It is no surprise that starting school for the 2020-2021 school year has come with its challenges, but I write this with a grateful heart.
When I see our students playing outside on the playground, I am grateful that we have children in our buildings. Last spring, it was unnatural to see our campuses empty. When I see emails come through from teachers encouraging one another, I am grateful that our Searcy Schools family know they can count on their colleagues. Having watched our support staff members clean buildings and install new social distancing measures, I am grateful for individuals who recognize that safety and health come first. Yes, we have had trying times these last several months. Yes, tensions have been high as we all adapt to this “new normal.” But, our teachers, administrators, support staff, students, parents, and community have all pulled together for a common goal, and that is to provide a safe educational environment.
I mention our community because I have seen first hand how our local businesses and individuals in our area have provided means of support for us. Harps Food Stores brought additional PPE and cleaning supplies and offered to donate items that might assist our teachers and coaches, Covington Builders and First Community Bank provided meals for very stressed administrators who were making plans for re-entry, I-Do Rental offered a “happy” for some campuses across the district, Roller-Daniel funeral home donated a large supply of face masks for students who may be in need, United Way collected school supplies for students who don’t have them, and the Sign Gypsies spread cheer across our district this past week with a message of love and encouragement to our staff members. And these are just some examples of the kindness we have been shown.
It is difficult to know what the future holds for us amid this pandemic, but one thing is for sure and that is that Searcy Public Schools will persevere and do so because of the care that educators, support staff, and stakeholders have for young people.