Teachers in one Aurora school took to the streets Tuesday to wave to their students, hoping to brighten their day, during a difficult time of school closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wanted to show them our faces and remind them that we are thinking of them,” said Kari Santos, a fourth grade teacher.
Santos, who works at Aurora Frontier P-8, said a school parent sparked the idea after sharing a story of a “wave parade” in another state. “Sounds like something Frontier teachers would do,” the parent told her. So she did.
Aurora schools, like all schools in Colorado, have been ordered closed until at least April 17 in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Aurora district hasn’t yet started remote learning, so contact with families has been minimal.
Santos said she has been updating her students and their parents with occasional photos of Mushu, the class bearded dragon. But other than that, teachers have missed their students.
Frontier Principal Bryan Gasior was immediately on board. He sent off a letter to school families, letting them know to be on the lookout for their teachers Tuesday afternoon.
The parade included about 40 vehicles, Gasior and Santos said, which was most of the school’s staff. Gasior and Santos, who live near the school, each drove with their children who are also students at Frontier. They estimate they saw hundreds more of their students on their route.
“It was so heartwarming,” Santos said. “So many kids and families made signs. That really surprised me. For all of us this is kind of a confusing and challenging time, so it was so wonderful to be able to see everybody.”
School staff got feedback after the parade, even from community members who don’t have kids at the school, saying that it was nice to see people smiling and waving.
Gasior added that for him and his school’s staff, students are the reason “we get up every morning.”
So to have a reason to go out to see them Tuesday, was nice.
“This was a way for us to say thank you,” Gasior said. “I hope it gave them a break from this monotony of being in the house. We hope that helped a little bit.”