March 17, 2020
Dear Center School Community,
“Difficult times often bring out the best in people.” ~Bernie Sanders
I could not agree more with the Bern on this one. What I have seen from this community in the last week has almost kept the tears and the worry away-- at bay, for sure. So many offers of help and words of appreciation from parents, board members, grandparents, and many others have been just pouring in. Simultaneously, the Center School teachers and administrative team have been stellar, collaborating six feet, a town, or a bandwidth apart, making resources for our kids and parents of the highest standards, based firmly on our mission: The Center School is a loving community...a responsive learning environment, offering rigor and play in balanced abundance.
By now, each and every family in our school has received loving attention and support from one or more staff members. Tailored to families’ specific needs, teachers have already sent out surveys, schedules, assignments, videos, pictures, diagrams, graphic organizers, recipes, love notes, survival kits, sourdough starter, and personal cell phone numbers. Administrators have watered classroom plants, edited letters, fed fish, delivered materials, set up video conferencing, done research, fielded worried phone calls, written letters and more letters, engaged in emergency webinars, and texted billions of heart emojis.
Over this brief, but endless, time as the walls close in and the news gets more and more intense, the Center School is here for our families. We want to be a harbor in the storm and give you relief. Being with children 24/7 is a LOT. We get it. And your children, who are all exceptionally bright and exceptionally spirited, need so much from you right now. It’s exhausting. Luckily, we know we love them and we can get strength from our kids at the same time, knowing how much they need us, and watching them being kids and getting on with the business of playing, of learning, despite the “new normal’ forcing its way into our lives.
Teachers have worked very hard to provide a pilot, or first phase, of what’s to come in terms of remote learning. Thank goodness, they have had some fun with this. They have also been working more than they should given how much there is to take care of in their own lives right now. I cannot ever thank them enough for all they’ve planned for and created while under incredible stress. Center School teachers are magic.
If you are struggling with the technology, the many strands, the steps, resulting from the remote learning plans or suggestions we’ve sent you, or overwhelmed by the burden of this unprecedented world crisis, we are here for you; whether it is to help you get internet working at home, to lend you a chromebook for your house, give coaching on ZOOM, or to walk you through a refresher on long division, we want to hear from you. Do not suffer in silence. All Center School teachers have arranged some version of “office hours” each week day to touch base with parents and students. Amanda, Jane, Kiah and I will also be offering office hours, though at the moment we are (happily) available nearly 24/7. This is very important to us, to retain a strong connection with our families. It is what makes Center School, Center School.
You are not bothering us if you call or email. We promise.
Please let me know if there is anything we have missed that would make things better for you or your adorable kids.
Before I go, here’s a song that’s so sad, and on point, and gorgeous. I have been listening to it on repeat. https://open.spotify.com/track/2Pj8MEwrNbfEFMHrYFVoxs?si=7tVLBwItTwqHdeWJsVLWVw
May it help the cathartic tears roll or give you something new to hum (instead of that incessant thing your kid keeps singing… “Baby Shark?” or “Hot Girl Bummer?”).
Until we meet again,
Head of School