| March 30, 2020 8:08 PM
Tuesday, March 17th, will forever be a sad memory for me. My foundations, as a long-time educator, made the decision to close our schools the most difficult I’ve made. I believe that education, as proclaimed by Horace Mann, is the “great equalizer” which provides the path to fulfill potential of all people. So, having kids out of school is a big deal. Unfortunately, we’ve all been hit with strange, uncertain days over the last weeks, causing us all to do things differently.
Closing school is difficult for us all, but keeping students safe is of greater importance. Regardless, it remains our duty to educate. Over the last couple of weeks I have witnessed many heroes in action. Our teachers, staff, and administrators have all worked to bring education and food to students. Although we can’t possibly replicate the classroom experience, we can keep in touch and provide lessons in other ways. For those students who have access to the internet and a device, many teachers have gone online from home to instruct. For other students, we have put together packets of lessons which require a little help from someone at home, and are supported through phone calls from teachers and staff. And, we’ve deployed our transportation professionals to assure kids are fed.
Everyone is wondering how long this will be and I’m included in that group. Daily I participate in conference calls and online webinars. We are all seeking guidance and are depending on our state and national leaders to make good decisions. Once we hear from them, my leadership team and I do our best to follow guidelines for the Kellogg School District. I realize how difficult these decisions are, so I’ve resigned to take the approach of one-day-at-a-time. It seems that as we write plans, they need revising before we’re done. So, when we have new, definitive direction, I will share it with my staff, families, and the community who are waiting and wondering.
Our seniors who are worried about graduation, fall into the category of waiting and wondering. Of course, we’ll find a way to get credits on transcripts and affirm they are qualified to go on to the next step. But, more importantly, we’ll find a way for them to wear a cap and gown, to hear Pomp and Circumstance played in their honor, to be recognized by their families, and create graduation memories that will last a lifetime. At this time we don’t know when, and we don’t really know how, but we do know it will happen.
Throughout this difficult time, I am awestruck by the outpouring of support for our students and district. It proves there really is a silver lining to every cloud and this community will be even stronger in the end.