As the 2020-21 school year draws to a close, I am reflecting on all the times we have heard, “We can do this . . . if we work together”. In fact, we have heard this so often that we get tired of it sometimes.

Well, today I would like to celebrate being on “the other side” of this statement. Today, I can honestly say, “Together . . . .we did it!”. In September, we worked together to rethink how to participate in a Meet the Teacher event. At the same time, students and teachers adjusted to the Yellow level and physical distancing and other protocols, etc. In October, we pivoted to having virtual SSP parent meetings for students receiving Learning Support services. In November, we planned a virtual Remembrance Day service. At the same time, students and teachers adjusted to the Orange Level, which included the opening of overflow classes. In February, parents engaged with I Love to Read Bingo as they partnered with us from home, as teachers focused on reading acquisition in class. I could go on and on and on, with the many ways we all adjusted to new ways of teaching and learning throughout this year.

The great part of all of this is that WE did it. Together. There is no other way it could have worked. So, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say “Thank-you” to everyone. Thank-you to an incredible staff that lived “outside the box” all year, teaching and working in ways they were not trained to do in the past. Yet, they responded as professionals and learning was achieved. Thank-you to our parents who trusted us when we had to make changes and then supported these changes as best they could. Perhaps the biggest thanks needs to go to the students. After all, they are the ones who have had their Early Years education impacted by COVID. None of us adults can say we truly understand what that means for them. So, thank-you to our students who have carried an extra load this year as well. You have demonstrated much strength and resilience and we are proud of you all.

Are we completely out of the woods yet? Probably not. However, this year has proven that we will be OK. We can collaborate and communicate and create new ways to teach and learn and support each other. Together, we’ve got this!

Have a great summer!
Dale Martens

in: General