Letter from Jessica Donovan, 4/9/20 — Long Weekend Wishes

April 9, 2020

Dear Sheridan Families,

Phew — what a run this has been! This time a month ago we were sending you emails about preparing for conferences and looking forward to seeing your children excitedly share their progress with you. That plan was abruptly and completely upended and four weeks later, you now have an unprecedented opportunity to see your child’s learning up close every day.

I know that’s a rosy spin on what for many has been an enormous adjustment as you’ve incorporated distance learning and child care into schedules that were already very full. Add in additional responsibilities and challenges stemming from the pandemic and it’s not surprising that worry — and its companion, exhaustion — may have taken hold in your life.

This week at school we have been talking a lot about how we can further support you. We read every word you wrote in your survey responses and talked across grades and divisions about what we have been hearing and seeing. What emerged was a clear sense that we have AMAZING parents in our community. No matter how big the struggle, you are working overtime to make sure your children have what they need and are able to continue to learn and grow.

As we head into the three-day weekend, our biggest wish is that you are able to find some time — even if it’s just a few moments — to pause and reflect on all the successes we see you having, even if it doesn’t always feel that way. We see you working with your child and enabling their learning, especially in the younger grades. We see you making sure your child has the resources they need to undertake their work and the space and time they need to complete it. And we see you helping your child find social and emotional connections despite the limitations that come with social distancing.

None of this is easy, but one way I hope we can help is in easing any concerns you have about the academic impact of this period on your child. Whether your child is bounding toward the computer each morning, ready to Zoom, or hiding beneath the couch cushions, unwilling to get started, it’s all normal. Please don’t worry. Your sense of peace and your resilience in this time is far more important to their long-term well-being than making sure every distance learning assignment is completed. We have a wonderful team that is committed to your child’s academic success and emotional health, and we are confident everyone will return to school prepared for what comes next. There are countless benefits to the time your child is spending at home, not least of which are the opportunities for free play and family time. If you hear your child say, “I’m bored,” that’s a good thing — boredom leads to imagination and creativity, two skills that can be hard to come by in our hectic lives!

We hope you enjoy the long weekend. On behalf of everyone at Sheridan, we are immensely grateful for your partnership and support and look forward to connecting with you next week.