Goodbye 2020 – Hello 2021

The New Year arrived and I know many felt a bit of relief that we could finally remand a challenging year of crisis to our collective history. This time, it was clearly about bringing something to a close – good riddance – and looking forward to the hope and potential of what we hope is ahead.

The snowfall this morning reminded me of the renewal often inspired by this season. Resting beneath the winter cold is the warm renewal of spring preparing to emerge when the temperatures allow. A wonderful metaphor for hopes and opportunity emerging from the cold harshness of fear and helplessness.

What we seek to embrace now are the silver linings. We have learned much about how we are resilient. If we have anything, we have bounce! Bouncing back is our true talent. We tackled a unique set of challenges and modeled for others how to wrestle it into submission and jump to our feet ready to run. We went to the vacation tired, but resolute. Together, we have committed ourselves to community collaboration and safety to protect each other and stay the course. We need to be proud of what we have learned about ourselves, about each other, and about what we can capably command.

My informed predictions for the year ahead in the moment:

  • Our resilience needs to stay strong. As stated before, we are not at the end and we need to be cautious while being enthusiastic.
  • Vaccinations are on the horizon. We will add this layer of swiss cheese to our protocol in due course. First will be our nurses, second our teachers, third the rest of our staff. After that, eyes will turn to larger populations including parents, and ultimately students. But, we won’t see too many of the general population other than at-risk populations and older adults in the current calendar year. We know that the rollout of vaccine will be challenging and much information being shared now will continue to change with dates pushed back as we understand the complications of distribution.
  • We will follow our protocols (the other layers of cheese) through the remainder of the calendar year. Hygiene will become second nature to us and we’ll find better and better ways of protecting each other from potential spread, building on our success to date. More improvements and inventions will continue to emerge to help us mitigate the crisis more comfortably while vaccinations incrementally work toward protecting the greater majority of us. We will wash hands and wear masks for the foreseeable future, but we’ll see better and better options for doing this.
  • We will work together to take on these challenges in true ASW collaboration and community.

Despite the challenges, we will see many creative options for activities throughout the months ahead. We have earnest work being undertaken by our students and they are engaged and involved in their learning. The messages we received as we went to break were inspiring. To those who sent words of praise for our work, thank you for how you encourage and empower us.

Stay well and cautious in the weeks ahead. You should all be proud of how you have protected yourselves and the community by following our guidelines. The result is not identified infections in 4 days of testing. And, given the messages and questions to ASW Health, I can suggest we are all trying our best to be thoughtful and make all of our decisions in the context of the greater good of the community. For that and your diligence you can be most proud.

Much information below in eNotes. As a foodie myself, very excited about the PTO Cookbook and happy to again recommend the ASW Foodies group on Facebook.

Looking forward to seeing students on Monday! Stay well, stay safe, stay Warriors!

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