Reflecting and Planning and Thanks

Will start this eNotes with my thanks again to the entire community for your thoughts and words of encouragement during my convalescence. I’m happy to report, largely due to the positive thinking of all around me, that I’m recovering well and it seems I’ve accessed the 80% of cases that lack severity. I thought I had been pretty well read on the issue going into this illness, but have to admit that I’ve learned more yet again and continue to marvel at how we are growing in our understanding of this virus and how adaptable we are to the knowledge and the shaping of our behaviors. A few learnings to share…

It is futile to spend too much time trying to identify the source of an infection. For me, lots of thinking went into this without much result. As I shared early in the year, the parameters that we apply in our protocols are based on knowledge, but are not rules. That’s because viruses don’t follow rules. This is why our swiss cheese layers exist. “There is no 100%” became real for me last week when I tested positive. I know many in our midst who equally have struggled to identify source in the face of a new infection. Don’t worry about it. All focus needs to shift to recovery and wellness.

In the midst of the illness, there is much concern about worsening symptoms. I have a great doctor who provided necessary advice, so follow those directions carefully. Thus far I have also protected my wife from further consequence by isolating myself and Mrs. Z continues to test negative. Other keys, as suggested by our community in their loving messages to me, include hydration and rest, two critical elements of recovery and assuring symptoms do not emerge or worsen. Seek medical help at earliest signs of anything going awry.

Even with that, 20% of cases will be more severe. We experienced that statistic with one of our own school staff who is getting better, but required more expanded care. We continue to monitor each case through our health office for this reason, consulting with families to make sure that the recovery is going forward as hoped. Staying on top of each case, our nurses regularly try to make sure they offer support and ongoing advice.

Finally, be on the watch for the aftermath. Reading many articles this weekend on recovery, immunization after recovery, etc. There is much to be learned in the current data as millions around the world are immunized and tracked. We are all hopeful that vaccination is coming soon and the next couple of weeks will help us see this more clearly. What we know is vaccination will do a couple of things. Right away, it will reduce spread of the virus – that’s a good thing and helps us avoid further mutation. Second, vaccination reduces the seriousness of symptoms if you get sick – even after only one dose of vaccine. That’s a good thing for hospitals and caregivers. But, we need to avoid getting sick, too. I’m now going to be watching for future complications in myself, as everyone who has recovered should. Much data is emerging about what happens weeks and months later. This only confirms that our protocols remain important to keeping the infection rate low to avoid the longer term health consequences that we are still learning about.

Let’s sustain our diligence in the coming weeks. Colder weather continues through next week and this is the time or year that we always felt was most concerning. Our daily results would suggest we are doing OK, but need to stay focused. As we always suggested, making our practices automatic and woven into the way we do things is important to sustainability. Stay the course. And, thank you for being such a wonderful caring and loving community!!

All evidence points to my return to your midst on Monday. Looking forward to re-joining you on the path forward.

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Welcome to our New High School Vice Principal!

I mentioned during the last Town Hall that we had finalized our selection of our new High School Vice Principal replacing Laura Berntson starting next year. It’s my pleasure to announce that we completed our search just prior to the new year. 

Happy to welcome Luke MacBride to the Warrior team come August, 2021!  Along with this, we can also confirm that his wife, Alyson, has been selected for an open HS Math position.  We are very happy to have the MacBride family, which includes daughter Pearl, join us as our newest Warriors!! We’ll find out more about Luke, Alyson, and Pearl when we introduce all new Warriors as usual in my March introduction feature.

Many thanks to the members of the Search Committee and to all stakeholders who participated in our virtual events in December and added information to the process. We had a strong field of candidates and we are quite confident that the strongest were in the final stages making it both difficult and rewarding.

On other recruiting fronts, I’m happy to report we are almost done with recruiting for the next school year with both record retention of our current staff and a strong field of candidates for our few positions bringing us new Warriors that we will happily introduce in March.

Calendar

Reminder that our revised current year calendar is located HERE. The most important upcoming change to note (communicated back in October) is the move of our PD Day to March 1 on this calendar. We will be scheduling post vacation testing on that day as well as the weekend prior. We are not recommending travel and there is no current plan to change the calendar any further this year. The final change involves conferences in April. More on that later when we are closer to Spring Break.

Parking Lot

Please don’t forget what you have learned about our parking lot rules. Winter doesn’t change these rules. Dress warmly and remember the following that we are concerned about:

  • Only park in marked parking spots. NEVER park and leave your vehicle in a Kiss-N-Go lane or ANY yellow curbed area.
  • If parked for any period of time greater than one minute, turn OFF your engine. Protect our air!
  • If a spot is not available in Kiss-N-Go, continue around the parking lot circle until a place or parking spot becomes available. NEVER stop and block traffic and please don’t stop on crosswalks.
  • Make sure all pedestrians cross parking lot lanes at crosswalks only – model this for all students to make sure they see us following traffic and safety rules. If you take them across a road without using the crosswalk, they will do it inadvertently themselves in the future. Show kids we all know how to be safe together.
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Silver Linings

Gourmet meal prep in Kindergarten

Not much to share this week other than it is good to be back in classrooms. I’ve wandered about the building starting with early childhood on Monday, some time up in design and library yesterday, and some 6th grade drama monologues today along with a stop in the cafeteria during upper school lunch. The vibrations of social engagement and learning were all around me. It’s good to be in school!

We have had a great round of testing and our strategy of taking a week to settle back into practice has served us well, despite my admonitions last night in a special update. It’s a good day when I cancel the Crisis Team and leave your email boxes empty of that afternoon message. We are on the right track and it’s good to be in school!

Activities are constantly developing to keep kids engaged, both in school and with all the supplements we can muster. Minds are churning over what can be added incrementally to make up for those things outside of school that may need to be put on hold for a time out of concern for health and safety. We know this is daunting and feels like a terrible loss of passions and things previously enjoyed. But, complacency cannot rule the day and the wake up call has been delivered. We will do everything we can to keep everyone safe because it’s good to be in school!

The silver linings are starting to emerge as we reflect on our accomplishments – what we have learned, what we have survived, what we have earned — and compare our results to the greater context. Truly a world challenge and all the more difficult when you choose a divergent path and have to work hard to prove what we believe has been achieved. Pride? Not quite yet. The proof will come in looking back, realizing that our insight and forbearance will confirm it was good to be in school!

Recipes! See below! Quiz Night! See below!! Town Hall! Tonight! See you there!

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