We made it! Starting the year with COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, we were charting unknown waters with many questions. Would we be able to keep the school open all year? How would the school handle quarantining classes when teachers or children were diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19? Would our teachers be able to cope with wearing masks all day long? How would the older children handle wearing masks at certain times? How would the children react to not being able to see their teachers’ faces? How would our parents react to not being able to come into the building?
Following the Reggio philosophy, which sees children as very competent, we should not have wondered about some of those questions. We were able to successfully navigate the year. The children were not afraid of the masks. Our teachers have been so flexible, understanding, patient and resilient. Our parents have been wonderfully supportive. It’s been a good year, and next year is looking much brighter. We are fully enrolled with a healthy wait list. Some of our teachers, who had to make the tough decision to stay home this past year with their own children who were navigating a hybrid start to the year, are happily returning next year.
Our parents were not able to be in the building at all this year. Our school is used to having our parents involved in many different ways, so this was a hard one to navigate. We wondered how we could end the school year in a way that could include our parents, in person. With the backing of the church leadership, we were able to invite each class to individually have an end-of-the-year celebration in the garden area above the large playground or on the infant-toddler playground. Families were invited to bring blankets and a snack or lunch for their family. Each one of the 16 classes had a very joyful celebration with high attendance from the families. Please enjoy these images of some of the celebrations.
—Kathy, Dewanda, and Rosemary