It’s been four and a half months since there were this many cars in our parking lot. Cautiously the Seed staff has returned for a week of cleaning, planning, and preparing for what lies ahead. We’ve completed CPR training and gone over COVID-19 protocols, in addition to preparing for virtual teaching along with in-person learning. Staff are diligently wearing masks, practicing for the days to come when we’ll be wearing them all day. It’s a complex time that involves stepping forward into immense uncertainty. There are aspects of our work that are certain, however.
At the forefront of our planning is the attention we are giving to children’s mental health. Yes, we will follow protocols spelled out by the CDC, Maricopa County, and the Arizona Department of Health Services. We are also intentionally considering ways to make school feel like a place that is safe, normal, happy, and filled with engaging learning experiences. We know it will be tricky integrating in-person and virtual instruction, and our teachers will figure it all out. As the weather cools down in the coming months, we’re additionally exploring ways to take school outside more. Our teachers are committed to strong communications with parents, especially during the early days of this reopening transition.
As teachers are preparing for work with both children and parents, these times are also asking Danielle and me, as leaders of the school, to hold space for our incredible staff. During one of our professional development sessions, I shared this quote with them that has been meaningful over the years:
I wish I could show you,
When you are lonely or in darkness
The astonishing light of you own being.
In the upcoming days, it will be my job to keep reminding the teachers of their light. We hope that you, as parents, will continue to let us know what you and your child need. We also ask you to be supportive and patient with our teachers as they navigate this incredibly challenging time. Many aspects of both the in-person and virtual experiences are still in the process of being worked out.
One significant way we’ll need your support is in respecting our considerably stricter policy on children coming to school with any symptoms that could be indicators of COVID-19. Our ability to stay open, and keep our staff and students healthy, hinges on this level of vigilance. Reopening the Seed will be a community effort, and we’re all going to have to work together to stay safe and well. Even though opening presents risk, we have faith that the Seed community can do this…and keep our parking lot full.