We’ve read all of the articles.
We’ve read all of the pieces that talk about the impact that the coronavirus epidemic is having on student learning and on their social emotional state. We’ve read about how challenging it was and is for teachers to shift all of their curriculum onto virtual platforms for first weeks, then months, then the rest of the year. We have seen pieces like this one from the New York times and this one from Today’s Parent, both discussing the challenges facing parents during this and talking about how unsustainable this all is for families.
We’ve also read all of the articles like this from Forbes and this from NPR talking about when schools will reopen and what will need to be in place for schools to open and how school will look different (split schedules, masks, hand sanitizer). And then there is this one from CPR that discusses how public schools across Colorado are facing huge budget cuts over the next several years, which will lead to freezing teacher salaries, furloughing employees, closing or combining schools, increasing class sizes, decreasing resources, and more.
We’ve even written a few pieces ourselves, including this post for the Mayberg Foundation’s Jewish Educational Innovation Challenge that discusses the need to balance the urgency of today with the importance of planning for tomorrow.
There is a lot out there, and you can definitely get consumed with asking that “what if” and “how might we” and “when” questions that don’t have clear answers. What is clear is that right now is hard. It’s just hard. It’s hard for everyone in so many ways. And it will be hard for much longer (some of the some ways and some in entirely new ways).
While we have no idea what will transpire over the next several months, we at Einstein Academy are just trying to be prepared as best we can. As a school that always puts kids first and responds to the community needs, we have spent much time considering what that means today when we also need to be as safe as possible.
We’ve closely read the guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Governor Polis’s office regarding what is safe and advised for educational settings. Based on the current guidance, we are confident we can open. We know about the social distancing guidelines and safety checks and cleaning protocols, but that is not all that will be different.
Collaboration will look a little different when we can’t all sit at a table together. Community will look different when we can’t all be in a room or hold hands. Critical thinking will look different when we are grappling with different kinds of problems. Communication will look different when our faces are covered by masks. Curiosity will look different when everything else seems in disarray. Empathy will look different when so many people are struggling with their own challenges.
But collaboration, community, critical thinking, communication, curiosity, and empathy are stronger than coronavirus (especially when taken together). They may look different, but these will be the reason we overcome this pandemic. And these have always been and will continue to be at the heart of what we do at Einstein Academy.
We’ve read the articles. We know everything we don’t know. But we also know what we do know.
In a world where we all feel so helpless and overwhelmed by the unknown, we at Einstein Academy know that the way to move forward is by focusing on what we know. Kids need collaboration, community, critical thinking, communication, curiosity, and empathy...and we are excited to work with families to make sure they get what they need!
To read more about our plan for the fall, click here.