School starts, for my district, in just over a month.
All around me districts are starting to make their decisions on what school will look like in the fall. And no one is happy.
I would hope that we would all agree that no one wants to harm students.
Those of us who work in schools care deeply for the students who walk into our classrooms and into our hearts each day. Our teachers spend six hours a day with these students.
Many spend much more time than that. Coaches, club sponsors, tutors - some teachers are with students eight or nine hours a day.
And there are days when magic happens.
When students see and think and learn things that they never would have without a teacher guiding them, it is truly amazing. And when that happens, everyone - students, teachers, and even Superintendents - understand the power that comes when students are with each other and with a caring and committed teacher.
And parents depend on public schools. To teach content. To teach collaboration and cooperation. To teach lessons that are hard to teach at home.
And schools also provide a safe place for kids. Every single day.
But we find ourselves in an unusual circumstance this year. A public health crisis that started in January, that forced the closure of schools in March, and that continues to linger through the summer has changed the context for this fall. Now, we are not only worried about first days and academics and homework, we are also worried about our health.
What I know to be true is this - we can find our way.
There is no one perfect option. There is no one size fits all solution. There is no choice that does not come with risk and downside.
But the adults have to agree that we can find our way.
Our children are watching us to see how we will travel this road.
Will we talk to one another? Or will we shout instead?
Will we find common ground? Or will we cling to and defend "my" idea?
Will we work together? Or will we fall apart?
I wish I had the answer. I wish I knew exactly what to do. I wish whatever choice was made would be guaranteed to work.
But it doesn't work that way.
Instead, we must agree that we will proceed down the road intending to do what is right for our students and our children. If we must change course, we will. If we must pick up the pace, we will. If we must slow down, we will.
What I know is - together we can find our way.