Now is a perfect time to reflect on the past 14 months

Dear Rohan Woods Community:

As the school year comes to a close, it is the perfect time to reflect on the past 14 months. Our experiences are still fresh, and there hasn’t been enough time for our memories to fade or become morphed by our perspectives and yearnings.  We had a year like no other that pushed us outside of our comfort zones to find the good things in life.

By all accounts, we had a successful year in a number of ways. Analyzing the risks and benefits for returning to campus in August was particularly difficult as there was no way to forecast what the future would hold.  There were no trends to take into consideration and certainly no predictable paths to follow.  So, as a community, we took a leap of faith. The faculty and staff trusted the plans that were in place.  The parents trusted the school to make sound decisions, and the students trusted their teachers to keep them safe.  We took the risk of beginning school in August, like a normal school year, and found many successes and rewards.

The faculty and staff were armed with professional development and protocols – and that was it.  Despite their own anxiety and fear, despite having their own families to worry about, and despite the fact that the future was unknown, they arrived on the first day of school with one thing in mind – keep the children safe while teaching, as if nothing were different.  The faculty and staff made it look easy, but it was not.  Though burdened with masks and protocols and cohorts and gloves, we plodded forward for the children’s sake.  We needed them to have a glimpse of normalcy.  We wanted them to find comfort in their friends and have a place to go to that was familiar and comfortable.  We are incredibly fortunate to have the dedicated folks that walk through our doors each day, ready to guide, support, and teach our children.

Parents, you also took a leap of faith and thank you for that.  You wrestled with your own fears and anxiety about having your children out of your sight after spending five months at home with you.  But you sent them on the first day anyway, signaling your faith in the school and that your children deserved to have a chance at normalcy.  It was a loud and clear message that has resonated with me the entire year.

Our children are central figures in this success story as well.  They attended school, wearing their masks, staying away from direct contact with their friends and doing their very best each day.  They were the most resilient group in the building.  I never once heard a complaint about anything related to the pandemic.  They brought joy to school each day and were engaged in their learning.

In the past year we learned that we are a community that carries on through challenges and adversity.  We learned new ways of doing things that will be carried forward into the future.  And we learned that we have collective courage and grit and know this will serve as a model for years to come.  We were in this together, all of us, making a loud and clear statement.  We are a strong community that supports one another, no matter what.  We should all be grateful for how blessed we are.

Please have a restful and peaceful summer.

Warmly,

Sam

Sam Templin-Page

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