Our focus for 2020-2021 is ALL together NOW
On the first day back after our five-month hiatus, I challenged my staff that “ALL” means all, not just cookie-cutter kids or the ones who need extra focus or the ones who look like them. In the wake of the ongoing revolution of racial reckoning, it’s our obligation, our duty, to approach instruction, discipline, conferencing, and communication in a way that is consistently authentic and unapologetically equitable no matter a student’s gender, skin color, neighborhood, or abilities.
Whether in-person or virtually, the CAES staff must focus on building a sense of community for our students. There can be no “Us” and “Them” on the staff, and how a student receives instruction shouldn’t determine the quality of that instruction – everyone should get the best! I’m thankful for those on our faculty who have moved out of their comfort zone to be our virtual teachers; it won’t be easy but it’ll be so worth it as they strive to make our at-home Cardinals feel just as much a part of the school as those students who come into the building. As the professionals they are, the staff will be in the building working together where they can focus on your children.
When we came to school March 13, we had no idea we wouldn’t be back together again. Since that last day, families have opted for private schools, homeschooling, or moved away; our third graders promoted to Westside; staff members retired or resigned. A sudden stop without any closure like we experienced last spring is a stark reminder that we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We only have now so we need to capitalize on it.
IWCS superintendent Dr. Thornton challenged us at the start of this year to demonstrate patience, grace, and kindness with one another and ourselves. This year will be like no other as we have Cardinals wearing masks, being socially distant, and experiencing classrooms via computers. There will be times that we will be frustrated, that we will be anxious, that we will be inconvenienced. Through it all, I hope we will also be patient, gracious, kind, and grateful that we are ALL together NOW!
Let’s SOAR, Cardinals!
Robert D. Brennan