Well, the spring and summer have been anything but normal. 9/11 was the first crisis I had to lead through and there have been plenty more since then, but nothing really compares to leading through COVID-19. There are so many emotions that we are feeling every day based on the news, personal impact COVID has had on our families or employment, and the impact on our children.
We have spent the entire summer trying to prepare for reopening based on the over two hundred pages of guidance we have received from the New York State Education Department, Departments of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. This guidance seems to change weekly and sometimes even daily, which provides more confusion, irritation, and anxiety.
I appreciate how trusting you are of our collective leadership and decision making, and I view that as an even greater responsibility than being in a community where the “squeaky wheel” gets the grease. Since I stepped foot into the community, I have felt that we are all a part of one big wheel that rolls in the direction of where the best decisions for children are.
For reopening, we MUST take into consideration the health and safety of our employees and students above all else. We cannot do a bit of learning if our brains are focused on other things. At the same time, we know that many would like students back to school full time so that they can get back to work. We are creating plans that incorporate both of those ideas as best we can and that also conform to the guidance we are required to follow. I will continue to keep you updated as the plans evolve and I appreciate your patience through the process.
Thank you to all who have been coming to our Foodlink distributions. We have been able to serve over 1,000 individuals in our community each time. Our volunteers and I enjoy seeing everyone.
Anyone can navigate a ship through calm waters. It takes true leaders and a solid community to navigate through the storms that life sometimes presents, and I am glad that we are all aboard the same boat!
Thank you and enjoy the rest of the summer.
Christopher R. Brown, Ph. D.
Superintendent of Schools