Troy Cronin Students Delight in Principal Continuing “Morning Announcements”

Children need a sense of stability and normality during these days of Coronavirus school closures and ensuing at-home e-learning, according to experts, and Troy Community School District 30-C schools are doing their best to provide that.

Troy Cronin Elementary School Principal Jill Howard, for example, is continuing her “Morning Announcements,” which she has always given live on the school’s intercom. These days, she records the announcements and posts them on the website her students use every school day for their assignments.

The Morning Announcements have always included who is having a birthday, the Pledge of Allegiance, special school announcements or a fact or challenge for the day, and a moment of silence for personal reflection.

They’ve always been a great way to get the students in gear for learning, Howard said.

“When I was thinking how we could keep school as normal as possible,” Howard said, “I thought, well, we normally start our day with the announcements, so why don’t we continue our days with the announcements. It’s a nice way for our entire building to continue to be connected.”

Yvonne Graf has two children at Cronin – Olivia and McKenna – and says they love watching their principal reading the morning announcements, just as she always has, only this time from home. Sometimes their older sister, Emma, who attends William B. Orenic Intermediate School, will also watch her former principal give the announcements.

“I think it gives them normalcy,” Graf said. “The other day, you could hear Mrs. Howard’s cat mewing, and the girls loved it.”

Graf said Olivia and McKenna get up each weekday morning, eat breakfast, and get dressed for at-home school. Then they sit down to listen to their principal’s morning announcements before they take on their schoolwork.

“They stand up when they say the Pledge of Allegiance,” their mother said, “they answer Mrs. Howard’s questions, and they wave at her like she’s there.”

Olivia says hearing the announcements makes her happy and feel like she’s at school with her friends and teachers.