Posted: May 11, 2020

I hope you had a nice weekend and all of our mothers felt celebrated.  Celebrations looked a little different this year with lawn chairs and masks across driveways, or virtual connections instead of hugs and shared spaces.  I really appreciate these moments even if it looks and feels differently, and I also wonder how long?

These next six weeks our connections with students continue to be from across the driveway.  We’re trying to make the most of it, creating learning experiences and memories that we can build from in the fall, and it’s challenging.  As one teacher shared with me, I’ve come to hold tight to the highs, and I’ve also come to expect there will be lows.

We know that our students and families are experiencing these ups and downs as well.  We know that there will be gaps in learning and it’s heartbreaking to realize what some of our students and families are going through.   We’re all floating on a river that’s moving forward to some uncertain destination, trying to ride the highs and lows while keeping our heads above water.  Any chance to take a breath and share some oxygen with others is an opportunity to keep floating.

When I get a chance to breathe, I start thinking about the fall, and my stomach fills with those hopeful, nervous butterflies that I always tell myself to try to embrace.  The state is launching a task force this week to develop recommendations for a return to school in the fall.  There are so many unknowns to consider and questions to be answered.   What we do know is that the relationships we form with our students will be critical to learning.  They always have been and always will be.  Those relationships are built on communication, understanding, and flexibility.  We also know that the relationships we develop and sustain with each other will be equally important in helping our system respond to the challenge ahead.  Collectively, we are learning a lot about this new world of public education.  We’ve been given an opportunity to reimagine the future.

In the weeks ahead, we will again check in with you about what we’re learning.  We’ll be asking about your ideas and priorities.  We’ll layer our collective thinking with the state guidelines to develop our plan for 2020-21 and beyond, and although there is so much we don’t know, we do know that it will be us continuing to figure out how to best see and serve each student.

Let’s have a great week!