It was a week of bookends as we had our first big in-person event with our Secondary Back to School Nights, while at the same time having to send our first-grade students home for virtual learning due to a COVID outbreak. (Let’s hope it is contained and does not impact other grades.) STEM’s year of normal school activities will continue as best as we can, while we know we have not yet tamed the global pandemic attempting to disrupt our best efforts.
Back to School nights this week gave us an opportunity to partner with parents in a more meaningful way than possible with zoom. Parents navigated our hallways to find classrooms while student leaders provided guidance throughout the school. I watched and listened as parents sometimes reflected that they feel like they are once again a freshman in High School as they tried to navigate the 140,000 square ft campus in the 5 minutes allocated time to change classes.
The energy of gratitude expressed by our parents as they met their student’s teachers in the classroom as well as the opportunity to meet the parents of their student’s classmates, was so heartfelt that it carried into the following school day with our staff. There is simply no substitute for face-to-face human connections. I heard from so many staff members how gratifying it was to reconnect with parents they had not seen in almost two years.
Parents abundantly thanked administrators in the halls for holding the first back-to-school night in two years. Administrators, teachers, and other staff felt the warmth and appreciation. These are the events that fill buckets to endure the harder days.
Next week is our Elementary School Back-to-School Night. K-2 is Wednesday from 5:30-7 p.m. and grade 3-5 on Thursday at the same time. Attendance is always highest at the K-5 level as our families want to see what their youngest learners are experiencing first-hand.
Thank you for continuing to be part of STEM’s unique and student-focused community. When we all work toward the success of students, we can minimize disruptions from unimportant and noncritical distractions.
Let’s get to Week 3 of in-person learning as a collaborative #STEMStrongerTogether community,
P.J. Eucker PhD