by Superintendent Mitch Wainwright

November brings us closer to the end of 2020 and a time when we look forward to being with our families, however that might look this year.  Thanksgiving is soon upon us, and Christmas is just a little farther away.  It is also a time when we can reflect on the year and how we have all been challenged by an event that is well beyond our control.

I can look back and be thankful that people close to me have survived the virus.  We have all sacrificed something during the pandemic.  The world as we used to know it will return, hopefully soon.  We didn’t go to the movies or out to eat, spend weekends shopping, and large gatherings, like weddings, were put on hold.  Some people lost jobs, or worse yet, lost a loved one.  I have personally had two cousins and a brother pass away, unrelated to the virus.  Due to the virus, I have been unable to attend one of the memorial services and haven’t had anything for my own brother.  

I have often written about the strength of the community and the ability of so many people to work together for a common good.  When a devastating event happens, this community — our community — joins together and lends its support in whatever way it can.  This is one of those times.

Every employee that works with children in the school wants to see those kids back in our buildings 100% of the time.  We also want everyone to be as safe as possible.  No one wants someone to get sick at school and take the virus home to a sibling, parent, or grandparent.  If we can work together, as a community, we can help change the course the virus is taking in our community and county.  The most vulnerable in the nursing home have contracted the virus, students and staff, parents, and community members are all getting infected.  Now is the time for us to look out for each other.  

We are all suffering from COVID fatigue in some form or another, but we must be resilient. Even though the virus arriving in our lives was out of our control, how we react to it isn’t. Additionally, flu season is upon us. Keep wearing masks, keep social distancing, keep up with good hygiene practices, and keep staying home when you’re not feeling well. Small things really do add up to big things.

Each day we have in school with our students is a gift. Keeping our schools from having to go 100% virtual, and hopefully getting our buildings back to full in-person learning, truly takes the effort of everyone in our community. We need your help. Please make safe and responsible decisions with our students and staff in mind. We are grateful for those of you who have already embraced this call to action and encourage others to step up and do the same. We can do this — together.