Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year

The start to the school year is fast approaching.  I am excited about having our students return to school after a long absence from being in the building.  At the same time, I have often found myself wondering how to make this school year fun, safe and filled with learning in a time that has many of us feeling more unsettled than usual. 

One of the reasons I love being the principal of students in junior high is the energy and vibrancy they have for life.  Students at Parkside remind me every day of the passion they have for life, fun, friendships and learning.  I also know that at this age, they can be really challenging.  They are exploring they individual identity and starting their journey to adulthood.  As a result, they are sorting what is important to them, what they are interested in and what they don't like and who they want to be known as in their community.  They explore this with incredible passion and high levels of emotion.  These high levels of emotion are sometimes the contributing factor to challenges in their relationships with others.  As adults, we need to remember what it is like to be driven by emotions first and thinking much later.  We need to remember to listen and to be clear about our limits and our boundaries so our students can figure out how to navigate the challenges that crop up in their relationships with each other, with their teachers and with their families.  

This year, one of the biggest losses I have felt as a principal is pausing some of the freedom and choices we typically provide to students at Parkside.  We know that the COVID pandemic has meant that our focus needs to be taking care of each other by each of us doing our individual part in following the guidelines expected of us by Public Health.

I believe we can follow these guidelines.  I believe that students at Parkside can follow these guidelines when they understand why they are important. 

So this school year will begin and focus on 3 really important learning goals:
1. It takes ALL of us to work together for the common good
2. Independence and Interdependence are essential to our quality of life -- we each need to do our part while being conscious and considerate of others
3.  Our individual freedoms and rights come when we show our greatest responsibility for ourselves and others

Please help us remember that our actions are teaching our students what we believe about the above learning goals.  Please helps us to send a consistent message of working together by showing kindness and compassion to each other.

Please review and read the Parkside Return to School Planto prepare for the start of school on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
If you or your child has an Instagram account, you can stay connected to the bigger school community by following us on Instagram - just search for parkside_sabres)

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