As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, I began thinking…
When the year started, some children were remote, while others were hybrid, attending two or three days a week. The students and staff remained in their “pods,” or classrooms, throughout the day. Since our class size is small with only eight students per room, with hybrid and remote programming there were only two or three children with the staff each day. Furthermore, to limit interactions outside of the classroom, the therapists and ancillary teachers (art, physical education) went to the rooms, and breakfast and lunch were also delivered and served in the classroom. Temperatures were taken upon entrance to school each day and children with any of the potential COVID-19 symptoms were isolated, sent home, and then quarantined for two weeks.
So where are we now, on June 2, 2021?
Most of the children are attending full time in class unless the parents prefer remote instruction. We are still in our classroom “pods,” but students do venture out to go to the gym and playground.
Temperatures are still taken upon arrival and we monitor the children for any symptoms.
I am thrilled to report that more than 80% of our staff are vaccinated. We have had very, very few cases of COVID-19 among our staff and less than .01% among our students. The extensive mitigation procedures and modifications worked, and our staff and students were able to stay safe. I am thoroughly proud of our staff and families who embraced technology and virtual learning. Evidently it worked, as very few of our students experienced a loss of skills.
We anticipate (and hope) that there will be revisions in the health and safety requirements for schools for school year 2021-2022 and we look forward to these changes. We plan to see our students fully engaged in school and therapies, and again be able to walk our halls. I do miss the children’s laughter!
I am looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year, and I know our parents and staff are, as well.
I appreciate the support of our staff, students, and our community as we met the challenges of COVID-19! It was quite a year!