My school is one of many that closed due to the pandemic. Since March we all have been trying to figure out what the safest and the best way is to reopen. While we receive limited and many times confusing guidance from the officials, many of our questions are left with no answer or they create more questions. Sometimes all I hear is “well, it is that way now and we do not have another answer”. This is all understandable given the fact that our generation has not experienced anything like this before. So I decide to take a step back and show some grace. Though they are officials, like everyone else, they are people and they are trying to figure this all out. Believe me, I need to remind this to myself multiple times a day.
I receive so many questions on a daily basis. Most of them are the same, but there are different ones here and there. When will the school reopen? How many children are going to be in the classroom? Are the children going to wear a mask? How much will the tuition be? Then there are families who are not sure if they will send their children to school when we reopen the campus. Though I operate a school and one of my main goals and values is to create and continue relationships and experiences for years to come, as you can imagine I am also running a business. Naturally, just like any other business, I have to have a plan. I need to know how many students are enrolled, how many scholarships I can award, how many classrooms will be operational and how many teachers I need. I need answers because all of these need financial stability. In many individuals’ minds, no matter how much they like the school, the connection of financial stability= school viability does not connect. There comes the hardship and balance. I love my families. I absolutely adore the children. Little people with lots of energy and curiosity. One’s job does not get better than that. Yet, here we are all struggling with balancing emotions, wants and needs.
I have been following the research very closely. It is frustrating to see that there are so many differing opinions even among the epidemiologists when it comes to children’s safety and health. Therefore, I buckled up and chose to follow whatever the strictest measures are. My entire team is involved in the planning in various ways. This work would not be possible without them. We have been working on many details. From what type of shoes children should wear indoors to the words we will use while we interact with children during this big transition. It is all about mental health. Then there is the operational part again. How do we meet the needs of the families with all the restrictions and requirements we are implementing? My starting point has always been the mission, vision and the core values of our school.
To be continued…