These are historic times, but in spite of the challenges we face I am filled with hope. Watching a female vice president of color being sworn in this week with my 5-year-old daughter on my lap was a remarkable moment regardless of political affiliation. Montessori education is focused on unlocking potentials within children. But in spite of our best efforts as parents and educators to encourage our children to confidently believe that if they work hard enough everything is possible, we know the harsh reality of the world often conveys a different message. Your race, gender, class, or orientation can determine which doors are open or closed. Wednesday a door opened that has been closed for way too long. That is something all of us can celebrate. A new door opens, and just like we teach our students at TNSM, let’s hold it open for the next person. I can’t wait to see who they might be!
In spite of the reasons to feel hopeful, I know this has been a difficult week for many of us. Juggling work, family, and online learning can often be very stressful. We are working hard to support you and your children as we navigate keeping our families and staff safe while providing a quality education. Thank you for your encouraging emails over this past week, and for your online support with your children. I have heard from some of you, saying how wonderful it has been to see your children engaged with lessons and joyfully socializing with friends. It is these glimpses into their worlds that as parents we often do not get to see. One parent wrote, “Spending more time with [my child] this week has let me ponder the developmental milestones she has made this year and enjoy her emerging early adolescence.” I hope each of us has found some silver linings in what I am sure has been a challenging week. Thank you for all you have done.
We have one more week (M-Th) of fully remote learning before returning to campus Monday, Feb. 1. Although the teachers have done a superb job of pivoting to online classes, our goal is to remain on campus. Some of this is out of our control, however, there certainly are many things we can collectively do to increase our chances of remaining on campus. Here are few:
- Stay home if you are symptomatic.
- Avoid public gatherings.
- Get tested if you feel you have put yourself at risk.
- Always practice the bundle (Social distance, masks, hand washing, clean, be outside or in well ventilated areas)
- Consider staycations rather than flying somewhere.
- Be aware of how many “holes” are in your “bubble.” If the people within your ‘bubble” are bubbling with other people who are bubbling with other people, your risk goes up.
- The higher the risk you are willing to take, the greater the chance we will have to go remote again.
All of that being said, this terrible virus may show up again on campus in spite of our collective best efforts. We will continue to be vigilant, flexible, and supportive.
Another reason why I am hopeful, is that starting Feb 1, teachers in Ohio should begin to receive vaccinations. Although there is a lot of confusion around how it will be distributed, we are in daily contact with the ODH and CHD to ensure TNSM staff will have a spot in line. Although this remarkable good news is a great relief, we are still in the middle of a terrible pandemic, and our safety policies and procedures will remain unchanged. There are emerging studies surfacing around quarantine times and the need to contact trace, and we will be paying close attention to any new developments. If changes occur, we will be sure to let you know.
CLICK HERE for testing sites.
Lastly, I am happy to report that both staff members who tested positive are experiencing only mild symptoms and are recovering. Thank you for your well wishes.