A New Deja Vu?
IS IT DÉJÀ VU IF IT IS BOTH THE SAME AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT?
In any case, here we are again battling COVID-19. (I’m going to reward myself with a Peet’s mocha ☕ for not saying “unprecedented” in this blog post.)
Before the winter break, I went back and re-read some of our communications from the beginning of the pandemic and re-watched a few of our Town Halls. I was wondering how this time around is the same and how it is different. (I also noticed how young we all looked 18 months ago…sigh.)
How is this time the same?
- We are facing many (sometimes scary) unknowns regarding this latest permutation of the virus. How long will it last? Are the models correct? How severe will it become? Will it ever actually be over?
- Our planning is focused on the wellbeing of our students, academically, physically, and socially/emotionally – balancing the reduction of risk in one area with increased risk in another.
- Our team at school is diving in without question to figure this out, working over vacations and late into the night. The commitment to get through this, together, remains strong.
How is this time different?
- We are far calmer (so far) because we know much more than we did at any other point in the pandemic and our teamwork reflects this experience and growing expertise.
- We have strong and established relationships with our pandemic advisors resulting in consistent real-time collaboration.
- YOU, our parent community, have trod this long road with us and your trust in our processes and our decisions shows in words and actions of continued support and understanding. (Thank you!)
I’m sure the lists could be much longer but those are the top points that come to mind.
Today you will hear from Ms. Talia Anders, our Director of Health & Safety, about returning to school and our expectations of community members to keep us all healthy and on campus. You will also hear from Dr. Josh Krug, Director of Jewish Life & Learning, about changes in our grade-level trips. Please read these detailed communications carefully.
In closing…and because I value being direct and transparent with you–
Across the country, educators are fleeing their heart-chosen profession. Kehillah educators by contrast are digging in, focused on their students, in the face of daunting circumstances - yet again. Their level of professionalism and commitment deserves our most effusive kol hakavod.
Kehillah educators are nearly two years into this. They are tired and, yet, they meet every day with energy and enthusiasm in a system, a location, and an economy that does not sufficiently reward their work. They stay in it because they love teaching, they love your children, and they love the community built together. They ask for your continued patience, kindness, calm, and trust.
As Head of School, I thank you for continued patience, kindness, calm, and trust, and ask– in the toughest moments– that you remember we are all on the same side/team/page.
We all want to creatively and safely support the growth and development of each and every student. We will continue to make data-informed decisions based on balancing the wellbeing of our community – academically, physically, and socially/emotionally.
As you’ve heard from me many times in past communications:
We can do hard things. Disruption offers us permission to do things differently and an opportunity for reflection, growth, and innovation.
Practice compassion with yourself and for others – we are each experiencing this time in our own way.
We are deeply grateful that you continue to entrust us with shaping the lives of those who will shape the future. We promise that we take this responsibility seriously each and every day.
Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. — Pema Chödrön