I am very grateful to everyone who made it possible for us to do hard things this year. It was about a year ago now that we grappled with the highest staffing cuts in Hanover School Division at that time. The only way we could manage these cuts was to plan for a lean year and tighten our belts. This meant that staff had to be willing to flex in their roles, lean more on our parent volunteers and have a heaping spoonful of grit and determination. A year like this is more stressful and we have definitely felt the strain. Thanks to all of you for their dedication to the students and families of our community.

Our students also did a lot of hard things this year. They needed to work hard at closing the learning gaps that remained from the pandemic. They needed to work hard to sharpen their social skills, which have lagged for some. For students struggling with significant personal challenges (i.e. family stresses, ADHD, Autism, etc.) small things can feel absolutely massive and overwhelming to them. Students do hard things too.

This year, we saw parent volunteers, especially during the strike in the fall, do some hard things. They demonstrated their commitment to the school community in practical ways, standing on crosswalks with their flags waving, supervising the playground with many children needing attention, monitoring students during lunch time, etc. I will always remember the time when South Oaks parents “carried us” when we needed them. Thank-you.

We all did some hard things this year. I am so thankful for all your efforts. I sincerely hope next year you won’t all need to face quite so many hard things. Take care and have a wonderful summer break!

Dale Martens


in: General