I hope this Monday message finds you and your family enjoying a well-deserved rest, and special wishes for a Happy New Year to all who celebrated Rosh Hashana and are now celebrating Yom Kippur.
As we enter the sixth week of on-campus teaching and learning, I want our community to reflect on what we have achieved since August 20th. We are in a very small minority of schools that have - thus far - kept COVID off campus. Throughout our region and across North Carolina, many peer schools have had COVID cases among students and teachers. In some cases, the entire school had to go 100% online for a period of weeks and in other cases, entire grades and divisions have been 100% online for weeks at a time.
Every day we have our students and teachers on campus teaching and learning together is of huge benefit to our students. Every day is special, not to be taken for granted.
Keeping this in the forefront of our minds and maintaining the high standards and vigilance that enable us to be on campus is especially important right now.
In our region, COVID cases are finally beginning to come down, but, last time that happened, relaxing the focus on high standards and vigilance led to a resurgence of COVID. While recent progress combatting the virus may set the stage for the state to relax some of its COVID restrictions, we need to be especially mindful of the potential for resurgence, particularly as we enter cold and flu season. Infectious disease experts consistently warn us of the heightened risks we face in the weeks and months to come.
At the beginning of the school year, I promised our school family: Every COVID-related decision would be made in consultation with medical experts and I will always seek the safest path for our students, our employees and all members of our Woodlawn family. In the days and weeks to come, we will continue to rely on the latest data and knowledge of COVID, and partner with medical experts to determine the best path for Woodlawn School.
Meanwhile, I ask every member of our school community to maintain the high levels of vigilance and personal protection and continue to use all anti-COVID measures such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and exercising great caution in public settings. What we do together, on and off campus, is helping us stay safe!
I ask every member of our school community to renew our commitment to giving each other grace and space as we focus on what matters most: keeping our school family safe and well, and on campu, together.
Our teachers are to be commended for the extraordinary way they are keeping our children safe and providing them with a superior education. Each day brings special challenges to them - challenges due to COVID that we hope will be "once in a career!" - and I admire their grace and devotion to our students.
Reminding ourselves and each other that this is a marathon, not a sprint, will help us all. In the weeks and months to come we may not see total victory over COVID, but, this year, our victories come at the end of each safe, successful day of school.
With kind regards,