These are unique and in many ways unprecedented times. Beginning in March of last year, many aspects of our daily lives changed virtually overnight. Things that we took for granted vanished, and ongoing uncertainty became our new reality. Over my forty years as a professional educator, I have never experienced so much rapid change, nor have I ever never been in a situation in which so many of my questions cannot be answered. I also am mindful of those who have been ill or have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
This pandemic has compelled St. George’s to be at its most nimble, problem-solving best. Back in the spring, we had to find new ways of educating our students, as we transitioned from face-to-face learning to remote learning and then back to a hybrid model incorporating elements of both. Just as significant was the challenge of continuing to maintain connections and build community within an environment that didn’t allow us to be in the same room with one another. In the year ahead, these challenges will remain and others undoubtedly will emerge until a vaccine or effective treatment is found.
As you know from previous communications, our planning and decision making here at St. George’s has been and continues to be guided by the following principles:
- Adhering to the directives of the authorities, particularly the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and Vancouver Coastal Health;
- Demonstrating social responsibility for the safety and well-being of our community and the broader community that surrounds us;
- Providing our students with the richest, most engaging, and fullest educational experience possible.
The safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff, and other community members are of paramount importance. In addition to the extensive steps being taken by the School in this regard, parents and guardians also have the responsibility to ensure that they are doing their part and following all government and public health directives. In particular, anyone who has travelled outside of Canada must self-quarantine for two weeks, and students must not come to school if they are experiencing any COVID-19-like symptoms.
Along with the uncertainty, one of the challenges that we all face is the overwhelming amount of information that we need to manage on a daily basis. This section of our website is intended to help you in this process by gathering together in one place the most important information and resources concerning the School and COVID-19. In addition to being a repository for updates and other communications, it provides much more detailed information, including links to the Junior and Senior Schools and their Return-to-School plans. I trust that you will find this section of our website to be a helpful resource, and I encourage you to consult it on a regular basis. We will continue to communicate with you as fully and as frequently as possible.
These are not easy times. I remain confident, however, that we will emerge from this crisis a better school and a stronger community. In addition to taking good care of one another, we will continue to advance our Mission of “Building Fine Young Men. One Boy at a Time.” Now more than ever, the world needs young men of character able and willing to shape positive futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and the world at large.