Over the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard the expression “These are unprecedented times, which call for extraordinary actions” a good number of times.
And of course, the statement is correct – things certainly are different.
But my approach today, is to remind you of what can be thought of as normal amidst the strangeness that abounds:
- The CDS community is used to receiving letters from me, from time-to-time. When you get a direct letter from your Head of School it signals importance and almost always there is a matter of safety involved. In those letters, I draw attention to the issue, explain what the School intends to do and ask for your cooperation.
- Our community is used to rallying around the cause of doing whatever it takes to make sure our children are safe and are afforded the best education possible.
- Our community is used to reaching out to the School, in a constructive manner, to seek assistance with the particular needs of their children. Our community knows that the people they trust at CDS will do everything they can to help them.
So while we struggle with what is entirely new, unusual and uncomfortable, let’s take some time to remember what we already know, what we are accustomed to and what gives us reassurance: the strength of the relationships between school, parent and student that this community has created.
At CDS, we are focusing the aims of the School during this time down to two crucial imperatives. They are not new initiatives or new philosophies. They were what was always most important, and they are what’s important now:
- We need to keep our children and community safe and well – the entire community, our parents and all of our employees. Everyone in the CDS community needs to be safe and well.
- We need to serve our community and deliver quality education to our students as best we can.
We are committed to these two themes. We are here to partner with you to educate your children, while keeping them safe. If you need something, continue to reach out to your usual contacts at the School. You are used to that and it is our normal mandate to be responsive and assist you as best we can. We also commit to making changes to our approach should they become necessary.
In Canada particularly, people are coming together to solve this, even though ironically we are doing so while physically distancing. Our school will do the same.
Finally, what’s also normal for me, is to insert a bit of light-heartedness in an attempt to shore up your spirits. It also fits the theme of “same.”
Brian Jimmerskog, CDS Head of Facilities and our singular employee on site at the school, let me know yesterday, that our resident Canada goose couple have returned to set up nest at the back of the school. The students named the pair Tom Honks and Geese Witherspoon and last year, in mid-spring, a gaggle of young ones appeared to everyone’s delight. Tom and Geese are back again this year and are wondering where we all are! They seem quite content overall, in not having to endure the endless coos of “they are so cute” and not having to chase off a student who gets too close... But, I return now, to the world as we now know it.
In communications later this week, I will turn to more practical points that are likely to include updates on our online learning methods and details and updates on key events in our Spring community calendar.
We deeply empathize with everything you are going through. We want you to know we are here to help.
Head of School