the director of Las Vegas Day School sitting at a large desk in his office

Director’s News Fall 2020

This edition of the Director’s News is something I never had the slightest idea I would be writing.  Each of us, in our own individual way, have been impacted by the pandemic and our place in the world turned upside down.  Although we all faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles at the outset, we have been able to make the necessary changes to begin our return to normalcy.  Maybe the most important lesson for all of us is that we must never forget the importance of perseverance and the power of hope.

I always like to recap our summer projects, but this year was without question one of the most challenging times we have ever faced as a school and those projects were probably more important than ever.  In evaluating all our options, we were committed from the beginning to provide our children with the opportunity to return to in-person school this fall no matter how difficult that might be.  Ultimately, remote learning proved that there is absolutely no comparison to the quality of education that can be provided in a traditional classroom.

As we began our quest to return this fall, we were given little, if any, guidance and left literally on our own to figure out how to offer in-person school.  The most difficult aspect of trying to find answers was that every question was met with “I don’t know”.  Once we set aside the notion that everything was not impossible, we were able to progressively find answers to seemingly unending logistical issues.  We went to great lengths to implement every possible safety precaution we could imagine from plexiglass partitions to special schedules, and extensive sanitizing.  We honestly felt, despite the inordinate financial commitment, every dollar spent to offer in-person school and most importantly to protect the safety of our children, was money well spent.

In keeping everything in perspective, I think it is important to highlight the positive aspects of the situation.  The school year is going extremely well, and everyone has adjusted seamlessly to all the changes.  The pandemic has given all of us the opportunity to appreciate many things that we took for granted and cherish even the simplest of freedoms that we are able to accomplish within the restrictive operational borders that surround going to school.

The simple act of talking to your teachers or peers without having to look at a computer monitor is special even though it occurs with a mask on and behind plexiglass.  The underlying sentiment is that children are happy to simply be with their peers and enjoy the social and emotional interaction that comes from being in school.

I think the most important thing we learned was how resilient children can be and how accepting they have become with many stipulations’ adults struggle with, namely wearing masks at school.  Despite all the initial concerns, our children have been incredibly diligent in wearing their masks even at recess with temperatures over 100 degrees, without a single complaint.  They have also come to appreciate the necessary changes with recess and having to stay in cohort groups by making the very best of it including inventing new games and making new friends.  We have discovered that our children are inherently positive by nature and will always find a way to make lemonade from lemons.  Honestly, a lesson we should all follow!

As a school we have integrated a significant amount of additional technology into our traditional learning environment that will greatly improve the educational program offered at LVDS.  Going forward we are even more committed to further enhancement of the technology education we offer our children.  The use of video cameras in the classroom and platforms like Showbie, Teams, and PlusPortals for tests and homework will become even more a part of daily instruction.  Technology will be used to streamline our children’s learning with paperless assignments and ultimately be a time-saving tool to allow for less incumbered submission of student work.  Necessity, it turns out, is the mother of invention.

Lastly, I wanted to extend our sincerest appreciation to our parents for your support and willingness to make the necessary personal sacrifices to accommodate all the schedule changes this year.  We are also looking forward to seeing our Home Learning Program students return to in-person school soon as we miss you.  These are certainly challenging times, but patience, perseverance and hope must be our foremost thoughts as we look forward to brighter days ahead.

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