We’re now closing in on our second week of school in its new COVID-era manifestation. I have to say I’m totally impressed with our teachers who, under incredible responsibility/stress, are making this happen for both our in-person and virtual students. We still have refinements to make, and we are progressing. I want to tell you what’s going well so far.
Our drop-off and pickup are almost seamless. Staff have a smooth system for communicating arrivals and delivering children to their classrooms. Parents have been immensely cooperative with arriving at the designated times. We are trying to maximize outside time, and will continue to expand use of our playground as the weather cools down. In order to meet COVID-19 protocols, we have an intricate schedule for playground time, use of the bathrooms, cleaning, and transitions at various times of the day. So far, these schedules have served us well, and teachers are adhering to them.
One thing many of the teachers mentioned is the high level of student enthusiasm. Children are generally excited to be back together, both virtually and in-person. For the most part, kids have been good listeners, and nap times are going well. Several teachers reported that sharing and class discussions were successful for their classes, with all students openly sharing their ideas, participating eagerly. This is something we’ll continue to build on in the days ahead.
Along with enthusiasm, in-person students have been responsive to our new protocols, in particular wearing masks and maintaining physical distance when necessary. We’ve also been successful in keeping groups separate throughout the day. Parents, too, have been highly supportive of wearing masks at drop-off and pickup, as well as respecting our policy of saying goodbye and picking up students outside the building.
Our specials teachers have come through with excellent classes for Seeds of all ages. All specials are being taught virtually for the time being, so we appreciate this extra layer of expertise required to successfully offer instruction to all of our students.
These days, with all our attention focused on keeping every student safe and engaged, it’s easy to lose sight of the broader impact of the Seed. A surprise poem from Nadia, a recent grad brought it all into perspective:
I’m from the stars
that shine over me
every night before I fall asleep
I’m from the swings and the sand
that let me spread my wings
but always let me fall
I’m from the books that
give me a journey
but drop me off at the end
I’m from purple
a color that painted my world
in a happy haze
I’m from the grass on the playground
Were we did handstands and cartwheels
And were I fell and got up again
and I’m from my family
who surround me
and lift me up to fly
I’ll be honest, some days it feels like an immense responsibility to keep the Seed going. These words, along with the incredible acts of kindness and courage I am surrounded by each and every day, are enough to sustain me. They are enough to keep me reaching toward the stars, toward better days when freedom and safety are realities for every human on the planet.