As the last days of school approach, some would say “it’s winding down”. How wrong they are! Students are growing excited for summer and starting to itch to be free from school. Faculty and school staff hurry to finish their last teachings of the year and prepare for the summer. As a CIS social worker, closing paperwork is just beginning. We have attended training to learn how to finish all of our paperwork and are now ready to begin the process of closing our students’ files by collecting their final report cards and progress reports on improvements they have made throughout the year.
Closing files sounds like only doing paperwork, but it also means saying goodbye to students that you have worked with for at least a year or maybe more. It means seeing students through their great times and their rough times, being there for them and helping them grow in numerous areas, which differ for every student. As excited as I am for summer, I am also sad I will not be there for some students who rely heavily on a smile and encouraging words each day.
I will watch my students walk out the door on the last day of school and wonder how they will do over the summer and even the rest of their lives. Will they have food to eat? Will they be safe over the summer? What kinds of choices will they make in their lives? Summer resources, like a summer feeding program, food banks, and summer camps for kids, have been made available to families to help bridge the gap for those in need during the summer holiday. I can only hope that I have helped them develop the tools necessary for them to succeed in their lives.
Azle ISD is blessed to have a CIS in every school above lower elementary. Starting in 5th grade, CIS is available to students through the 12th grade. This means they will always have an adult who cares about them to help them break down whatever is barring them from success. Knowing this helps me feel better about the well-being of my students.
Along with being sad to see students go, it is also a joyful time to celebrate each of the student’s successes like new friends made or achieving A honor roll. CIS is an amazing place where each employee gets to change the lives of our youth. We have the opportunity to foster relationships with students and help them succeed. Every day we celebrate because our students are making strides, big and small, but overall huge in an era where lack of education is a growing epidemic.
So yes, I will be sad to see my students leave and yes, I will think about them over the summer and hope that they are all doing well; but this summer I will also be celebrating the success of another great year working for an agency that makes a difference for so many as I look forward to another awesome year to come!