The Time Is Now
Happy New Year! 2021 has come in with a vengeance. In my last article, I spoke about recognizing that it is always darkest before the dawn and that we are heading towards the dawn. As I write this article, I have recently lost someone very close to me due to COVID; we are a week away from the surge on the U.S. Capitol; we are seeing continued increases in COVID cases; many families are struggling financially; and there are difficult decisions ahead in the Hart District regarding when school should reopen. There is a lot going on, and I can still see the dawn ahead.
On the surface, this month may not seem much different from last month, but a lot has already changed and is changing as we start this spring semester. For one, schedules have changed. We learned last semester that some students were struggling with the cur-rent distance learning approach. We also learned that providing small group support for some students seemed to address the challenges they were having. We now have dedicated blocks of time for students in a more consistent manner to ensure that no students are missing this opportunity for academic support. Change is never easy, and I want to thank our amazing teachers, administrators and classified staff for committing to support students in this way. Know that this can be a game changer for some students.
For another, the Hart District Board of Trustees recently participated in a workshop de-signed to lay the foundation for District goal setting and long-term planning. While there are critical decisions that must be made today, it is equally as important to plan for tomorrow. With the Superintendent being in his position for less than a year and the composition on the board recently changing, the time is now to have these conversations and to begin planning for engaging stakeholders in where we want to be as a District tomorrow. An interesting fact was shared at that meeting—our current mission statement has not been revised in over 15 years…
We prepare students to meet the challenges of the future as lifelong learners and responsible citizens. In partnership with families and community, we create meaningful and diverse learning opportunities for all students so they develop the knowledge, skills and character necessary to succeed. In all of our work, we demand fairness, honor quality, and expect achievement at each person’s highest level of ability.
And while we know that our overarching mission is still to prepare students to meet the challenges of the future, who would have guessed when this was written that that would have meant dealing with a global health pandemic, economic and social inequities, mental health and trauma, or so many more experiences that our students are dealing with today. The time is now to plan for tomorrow as we go from good to great.
So, yes, you may look at the glass as half empty, but I choose to see it as half full. I am inspired and optimistic even in the midst of a pandemic. We must choose our actions and reactions and set a path towards what we want to see tomorrow. There is always reason to have hope and believe that we are turning the tide no matter how hard it may be to see right now. And you can help us get there faster by wearing a mask and keeping your distance. As always, please feel free to reach me by email at email@example.com to continue the conversation.
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