ROCKLAND — The Rockland area school district approved a proclamation last week to show its appreciation for its staff’s hard, dedicated work during the pandemic.

The proclamation reads:

“WHEREAS, the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 prompted the President of the United States to declare a national emergency in March 2020; and

WHEREAS, a cornerstone of democracy is high-quality public education that prepares students to become active participants in our democracy, as well as preparing them for college and future careers while cultivating life-long learning, even while confronting the adverse conditions inherent during a pandemic that has claimed over 900,000 lives in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years will be long remembered for the impact of the pandemic on all aspects of our students’ lives, particularly on local families who are at greatest risk of experiencing hardships, and children who may fall behind with their learning; and

WHEREAS, teachers and staff in RSU 13 have continued to perform their essential duties to their utmost, often putting their own health and safety at jeopardy for the support and well being of the students in their care; and

WHEREAS, teachers and staff in the District have overcome many challenges in this unprecedented time requiring remote, hybrid and in-person learning, often dedicating countless hours to learn new pedagogy and implement innovative approaches to engage students in a variety of contexts; and

WHEREAS, RSU 13 teachers and staff often go above and beyond expectations to fill many roles in our students’ lives, such as teachers, coaches, role models, motivators, mentors, and counselors; and

WHEREAS, teachers and staff in RSU 13 continue to prioritize the creation of a safe, inclusive, and responsive culture that fosters relationships and the academic, social, and emotional growth of all learners; and

WHEREAS, the central goals guiding our work in the District continue to focus on relationships, proficiencies, and pathways to cultivate life-long aspirations that reach beyond a diploma,

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors in RSU 13 publicly value and deeply appreciate the extraordinary dedication of teachers and staff within the District during the two years of the global pandemic; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors in RSU 13 strongly encourages all members of our community to join with it in personally expressing appreciation for the dedication and devotion of our teachers and staff to their work in Ash Point Community School, Cushing Community School, Oceanside High School, Oceanside Middle School, South School, and Thomaston Grammar School as well as the Transportation Department, Food Service, and the Building and Grounds Department and Central Office.