our world. We are so proud of their perseverance, dedication, and accomplishments. Parents were critical in helping students to stay engaged and focused and they are our most important partners in education.

There is an opportunity before us. We played a role in where we are now and we share the responsibility to move forward. With the focus on children, using the resources of this Lee County School District, and with the support of our caring community, we can work together to create solutions. We will leave a mark in history!

Education is a dynamic process, the economic driver for the community. We are grateful for the tremendous support from our business partners. Achieving our goals takes a collaborative effort that involves communication between school, family and community. Let’s continue to work together!

— School Board member Mary Fischer represents District 1 which includes Cape Coral.

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