To say that a lot has changed from this school year to last would be a complete understatement! Now that we have successfully navigated the changes in what school looks like both “in-person” and through “distance learning,” now is usually a time full of celebrations and looking forward to all that fall has in store ... and it still can be.
We know that routines and keeping to a schedule is crucially important for the majority of our students; heck even us adults need that structure. Even though there are some traditions that cannot take place this year; if we all do our part and roll with the new protocols, hopefully this will be the only year these traditions get skipped.
Our teachers and staff have continued to think of creative ways to incorporate and participate in the traditional seasonal events that we normally would have pre pandemic. It is important that our students still get the traditional milestones from their school day even if certain things may be different at times. Students are still creating paper hats and crafts, creating turkeys out of their handprints, and you’d better believe that some hand crafted items will be produced when it comes to the holiday season. We’ve even figured out a way to get toiletries and treats to our troops by creating care packages for them overseas by utilizing a social distance drop off drive through. For some, these activities may be taking place in the home, for our students remaining on distance learning, but they continue nonetheless.
Whether we realize it or not, our kids understand and are aware of how we as adults are feeling. This is yet another reason why having some normalcy of attending school and being a part of a classroom Zoom session is important for our students. Recognizing mental health and talking to our students about how they are feeling has never been so important. No matter which way you feel in regards to all the different social issues, the one unifying topic is that kids need to have social interactions with one another. Perhaps no other season provides for this opportunity than the transition from fall to winter. This is when the most coming together takes place, during the holidays. Even though our gatherings may be encouraged to be smaller and masks are now a norm, we can still take solace and celebrate the positives in our lives this festive time of year.
Encouraging our kids to be kids, going outside for fresh air, learning how to ride a bike, and making memories with your families is what this time of year is all about. There are good memories to be made even if they look different than the ones made last year. If we can figure out a way to navigate a national pandemic which included the creation of “Distance Learning” and now a rebooted “In-person” school option, celebrating one another and this time of year should be a breeze! In the meantime, kindness and grace continue to be king; we’re happy to be open to our families and students to help continue to spread that message.
To conclude, whether your family has decided to send your students back to the classroom or continue on with Distance Learning, know that your school district, administration, teachers, and staff are here to support your children and your families. I wish everyone a festive fall and wonderful winter season. No matter what, where, how, or why you decide to celebrate; please do so in some way. That’s what makes life so special, you can always find a hint of hope even during a national pandemic.
Principally Speaking is a monthly article, contributed by principals from Escalon Unified School District sites, throughout the school year. It is designed to update the community on school events and activities.