#CHSRelentless: Springer’s heart misses students on campus as school opens remotely


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Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer shared her insight on the first week of school with The Sidekick executive news editor Shivi Sharma. CHS began the 2020-21 school year remotely on Monday.

Shivi Sharma, Executive News Editor

A remote learning school day starts at 3:40 a.m. for Coppell High School Principal Laura Springer. The start of her 40th year in education isn’t what she expected, yet each day, she shows up on campus for her staff and nearly 3,000 students preparing to start class at their desks.

In the first week, Springer watched Flipgrids, talked to teachers, greeted kids over Zoom, and spent each day collaborating with teachers and assistant principals until 5 p.m., when she exits the campus’ doors, ready to rest and start again the next day. 

What do you think about the first week of school? 

When Monday morning hit and [students] didn’t walk through the doors, I was lonely. I kept standing in the halls and the teachers were like, “they’re not coming.” I said, “I know. I’m just wishing they were here.” I got into this business because I love kids so much. I love being here with [students] and watching the excitement of [students] come in and seeing each other when [they] haven’t seen each other all summer. I was a little sad, to be quite honest with you, and knowing there’s a reason for all of this, but in the same breath just being very sad that [students] were not here.

What has been the best part of these first days?

I’ve gone to some of the teachers’ rooms while they’re on Zoom and stuck my head over their shoulder and said “hi” to kids. It was just so good to see people’s faces. It’s been wonderful to see [students] and then I saw some pictures of some of the seniors in their overalls. We have a lot of our teachers that are coming in and doing their stuff from their classrooms, so I am catching up with them about their kids and the excitement of the school year as well. It’s been a good first few days for me. 

What have you heard from teachers, students and your administration about the first few days?

I’ve discovered we have some kids who get on Zoom and they think it’s really cool to curse or to say things they shouldn’t say. That disappoints me because we’ve got to learn to be young adults. Every teacher in this building, if they had a choice, would have [their students] sitting in front of them. That’s what we got into this business for. We want to share our passions of what we love to teach about with [students]. For kids to get on a Zoom call and act immature has disappointed me immensely. It hasn’t been a lot, but it’s been a few. I want to keep those live Zooms, but I need kids to be mature so I can keep them.

What issues have arisen this week and what is being done to address them?

We had the big storm that came the night before we started school, so we did have a group of students who had no internet access for most of the day. We knew that was going to take place, so we reached out to some of those families. Then, just getting kids out of bed. Getting them to get back into a schedule. [They] have been off since March, and [they] haven’t had that routine. Once again, that comes with maturity and understanding that [their] responsibility is to be in school. 

What is the administration doing behind-the-scenes to ensure remote learning runs smoothly?

We have a system that tells us about who is accessing what online. We spent a lot of time pulling data of kids accessing the learning, turning in assignments and showing up. We pull that data every single day and go through 2,880 students and see what they are doing. We spend a lot of time with our teachers and do a lot of instructional planning and meeting with their teams with them. We have lots of students that have extra needs, so we make sure that we have those accommodations and abilities in place to meet the needs of whoever they are, wherever they’re at. 

What is your daily routine on a remote learning school day?

It’s a full day. I want to be out and about with teachers and watching some of the things that are happening. I go up into our room of collaboration for our teachers and sit and listen to some of them coming in and telling me the things that they’re experiencing with kids or problems with technology. 

I’m the dean of Career and Technical Education (CTE), so I go to a lot of my CTE classes and sit in the classroom and listen to what the kids are saying, as well as checking in with my assistant principals. In the meantime, we’re still handing out textbooks and running 1,000 other things in the school that need to take place. 

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