Non teaching staff adjust to empty campus

PHOTO: The equipment and resource pick-up zone in the Student Success Center is often monitored by campus supervisors.

By Katrina Haws,

BlueDevilHUB.com Staff–

With school online and the Davis High campus empty, non teaching staff  members at DHS are faced with major adaptations to their duties.

Abby Siren, one of the two DHS nurses, is still able to fulfill some of her typical duties including committee meetings via zoom, special education health assessments and staff meetings to provide students with individual support. However, Siren is unable to connect with students in ways she had in the past.

“Obviously I don’t have students coming through my office and that is the thing I miss the most. I really miss the student interaction. So I am trying to figure out ways to reach out to the student population so they know how to access me,” Siren said.

Siren misses spontaneous interactions in the halls with students and fellow staff members. 

“You would sometimes see a student struggling with something and then there would be another student that came through and just was able to say, ‘oh I struggled with that in the past too and this is what I’ve done,’ so I miss seeing that peer-to-peer interaction as well,” Siren said. 

However, Siren is aware of the positives of distance learning and believes the change allows people to think more creatively.

“We get so used to the day to day. […] What distance learning is doing is challenging that. I don’t have my usual so I have to think outside the box and that can be really frustrating sometimes, but it can also be really, really rewarding,” Siren said. 

In addition to her work at DHS, Siren also works at Montgomery Elementary School once a week. There, she implemented a monthly newsletter. Ultimately, she hopes to start a frequent newsletter for the DHS student body in the hopes of appearing more approachable to students so that they will come to her for resources. 

“Say somebody needs new glasses but can’t afford them. Say a student comes from a non-English speaking family and needs help navigating the healthcare system. Say somebody needs access to reproductive health care. Those are things that I want students to know they can still access me for,” Siren said.

The four campus safety supervisors, whose primary focus prior to distance learning was to ensure the safety of students by monitoring assigned areas of campus, have seen a significant shift in their role without a busy campus to oversee. 

“It’s just completely different with nobody there. […] Obviously I’m not doing my usual job so it’s a lot of just waiting to see what the school needs from us as campus supervisors,” said Tim Groth, the campus safety supervisor.

Since the school transitioned to virtual learning last spring, the supervisor’s duties primarily consist of monitoring the pickup and drop-off of necessary supplies.

Groth, who used to work five days a week as a district employee, is now only called in a couple days a week as needed.

“I’ve had a lot more free time. The school district has been great providing lessons and things I can do online to try and get professional development. I’ve done a lot of coaching clinics, binge-watching [and have] played more then my fair share of video games,” Groth said.

Although Groth has taken advantage of his newfound free time, he misses work and daily interaction with students on campus.

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