I had scheduled our last assembly of the year on the All Students @Livingstone TEAM to stay in keeping with our COVID cohorts that are still in place until the end on the year. For the first time in my experience, school is not in session due to the heat wave. I just can’t believe it! What a year. Looks like students will be participating in the assembly from home with a challenge to write, draw, or film their own goodbye to the 2020-2021 school year.
We are starting to emerge into a world where COVID does not control all our decisions.
After 15 months of fear, nervousness, caution, cohorts, masks, closed drinking fountains, online meetings, and daily health screenings, we’ve learned some things.
Rigorous safety procedures have been a drag, but they have kept us safe. Although sometimes it’s hard to get up in the morning, we now appreciate that we LOVE school. We’d rather be at school than self-isolating at home. We’d rather have face to face lessons than online meetings. We rather have the freedom to choose where we go on the playground rather than be limited to one area. We love to play with lots of people and have the freedom to make new friends during one recess and one lunch time.
We can resume our more familiar school life as people get their vaccinations and the threat of COVID is reduced. Next year everyone will be back at school full time and the things we like will be back in place. I was delighted to be able to assign students to the four buses that will be transporting students from Livingstone to South Hill next year, with their siblings. Good riddance to cohorts!
There are some take aways from COVID that are worth holding onto. Daily health checks are a great idea and there will even be a website and APPS for the iPhone, iPad, and android devices to remind people who are sick to stay home. Students and adults learned how to avoid touching our faces with germy hands. We’ve learned to wash our hands thoroughly and often. We had an obvious decrease in colds and the flu this year. We also learned to be flexible and appreciate that we can do things differently and still have fun. We learned that small kindnesses and gratitude make all the difference, particularly during times of stress. We learned that everyone deals with stress in different ways and that we all must continue to develop our tools and strategies to manage. We learned that giving the people credit for good intentions helps us to adopt another perspective. We learned that learning outdoors is great if you are dressed appropriately, problematic if you are not.
I am happy to say goodbye to 15 months of COVID, but I am not happy to be saying goodbye to you. You are a great group of people who have shown resilience, kindness, flexibility, humour, and incredible learning in the midst of a global pandemic. You rock. I’ll miss you. I’ll be back to visit. I can’t wait to return to a seismically upgraded David Livingstone complete with an elevator and a ramp to the gym to welcome all students, staff, and families no matter how they travel. Take good care, my friends