Enduring Two Years of a Pandemic, SJB Should Be Proud
Two years ago this week, SJB students and staff stopped coming into the school and instead started getting lessons online. Teachers and students used a planned professional-development day, scheduled for Friday, March 13, to prepare a new virtual program, which began on Monday, March 16, two weeks before county public schools started their virtual program.
At SJB, the virtual learning program would change by the day, evolve by the week, and continue until the end of the school year. It was a trial for everyone. When the 2020-21 school year started, there were new Covid-19 safety restrictions, but SJB opened its doors to the children of the families that wanted to send them to school. More than half came in, and the rest learned virtually. Teachers had the exceptional challenge of aiming instruction at in-person students and online students simultaneously. And many of the online students were sitting near parents who were trying to help their kids learn while working on shared devices at their own full-time virtual jobs. By the end of the 2020-21 school year, 90 percent of SJB students were attending school in person, and by the start of the current 2021-22 school year, all students were in person and in masks.
We are nearly three-fourths of the way through the current school year and looking, once again, at a possible post-pandemic future with hope, eagerness, and a healthy dose of caution. Despite the pandemic's undeniably adverse social, emotional, and intellectual effects on children at SJB and everywhere, there's reason to look back as we approach the two-year mark.
The children, families, and school staff of SJB should be proud of the qualities they have shown -- perseverance, patience, humility, and charity -- as they've endured the pandemic with grace. Students have faced greater challenges and harder school days than students before them faced in many years. Each time the students here leaned on their family or friends for support, they learned and grew. Each time they pushed through discomfort and distress, they became stronger and more resilient, as students and as people. Each time they prayed, out of isolation or desperation or gratitude, they grew closer to God.
Just Before the Pandemic
The first Principal's Note sent after SJB went virtual.