I have always been a bit of an optimist, a we’ve-got-this kind of person. Working with young children for over thirty years, I have a pretty keen sense of what works for children and what doesn't. Remote learning for preschool children, or preschool teachers for that matter…is not optimal learning by any stretch of reality. Young children learn through play with one another and especially by hands-on experiences. So, I knew that after more than two months of learning remotely last Spring, the Preschool needed to figure out a way to return to the building safely. I am very blessed to have an outstanding group of early childhood educators who are part of my team. Their desire to return to in-person learning as soon as possible made me know that if we worked together, we could do this!
The Preschool opened as scheduled in September 2020 for full-time, in-person learning at St. Bart's. A carefully-devised Reopening Plan was implemented to ensure the faculty and students would be as safe as possible. A staggered Arrival and Dismissal system was implemented so the classrooms would operate in strict learning pods. The schedule for sharing the bathrooms, gymnasium, rooftop playground and elevators was adjusted so there was no overlap.
Despite a few challenges along the way, the Preschool had an amazing year! I think the African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child” has taken on a whole new meaning. The children had a truly magical year filled with love, laughter and learning! They brought tremendous joy to those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of St. Bart’s Preschool. I will forever be thankful for everyone who made this year possible—Bishop Wolfe, the Church Administration and Staff, the Preschool Faculty and Administration, the Preschool Advisory Board, as well as the parents who trusted us to keep their precious children safe and brought them to school each and every day!
This past week, the Preschool was able to hold in-person Closing Day celebrations in both the Chapel and the Church! This marked my thirteenth Closing Day at St. Bart’s and I can honestly say it was the sweetest to date. Thank you for a remarkable year!
All the best,