We return to campus, after being remote since November 18, 2020, with heightened awareness, with a focused sense of urgency, and with great hope and anticipation as we enter the new year.
In our opening morning meeting of the winter term, I remarked to the community on the delicate balance between understanding and interpreting the recent social and political events of our country with the anticipation of health and wellness as the coronavirus vaccine becomes readily available. These two snapshots - one that elicits deep worry and fear and one that gives great hope and thanks - sit squarely in our minds as we begin 2021.
However, yesterday, I also spoke about our collective community responsibility. We will continue to be guided by our values and principles. We will focus on educating young people. We will help them identify ways to find their voice and do so in a manner that is thoughtful and balanced. Here in Putney, VT, with the essence of a more complicated life happening away from our small village, we reengage with the world of academic classes, building furniture and boats in the woodshop, sharpening skis and snowboards for trips to Mt Snow, creating the fastest sledding obstacle course on the lake hill, and rekindling friendships made over the last three months or the last three years.
As adults and particularly as educators we must constantly find the balance between sharing with our students current, impactful information while protecting them from over-sharing timely news that may be challenging to interpret. It is a delicate balance.
While we do not have an exact timeline from the State of Vermont on when the vaccine will be available for our staff, we do expect that at some point this spring our teachers and staff who work directly with students will be the recipients of the vaccine. Following closely behind will be our students. We will be patient and anticipatory.