Last Day of School Message from Mrs. Hanson
June 11th, 2020
Good afternoon, Caleb families,
It’s the last day of school, so I wanted to be sure to connect
with all of you. I’ve been hearing that not everyone has been
getting our email blasts and my Sunday Family Messages, which I
apologize for and will remedy moving forward. If you haven’t been
receiving these, please visit our school website and sign up for
the email blast. There, you can also view archived emails and
It goes without saying that this has been an incredibly difficult school year for all. What started out as a relatively mellow year of exploration and growth after being evaluated and reauthorized for IB a year ago, turned into a tumultuous and unpredictable third trimester of sheltering in place, learning from a distance, working remotely, and watching our world become ever more chaotic. I have never doubted the resolve, generosity and resourcefulness of our Caleb community – from the kids, to the teachers and staff, to the parents. I knew that we would all rise to the occasion and make it work. It wasn’t always pretty, we got messy and frustrated, we lost our perspective and gained it back, we cried, we laughed, we did all the things. But we did it. And here we are, with the 2019-20 school year officially behind us.
My hope for all of you this summer, is that you stop and be for a bit. Release the daily worry about distance learning and the tension about what school is going to look like in the fall, shut down those screens (ALL of them, the phones, the computers, the tablets, the video games, ALL of them), get outside, hug each other, laugh, play and talk about what you’ve learned from this experience. Enjoy each other, get off schedule, and just be.
I also want you to commit as a family to learn and talk about racial injustice in our community and country. Preserving our children’s innocence does not release us of our responsibility to teach them about injustice and racism and to respect the humanity and dignity of all people. I know that we come from different racial and cultural backgrounds, that we hold different truths and opinions and comfort levels. But we cannot let those differences, a desire to protect our children, and our discomfort supersede our responsibility to learn, to teach and to commit to action. This is what being an IB Learner is all about – we learn, we get uncomfortable, we ask questions, we don’t judge, and we take action to make our world better, for everyone. We will never do this work perfectly. I have learned this year that my desire to do the right thing and say the perfect thing has gotten in the way of me doing anything at all, sometimes to the detriment of the very children I am privileged to serve. Know that there is no judgement in this work. I, like many of you, need to understand more and do better, right now and everyday.
As you’ve heard me say, we can’t just be outraged and heartbroken when individual instances happen and the media blows up with coverage of protests. We cannot look away when that media coverage ebbs or when our attention is diverted elsewhere. We have to understand that our country and community have yet to overcome racial injustice, what that means for people of color, and examine our roles in perpetuating it and fixing it. This is not easy work, but it has to happen. While the Caleb staff and I are committed to learning and growing our antiracist teaching practices, I also believe that this work has to be done in tandem with work at home when parents and children engage with each other. If you haven’t been having these conversations with your children, now is the time! Read a picture book together, watch a movie, TALK with them. If you have been having these conversations with your children, ask them questions, find out what they really know and believe and go from there. The internet is bursting with resources, use them. Please don’t look awayand please keep talking.
I cannot let this year end without expressing my gratitude to all of you – to our children for continuing to be bright shining beacons of hope for the future during these dark times, to our parents for your support and patience, and to the Caleb staff who have more than risen to the occasion over these last three months. I have never been more proud and grateful to be a part of this community.
Before we wrap it up, just a few housekeeping items:
- If you have not yet picked up your child’s belongings, please stop by the front lobby tomorrow between 9am and 12pm. Please wear a mask and do not bring your child in the building.
- Yearbooks are set to arrive in July, so be on the lookout for distribution information.
- You do have access to online learning platforms, like Clever and Math IXL, this summer so feel free to use those and be sure to read every single day! And really, stay off those screens as much as possible. Your brains and eyes need a break.
I know everyone is anxiously waiting to hear what school will look like in the fall. The short and honest answer is, we don’t know yet. Our central office leaders, along with principals, are working to develop a plan in alignment with both the Sacramento County Office of Education and California Department of Education guidelines. We do know we will not be in school as usual, and that a hybrid learning model is very likely. I will share details as soon as I have them. We also know that the first day of school is September 3 and we will be ready and excited to welcome your children back to school and to do our very best teaching. They deserve nothing less.
Give each other hugs from me and have a great summer, Cougars!
- Mrs. Hanson
Principal, Caleb Greenwood Elementary School
An International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program World School