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Dear Westgate Families,
These past few weeks have been a truly remarkable start to the 2020-21 school year.  Over the last six months, our Westgate staff has worked to create a plan for students learning remotely and a plan for students coming to school in person.  We have created schedules that take into consideration social distancing and erected plexiglass throughout classrooms so that teachers can safely do their work.  Custodial staff has cleaned the building from top to bottom. The school has received countless packages of gloves, thermometers, and masks.  Nothing really could have prepared us for all of the physical considerations we would have to make to reopen. 
Then the first day of online school started, and all of the faces that we love so much started popping up on Zoom checkerboards.  From our kindergarteners to our 5th graders, joy about coming back to school was evident.  Last week, families bringing their in-person children to school dropped off their kids with hugs and kisses. Those students went through their day after getting their temps checked and with reminders to not get quite so close. And the school was filled with another kind of joy as they ran and played with each other on the playground, compared lunches in the lunchroom, and read new books with friends. 

 

Even in a time when day to day operations seem jarring and uncertain, this hint of normalcy was a balm to our hearts after missing our students so much.

This all solidifies my heartfelt belief that we seek connection, and schools play a huge role in connecting communities. 

Many of the changes we’ve made have been difficult, and policies are changing at the speed of light.  So I am operating by the advice posted on a sticky note on my computer that says, “Good enough for the moment.”  I suppose a principal should have loftier goals for a school year.  But for me, good enough means that we are taking care of each other, offering each other grace (because we are all doing the best we can) and keeping students engaged with school whether they are meeting in a Google Meet or doing a Shared Reading lesson in a classroom.  Good enough means keeping families informed so that they can be our partners in learning with their children.  Good enough also means this whole situation could go remote at any moment and every decision we’ve made will have to be reexamined.   We are going to do this school year together, and it will be good enough. 

Please feel free to reach out to me anytime.  Thank you for entrusting your students to us. 

Respectfully,

Dr. Lindemann Principal, Westgate Elementary

Dr. Lindemann's Family

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