Just when I think there are no silver linings to the Covid pandemic and remote learning, I get a ray of sunshine and hope. Last week, I completed the annual exit interviews with our 8th graders. Each year, I get the chance to sit down with them one-on-one and talk about their years at St. Anne. I ask them about favorite times, things we should change, things that should never change.
This year, we also talked (via zoom) about their experience with remote learning. I am so impressed and heartened by the creativity, flexibility, resilience and strength these students are showing. In addition to missing their classes, classmates and teachers, they miss our traditional school activities: Buddies, Families, school Masses, recesses and lunchtime, etc. One even mentioned wanting to come to school even if it meant taking a test, sitting in a desk all day! But they also talked about the benefits of remote learning, “Being able to see my family all day.” “Working on my schedule and getting work done when it is best for me.” “Finding myself having to be more independent and organized.” “Knowing that the teachers are still there to answer my questions; I just have to email or schedule a zoom with them.” The conversations brighten my days and I am confident that this class of students will thrive at the next level. I just wish we could have them in the building every day to watch as they mature even more.
Last Thursday, there was a live update from the King County Department of Health as they released their most updated study on COVID and schools. With the tremendous spike in numbers in our county (138 per 100,00 people), they are recommending continuing to hold on adding more classes and they are not making adjustments to the current model for high, moderate and low risk levels. We will continue to use that model and welcome additional students back as soon as it is safe to do so.
As the holidays are approaching, it is absolutely critical that every single person do their part to keep our community healthy. On the Dept. of Health call, officials expressed great concern regarding our increased numbers and reiterated multiple times that every person in the community needs to do their part to minimize risk and transmission outside of schools. We also strongly remind you that if you do choose to travel, please follow all safety guidelines, limit exposure and be as safe as possible. We all have this responsibility to keep our community safe.
Finally, last spring our middle school after-school drama group was not able to perform their production of Annie Jr. They had hoped to return to the stage in the fall and present the play. As with so many other activities nowadays, Covid had other plans. So, through the artistic efforts of the production crew and a group of parents, a marvelous video montage was created featuring 15 of the 28 members of the cast. This morning, following Prayer Assembly, the entire school was able to watch the short video and it was enjoyed by all. Here is a link for you to see it too. It’s a good reminder that no matter how dark things seem… the “Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”.
Have a great week!