Update May 5 - Viewers can watch the May 4 live broadcast here.
May 4, 2020 — Education has taken new pathways during the COVID-19 pandemic, and with National Teacher Appreciation Week beginning today, Toms River Regional Schools is celebrating in a unique way.
District leaders have organized a huge Google Meet video conference featuring 19 preschool to 12th grade students and their families, representing each school building and community. The event will stream live on YouTube at 7 p.m. Monday, May 4.
With Nurse Appreciation Week May 6-12, school nurses will also be honored during the event. Schools across NJ have been closed since March 16 due to the coronavirus, and students will likely give shout outs to other staff who have made this difficult time not only manageable but meaningful.
Superintendent Dave Healy and Board of Ed President Anna Polozzo will bookend the celebration.
“We’ve come to rely on this virtual world to connect with our staff and community, including public board meetings via Google Meets and YouTube live streams,” said Healy, “so when it came to recognizing our teachers, nurses and others, it was clear how we could do this.”
Families with children in the Early Learning Center and all 18 schools will take part in the live Google Meet, each sharing a message of gratitude for their school staff. Building administrators have encouraged families to personalize and enliven their messages, so viewers can expect to see signs, pets, music, props, and maybe even a dance or two.
Said Healy, “During a school year when we’ve collectively never had more appreciation for everything our teachers and staff do, we’re genuinely excited to be able to honor them in a new, fun, and far-reaching way.”
The event will finish with one of the high school mascots leading virtual participants in a cry of “We Are TR,” a chant students originated after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy. As then, Toms River Schools and its neighborhoods will not only survive but flourish.
Viewers can access the stream and set a reminder for 7 p.m. at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuT6vuYcoPA&feature=youtu.be.