Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic teachers, administrators and staff have worked together to provide needed resources for the students of Shawnee Public School including Shawnee High School counselor Cindy Bartley.

According to Bartley, she and three other counselors at SHS have primarily been working on helping students enroll for the 2020-2021 school year.

"We were in the middle of collecting data and information from students when we stopped going to school," Bartley said. "So one of the things that my fellow counselors and I have been working on is how to communicate with students to get that paperwork if they didn't have it, so we're using email (and) we're using Google forms to get information."

In addition to getting needed information for enrollment, Bartley said the counselors have also helped with communication between students and teachers.

"We're also working with teachers if teachers are trying to contact students...We use a remind system. (It's) a texting app the counselors use...for things happening at school," Bartley said. "We're using it much more now because we can't see them."

The counselor said for her the biggest challenge of schools being closed is trying to keep that constant communication with students.

"We have students that maybe don't have a device or don't know how to use email and so we struggle," Bartley said.

The mother of one said along with helping students and teachers as a counselor Bartley is also participating in the district's meal delivery program.

"It is probably one of the highlights of my week....It's fun to see people you know from SHS but also just other teachers or educators throughout the district," Bartley said.

Bartley explained she has also enjoyed getting to know the district's nutrition workers who she didn't know before.

"To hear their perspectives on things and to hear how much they care about students (is nice)," Bartley said.

The counselor said she also enjoys seeing the parents and students who utilize the meal delivery program.

"In my experience (the response) is always thankful (and) appreciative every single time," Bartley said. "I just feel like everyone is very thankful and friendly."

Bartley explained as a mother, employee and community members she is thankful to SPS for how well the district has helped its students and staff.

"We are very appreciative especially of Dr. (April) Grace and her encouragement," Bartley said. "It's very encouraging to hear her be supportive of us as employees and also just as people."

Though the future of this pandemic is unknown, Bartley said she is thinking about how to help students finish out the school year and hopefully return for the 2020-2021 school year in the fall.