As we sit on the cusp of opening our schools after more than five months of relative closure, I feel confident we have developed an excellent plan that is designed to mitigate risk of spread and provide choices to students and parents. This plan is far from perfect and we cannot guarantee a totally safe environment. What we will promise, however, is our commitment to working hard to provide a high-quality educational experience (in-person or remotely) for 40,000-plus students. This is in our DNA.
I don’t think any of us will ever experience a summer like we just did. The pandemic, social unrest centered on Black Lives Matter and a budgetary/economic recession have weighed heavily on our minds and impacted the usual summer experience. But we are educators and our students and parents need us and each other so that we can continue to learn about the world in which we live. Relationships are so important and school is the place where they begin and grow. Remote learning can be impactful for some but it doesn’t tend to the social, emotional, nutritional and physical needs that students have. This is where teachers, administrators and staff perform their miracle work and I am thankful for their commitment and dedication. It’s why we became educators.
Nobody knows when the pandemic will end and we can return to some form of normal. What we do know is that our students, their families and our community need us now more than ever. We will get through this.