Hello Horace Mann Community,
Welcome back to what is going to be an interesting year full of learning opportunities for us all. I want to start by offering support and love to our families out there dealing with things differently than they have in the past: loss of job, struggling single-parent families, those with family or friends who have been directly impacted by this pandemic, and all of us who, by nature of the pandemic, are watching our kids live a life that we had not anticipated or hoped for.
Now, more than ever, we will need one another. Lean on one another when you need to. Lean on us when you need to. We may be leaning on you when we need to. A school cannot run without the full involvement of the community. We are an extended family and are here to support one another.
Virtual learning, both Live@BHUSD and ILC, is going to look a lot different than Home Learning 2.0 did. I was incredibly proud of how we pulled together in Spring and am now incredibly proud of the reflection and growth that came from our response to an unprecedented situation. For this school year, you will see more consistency. You will see more of what a typical classroom looks like … but virtually.
- Teachers will occasionally be working in small groups, just as we do in the classroom.
- Teachers may work with individuals to offer extra support, just as we do in the classroom.
- Administrators may be in Zoom sessions, just as we are in the classroom.
- Occasionally, in the classroom, students are engaged so much in a lesson that a Language Arts lesson may carry over into Math time. You may see this, just as we do in the classroom.
- In Week 1 teachers will spend time with individual families to get to know students and to teach the technology the students need for their classroom
- . Your teacher will reach out to schedule a 20-minute appointment for each family.
- You may not see academics the first week of school, as our priority for week 1 is to build communities and to support social emotional health within our classes.
The world is a different place. This is not what any of us want. We all want our kids, our teachers, our playground aids, our custodians back on campus. Those of us at school chose this profession out of a love for working with children and helping each and every one of them reach their full potential. We look forward to getting back to that as soon as we can.
I have a favor to ask. Social Media can be a phenomenal tool if used in a positive way. Please keep your posts positive, supportive, and informational. Negative social media posts are like chopping at the roots of our family tree. If too many of those roots are destroyed, our forest could be in danger.
Many of you are well aware that I am a proud mama’s boy. I worship my mom and all that she has taught me. I often go back to my life lessons, especially in times of uncertainty. I was taught to embrace opportunities like the one we have in front of us now. I was taught to meet adversity head on and with open arms: to walk into the situation asking, “how can I help to overcome this obstacle? What can I do as my part and how can I help the team to grow, overcome adversity, and become stronger because of ‘it’?” I encourage us all to embrace this challenge, to support one another, hold each other up so that we, together, become stronger as a community and celebrate knowing that we did this … together. Thank you, Mom!
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thank you again to all of our school staff and to our volunteers for helping to make our community the best that it can be.
Principal, Horace Mann Elementary School