If we were asked in September 2019 to imagine what the end of the school year would look like, it would be fair to say not one of us would have used the word 'unexpected' to describe it. The normal rhythm of a traditional school year has been anything but normal and traditional. Some days it feels like March 23 was 10 minutes ago- so much has transpired since the announcement that schools would close for an extended period, and the words 'pandemic' and 'unprecedented' are now, unfortunately, a part of our everyday language.
There are other words being frequently used as well, such as patience, caring, capable, inclusive, and respectful. These are all words found in the Louis Riel School Division Mission and Vision, and words which have come to define our collective response to a situation that has tested our resilience, our ability to adapt, and our capacity for kindness and generosity.
If this whole experience were a final exam, everyone in LRSD would get 100 per cent. There is not a single member of our community that has not reached inward and found a strength that they did not know they had, or at least that they did not know they had until it was tested by a pandemic event.
The remarkable, but unsurprising, part of this whole experience is that no one has been left behind. From day one, students and families have been looked after, lines of communication have been kept open, and decisions have been made with equity, consistency, and sustainability as guiding principles. As we navigate governance in the time of COVID-19, your school board watches with gratitude, emotion, and a certain amount of awe as everything possible is done to ensure learning and engagement continues, and needs are met.
The Louis Riel School Division Board of Trustees would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge our Superintendent, Christian Michalik, and his Senior Leadership Team for their herculean efforts over the last several months. We also recognize the considerable investment of time and energy by school administrators, teachers, and LRSD staff. Together these folks have ensured coordinated and reassuring action and the flow of timely and accurate information to students and families.
It is hard to predict what the coming months will bring, but we do know with absolute certainty that the core values that guide our collective efforts will continue to serve us well. It will take more than a global pandemic to disrupt a commitment to seeing our learners thrive and our community flourish.
Sandy Nemeth (Chair)
Louise Johnston (Vice-chair)