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SOD Guidance Counselor navigates through COVID-19

Under normal circumstances, Kesia Smith is usually in her office at the School of Discovery Genesis Center.

Gov. Kay Ivey ordered the shutdown of K-12 schools statewide because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 27. A Guidance Counselor at SOD, Smith works from home like other Principals and teachers across the state do.

Smith’s duties at SOD include consulting with parents about their children and meeting the socially emotional learning needs of students among other things such as printing out report cards and checking for at-risk concerns. Smith said her duties remain the same, but it’s a big difference working away from school.

A 1994 graduate of Selma High School, Smith said she drops by SOD twice a week.

“I have been calling parents checking to make sure they understand how to go to the different links that are available for their kids to access through our home page,” Smith said. “I’m just making myself available so that parents know their access username and password to the parent portal.:

Smith admits she’d rather be at the office.

“I prefer to be in the building,” Smith said. “Every parent don’t have internet access or know how to sign into ZOOM. Some grandparents who are raising kids aren’t technology-savvy.”

Smith got a fresher course of her degree in Early Child and Elementary Education at Troy University. Her daughter, Kasey, is a fourth-grader at Valley Grande Elementary School.

Smith urges parents to go to the School of Discovery website and click on Google home learning for lessons and updates. They also need every student to sign in with their google emails.

All SOD staff members have posted lessons. All students should be logged on with Alisha Cleveland for English, Jacqueline Williams and Andrea Dobynes for Social Studies, Math with Monica Russell and Quenisha Polnitz and Science with Franitha Childers and James Bearden, Crystal Hanna with the Arts Department, dance instructor Lisa Sexton, choir teacher Christine Bryan, P.E. teachers George Bennett and Denise Childs. Arts teacher Wanda Martin. Crystal Boykin has kept the school’s website updated. Boykin has a frequently asked question session for parents to submit any questions or comments concerning any assignments.

Students and parents  also should watch for Principal Yoshondra Lett and Christine Bryan giving motivational videos.

Once students have completed their learning packets, Smith said there’s a bin to drop them off in at the school.

Any student with a Individualized Education plan need to contact Martin.

Students and parents also should watch for Principal Yoshondra Lett and Mrs. Christine Bryan giving motivational videos.

Once students have completed their learning packets, Smith said there’s a bin to drop them off in at the school.

“We miss and love the students,” Smith said. “Hopefully, they’re taking advantage of the feeding sites to ensure they’re getting a proper lunch. It’s really important that all students be plugged in so we can ensure that learning is taking place and earning grades.”