A Message From Our Head of School
I have always prided myself in being a pretty decent educator. I enjoyed strong connections with students and with parents. I was able to motivate children to push themselves to learn new things, to believe in themselves. I was always clear about rules and expectations. I was consistent and fair in my follow-through.
As a parent, I wasn’t quite as successful. Despite our commitment to sleep training our children, we ended up embracing the notion of a family bed. I won’t even go into our inconsistencies with enforcing consistent sleep times. I also decided that I would speak only Hebrew with my children. All I can say is thank goodness my children went to a high school with a strong Hebrew department, I never quite had what it took to live up to that challenge. We definitely paid the price over the years with separation anxiety, sleep issues, and Hebrew proficiency that is not quite as strong as it might have been had I been more strong-willed. Yet despite my parenting weaknesses, my children turned out fine. They are now grown, independent, and successful humans.
At this point, we have over half of SDJA’s student population on campus. While it is a bit surreal to see students in masks playing “noodle tag”, for the most part things have been successful (we’re even improving our social distanced GMLS dismissals). Yet the scare of what might happen, still keeps me up at night. The county recently put forward even stricter guidelines on handling symptomatic cases, especially regarding return to school for those who occupy the household of someone who is diagnosed positive with COVID (household members may need to quarantine up to 24 days!). Officials remind us that these are not merely guidelines, but mandates that are meant to keep everyone safe. They also remind us that the last major pandemic to hit our community was about one hundred years ago. While it may be harsh to have to stay home for up to 24 days, the alternative may be creating a widespread incidence in the school community, with possible fatalities. I hope that everyone gets tested and genuinely stays away if they are sick.
While being lax with bedtimes may not have ultimately harmed my own children’s development, when it comes to enforcing health regulations, we can’t afford to mess up. In this week’s Torah portion, we are presented with an image of the Israelites standing together in tribal formation before G-d. They are informed that they all have equal access to the Torah, its guidance and commandments. Today, we all have equal opportunity to contribute to the control of this disease. So thank you to the GMLS families that helped make for a safe and wonderful first week back on campus for many. They followed the exemplary actions of our ECC families who have had their children back on campus for four weeks–all of whom are following the necessary rules in place. These rules may not always be easy nor convenient, but let’s follow the guidelines and mandates and as a community, let’s embrace this once in a century opportunity to save lives.
Shabbat Shalom, Zvi