Our school, like so many around the world, had to make the transition to distance, online learning almost overnight, to continue educating our students amid quarantine due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The learning curve has been steep for teachers, students and parents as we all learn new way of coping with this reality we face as a human race and adapt our home-bound lives to continue growing, learning and thriving. After video conferences and virtual communications with various groups from our school community, I am left with a sense of hope as I witness our school values of resilience, empathy and unity come to life more than ever in our current situation.

Watching our teachers adapt all their lessons into a virtual format, learn how to use the platform and respond to each student’s need, proved their resilience and devotion to their vocation as educators. Our students quickly learned that resilience is key to them self-managing themselves and finding ways to complete their classes even when confronted with difficulties. At the same time their parents are faced with more than we ever imagined and they still find time to assist their children, be creative and keep a sense of calm in their homes.

We have practiced empathy on a daily basis as we listen and learn from each other, being flexible when needed and adapting to each other’s needs and situations. The very act of staying home expresses empathy to our neighbors and challenges us to consider those without the luxury to have necessities and a home to stay in during this time.

A strong sense of unity has surfaced, as classrooms get together to practice yoga and mindfulness, share experiences and even host healthy cooking classes together! Students missing their classmates as well, has contributed to their sense of unity and community that they share among each other and the lack of normal interaction has built an appreciation between them.

There are plenty more examples of how our school community has demonstrated and lived out our school values and as a school we are proud to call these students, parents and teachers, part of the VPS Family! Be safe and reflect on how your child and family have expressed our school values during this difficult week. We cannot wait to see you all in person soon, stronger and more unified than ever!

Daniel Kasnick
Primary Coordinator