We’ve reached Friday of our first week of the new year. It’s been a full and energetic four days. New students are settling in, class lists are adjusting, and we’re adapting to the increased number of students this year. It’s a typical beginning of the year in many respects. However, this year is also different in some ways.
We have a new climbing structure, which came to fruition over the summer after four years of research, planning, and fundraising. It’s a beautiful structure and has already enhanced the play experience of our students. As one of the second grade girls exclaimed while sliding down the new slide: “Whoever thought of this had a great idea!” It has many of the same features as our old structure, and several new ones to physically challenge the children. It’s fun to see how their play is adapting to the new equipment. We have a new little table for the outdoor kitchen area, and another one on the way. Other upgrades are pending to make our outdoor playground as appealing as possible.
The school’s interior received the most significant upgrades. We now have new tile in all bathrooms, and new carpeting and vinyl flooring in classrooms, the kitchen, and office area. Some classrooms have new book shelves and other play equipment. We’re remodeling the office, which in the coming weeks will have new counters, work areas, and cabinets. The last phase of the current renovation will be the multipurpose room. The timeline for it will be determined in the coming weeks.
You’ll also notice that our parking lot has been refinished, and we’re waiting to complete it with repairs to the current concrete curbs. Less obvious is the roof, which was also upgraded over the summer to maximize protection of the building and maintain efficient heating and cooling.
Needless to say, it was a lot to manage over the summer. Staff had to put in many extra hours moving furniture and classroom items, first off the tiled spaces, then off the carpeting. Afterwards, everything needed to be returned and organized to set up for the school year. Administrators put in countless hours behind the scenes to ensure that everything was completed in a smooth, timely manner. Communications were key to the success of the entire endeavor. It was not the relaxing summer many of us had envisioned.
Nevertheless, it was all worth it. As I was leaving school on Thursday afternoon, noticing the cars of different staff members I knew were still inside working, I was overcome by the thought of what a profound privilege it is to be doing this work. Having the opportunity to spend my days with our outstanding staff, who provide our students with such an extraordinary educational experience, is not something I take for granted. Entering into our 47th school year, I want to acknowledge the intention with which this new year begins, and say what an honor it is to serve these beautiful children and their loving parents.