Welcome back to the new 2020-2021 academic year. In reality, it seems like an eternity since we had all of our students back at ASV, and we are anxiously and happily awaiting their return on Monday, September 7, 2020. While we wish to return to “normal” as much as possible, we are still experiencing a global health crisis that is anything but normal.
So as we take small steps to “normal” we must remember that this will take time, and that now is the moment for great patience. Patience for schools trying to make changes at record speed as new regulations are announced, for teachers taking on many more responsibilities and roles inside and outside of the classroom, for students trying to learn while distracted by their anxiety and for parents that are constantly second-guessing what is the best decision for their children. Now is the time to remember that we are all in this together and we can find comfort that while we are not yet quite at “normal” we are at “better” and that is the right path.
Due to the continued extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19, ASV has made a number of extraordinary plans to provide for a safe and effective learning environment. We are cognizant that some of the safety, health and hygiene requirements may be challenging and even uncomfortable, but they are absolutely necessary if we are to confront and move beyond the challenges we have been facing since February 2020.
In order to provide for the safest possible reopening and continuing of onsite classes, it is fundamental that everyone in our school community plays their part at school, at home and in public. We cannot underestimate the role that each individual can have in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by taking the appropriate safety and health precautions consistently each day. With the daily diligence of everyone, we can certainly mitigate the spread of this debilitating virus and look forward to the day when these extraordinary measures are no longer necessary.
As students will note upon their return, the school staff will be exceptionally vigilant about all safety, health and hygiene requirements. We certainly wish to make our students feel safe back at school, and considerable time, energy and effort will be dedicated to speaking about, instructing and practicing safe habits at school. Please take the opportunity to reinforce these habits at home, as well as take a few extra minutes each morning to ensure that your child is well before departing for school. Whether at the bus stop or at the entrance to the school, the school staff will be vigilant that students are able to attend classes. Again, there may be some inconveniences, but we would rather be safe than sorry.
Despite the shadow of COVID-19 hanging over the globe, we are planning a warm welcome for our returning and 120 new students. Establishing and re-establishing daily routines and safe habits will be the focus during the first weeks.
Lastly, please allow me to thank our incredible staff for all of their hard work, dedication, tireless commitment and enthusiastically caring spirit as we prepared the school to begin classes on Monday. As a school community, we are truly blessed to have a staff who cares so deeply for our students and families.
We have certainly missed seeing our students and can’t wait until Monday to welcome them back at ASV again!