The traditional school calendar is nearing its end on what has seemed to be both the longest, and shortest school year on record. Undoubtedly, this school year has posed significant challenges navigating the COVID 19 pandemic. As we begin to reflect on the year and draw closer to the conclusion we have realized that it has also flown by.
In reflection on the year thus far, I am filled with an indescribable amount of pride in our staff, families, community and students in the way that we have navigated this period of time. I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes that summarizes this pride.
“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.”
-James Lane Allen
I want to take an opportunity to thank our tremendous school staff who have made this year a success. The logistics of operating a school district have been highly complex, layered and quite frankly, daunting during the pandemic. In the face of great adversity, our amazing educators remained committed to serving children as the priority. Their efforts deserve commendation from every sector of our society as genuine heroes, in a pandemic or not! If you haven’t done so recently, please let them know how much you appreciate them.
As we continue our planning for the fall and the 21-22 school year, I want to highlight a few of the major components.
A return to normal?
We are all longing for a return to normalcy. I find myself asking questions of what normal is. Was the “normal” school we left in March of 2020 the “normal” we should return to? I believe that we need to/will return to a better normal. We have learned and grown so much over the past 14 months of this pandemic. We have been a model of consistency in programming this year. We have only been through two instructional models this year with very minimal unscheduled changes. This is highly remarkable and a testament to all of you.
We have learned how to serve children and families much more intimately and effectively during this time and these practices must remain in place. I believe that if we simply return to what we left, we would have accomplished nothing. We have grown tremendously and need to continue to grow. As far as a normal school schedule is concerned; yes, we will be operating a 5 day a week in-person instructional model for children in the fall. We will also continue to offer a virtual option to families. Yes, the schedule will feel like “normal” again for students and families starting on August 30th. We know that our return to “normal” will be a better version of what we left in March of 2020.
Most importantly, the variable that will never change in our district and community is the passion we have for serving children.