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Blog: Wednesday, November 4th, 2020

Celebrating a Resilient and Positive School Community

This year has been one like no other.  When we were told that the world was in a pandemic, back in March, we had no clue what the future would hold, and for how long it would last.  For the first while, in stage 5, everything was closed, including school.  Throughout April and May, we entered Stage 4, and became accustomed to on-line learning, and, at Godson, day camps for the children of emergency service workers.  On June 1st, we entered stage 3, when about 30% of Godson students returned to some face to face learning, and all students continued with some on-line learning.  In August, it was announced that we would move to stage 2 of school opening.  For Elementary schools, this meant full time face to face learning again, with the added option of transition/blended learning.  Currently we have 12 divisions of face to face learning classes (back full time), and 3 divisions of transition classes (with online classes in the morning, and now attending two on site afternoons per week).  This has been a whole lot of change in a short amount of time.  When I reflect on it, I am amazed that we have all survived the quick pivots and turns. 

  As I look at this year, I am of two opinions.  On the one hand, I am so grateful that staff and students are (mostly) back to school face to face, (with the plan of all students being back full time in the new year).  The decision to have students return to face to face learning, was, I believe, critically important.  The research shows that most children learn best when interacting directly (face to face) with a teacher.  It also appears that most children need socialization with varied adults and peers to develop stability, security, and confidence.  Face to face learning is vitally important!  

  On the other hand, to stay safe, we are required to do some things differently:  keep students in cohorts of up to 60 people (2 classes); cohorts use designated washrooms; stagger start times, recesses, lunches and end times; eliminate school assemblies in favor of combined cohort gatherings; no non-staff adults in the school;  wear masks in common areas and in non-cohort rooms et cetera!  While there has been a lot to adjust to, it has amazed me to watch the resilience and positive attitudes of the students, staff and families as we have gotten used to this ‘new norm’.   It is proof that we can find ways to live and thrive within such unusual circumstances.

Here’s to a good year ahead.  Let’s celebrate the fact that students and staff are back together.  This far outweighs any obstacles or challenges we face.