by Mitch Wainwright
One of the most constant things that happens in the world is change. As a former history teacher, I taught about what happened in the past and how it affects our current situation and possible future. It was easy to look back at an event 50, 100, or 200 years ago and apply our current logic to the situation and have an easy answer to how things should have been done. Hindsight is always 20 – 20. What type of vision applies to a “once in a lifetime event?” Who do you look to for guidance? What experiences help shape decisions when no guidance is given? For me, I tried to keep the health and well-being of every student, staff member, and in an extended way, community member as safe as possible. Yes, looking back over the last year, there are a lot of ideas that have changed about how to respond to the pandemic. In the beginning, we were told that the virus can stay alive on solid surfaces, so everything needed to be disinfected. Social distancing needed to be at least six-feet, and now the CDC has changed that to three-feet. Originally masks were not thought to help and now they are one of the biggest safety precautions. Change is constant.
How do we move forward? Every staff member that wants to be vaccinated will have their second shot by either April 6 or 13. Fourteen days later, they will be fully vaccinated against the virus. What does this mean moving forward? My recommendation to the school board will be a plan for a “normal” school year for 2021-22. I do not know if we will continue to require masks in the fall of the year, but we are all looking forward to having students in our buildings Monday through Friday using the same schedules we have used in the past, with an early release on Wednesday afternoons. I am confident that we will be able to provide the same level of education everyone has come to expect. In regard to virtual learning, my recommendation will be to only offer that model for an extremely limited circumstance. One example may be a student that is injured and cannot attend school due to doctor restrictions would be provided a virtual option.
My hope is that with constant change, one thing can remain the same. We will continue to care about and for each other. This one characteristic makes small towns special places. It makes Mineral Point a great place to live and raise a family. We continue to educate every student and hold open doors to the future. There have been wonderful accomplishments reached during this crazy year, and many more to come. We can look back on the successes of former Pointers and continue to push current and future Pointers to reach even higher. After all, it is #PointerNation.