In this most difficult of years, one that has been filled with fear, frustration, and uncertainty, I want to take a moment to express gratitude for the incredible Havens community that has pulled together for our kids:
Teachers & para professionals (“educators”): In the best of times, educators are the bedrock of our school communities. This year educators have been asked to learn to teach in a totally new way, to adopt new technology, to teach and bond with students they have never met in person, and to fulfill the countless needs our students have during normal times, let alone during a global pandemic. They have stepped up to the challenge, given all of themselves, and exceeded our high expectations.
Administrators: Our administrators have led our schools through an unprecedented crisis with very little guidance. They have fielded thousands of emails and had to make difficult decisions with no “right” answer. They have led our schools through a global crisis without any rule book. They have worked around the clock and demonstrated grit and grace.
Support Staff: Our school nurses, support staff, janitors, and so many others have been working to keep things running, clean, and preparing for the time when students can return to the classrooms. They have done many of the tasks that no one sees or even knows take place but that are essential to keep our facilities running and our school communities safe and healthy.
School Board Members: Our all-volunteer school board has had nearly 20 emergency school board meetings and replied to every single parent email sent their way (which is exhausting just to think about). They have continued to show up, listen, and weigh stakeholder feedback in a way that few other districts do. And, they, too, have made difficult decisions they never anticipated they would be faced with.
Parent volunteers: There have been so many silent helpers this year. People who have worked behind the scenes and have consistently and repeatedly stepped up and said “yes” when asked to do so. These volunteers have spent thousands of hours doing everything from coordinating materials pick-ups, to helping to prepare re-opening slideshows, videos, and documents, and protocols. And, of course, fundraising to help fund the huge gap between state funds and the cost of educating our students.
Parents: A huge shout out to the parents who have become educators! To the parents who are trying to balance parenting, work, family needs, and pandemic stress while trying to support their children’s education, this is so incredibly difficult and you are appreciated (likely more than you will ever know)!
During this season of gratitude, I hope you will join me in thanking the members of our school community that have given their all (and then some) to provide our kids with the best education possible during these difficult times.
I wish you and your families a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving!