March 10, 2021:
As I begin writing this message I am filled with tremendous optimism and excitement about the changes we have experienced over the past several weeks. One year ago this week we were all shocked by the news that schools would be closed due to a rapidly expanding pandemic that was beginning to impact almost every aspect of our lives. Since that time we have been on a roller-coaster of ups and downs professionally and personally, learned what we are told are going to be “new normals,” and experienced frustrations in every walk of life.
All of that said, however, we have also seen the resilience of people in our community, specifically our students, who have continually reacted with a positive attitude to learning plan changes and uncertainty of when (or IF) they would have an opportunity to participate in school-related activities they love. Students, parents and staff have persevered in a model of learning that nobody ever dreamed we would experience. Due in large part to the sacrifice of families and their commitment to established protocols our students have been able to enjoy both fall and winter seasons of extracurricular activities and our high school musical cast is preparing to perform at the Palace Theater. Most importantly, with steadily declining cases of the COVID-19 virus and increasing distribution of vaccines, our students are currently back to in-person attendance at school 4 days a week and the plan to SAFELY return to everyday, in-person learning following spring break still appears entirely feasible.
It’s been wonderful to again have our hallways and classrooms filled with students over the past few days. While the virus that has taken hold of the world these past months is not gone, I am increasingly optimistic that the light is at the end of the tunnel. Now that we are beginning to see that return to normalcy on the horizon, I am sure that the adversity we have all encountered over the past year will help us all to appreciate many of the things we took for granted in the past. THANK YOU Elgin community for your support and understanding these past several months and for the model of perseverance so many have exemplified for our students.
Lane Warner, Superintendent
Elgin Local Schools