January 11, 2021
Dear OGPS Families,
As we head back to our virtual classrooms, I wanted to take a moment to extend my gratitude for all you have done to make our online community strong, especially in times that seem increasingly challenging and complicated. Over the last nine months, we have grown together as educators and caretakers to develop practices that support all of our students during these difficult times. We have been a part of each other's lives in new ways- you are in your child's classroom on a daily basis just as we are a part of your homes. Many of you have seen my children on zoom calls, and have seen my youngest grow from a newborn to a nine-month old, just as I have been introduced to siblings and new babies in your homes. We have built a new set of relationships designed to support all members of our community, and I know it has not been easy.
I know you worry about time your children are missing in the classroom, moments they are missing with their friends and teachers, and milestones that have to be experienced remotely. I know you are balancing work and childcare and the anxiety of not knowing when things may return to normal. I want you to know that you are doing a beautiful job, and that your children make us proud as educators every single day. We feel privileged to work with you and inspired by the faith that you have in us. Just before the vacation, I ran into the father of two OG students in front of the school. He was picking up materials and I stopped to thank him for taking the time out of his busy work schedule to ensure that his girls had what they needed. Although I knew he was running from one responsibility to another, and that he was as exhausted by the 'new normal' as all of us are, he told me how grateful he was to the teachers and staff members who had developed new and unique ways of teaching his girls. We talked about how they will likely grow up and look back on this time as a strange, difficult, but sometimes fun and exciting way of learning and being. This sense of perspective and optimism helped to carry me through that day, and I think about it often.
Unfortunately, I am not yet writing with a specific date for a return to in-person learning. I am eagerly awaiting those plans and will communicate as soon as I am able. In the meantime, I am reaching out to simply say THANK YOU. I am hopeful for Orchard Gardens in 2021 because of your dedication, your strength and your belief in our community. As always, please feel free to reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 617-301-2470 at any time as we continue to navigate this unpredictable year.