Monday, October 19th, 2020
Dear PCSS Community,
As we are well on our way into the first semester of learning at PCSS, I’d like to start this message by first saying thank you all for your willingness, support, and open minded approach to the 2020/2021 school year. Education is dynamic, and this year so far is proving that in a variety of ways. With so much newness at play, I wanted to get to know a bit more about this community before formally addressing it. I believe it is important to listen twice as much as we speak, so that when we do contribute to a conversation, it is done so in a way that builds connection and capacity, more than simply filling silence. Silence and observation can allow us to reflect and think deeply about what matters, what works, and what is needed as conversations move forward.
During this first month at PCSS, and since my arrival in Creston in early August, I have been observing and placing myself in as many corners as possible to learn more about this community, about the school, and about the people and relationships embedded here to prepare myself to contribute to the meaningful conversations already happening, and for those still to come. One thing that has stood out as a foundational part of PCSS is that this is a place where community comes together and where people genuinely care about one another. This, I have seen in action in more ways than I can count, and in just a short time. It both impresses and inspires me as an educator.
There is an old adage in schools that asks the question: how far do you have to go to see learning in action? Though we expect the answer to be simple, in many school communities you have to search pretty far through corridors and classrooms to find the values of a community coming to life. But not here at PCSS. Immediately as you walk through any entrance of this school, you are met with learning in action in and out of the classrooms, creative expression being actualized, our amazing theatre and gym buzzing with life, students reflecting and connecting in the Reconciliation room, or community coming together in the HUB. That is just brushing the surface, all while also adhering to, respecting, and reaching beyond the many regulations necessarily in place to ensure a safe and successful return to school during a global pandemic.
On a daily basis, we work to welcome each student with love, safety, and kindness, and strive to create an unobstructed path towards purpose and fulfillment through engaging and holistic educational experiences. That is what I have learned this past month, through my observations and conversations with so many of you - parents, teachers, staff, volunteers, and especially students. I have learned that in this community, within a wide range of circumstances and personal stories, we are here for each other.
My goal in the past 30 days at PCSS has been to connect with as many of its members as possible, to be present and visible, and to listen to all that is being said and, equally important, to that which goes unsaid. In getting to know all of you, in your warm welcome and generous sharing, I am excited to be a part of this community and look forward to what this year and future years hold. PCSS is fortunate to have various impactful teams dedicated to its betterment, such as the Parent Advisory Council, Student Advisory Team, teacher teams, community partners, and so many more, and I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about these facets of school growth and the individuals that make them what they are. They have been incredible allies in helping me understand the layers of PCSS, who we are, and where we are going.
For the next 30 days, we are going to continue connecting and learning by engaging directly with a cross-section of community members, starting with all staff, in a series of interviews that will help us understand more about the “school experience” here at PCSS for everyone, and the many different ways that experience is lived and can be its best. I am going to continue to work with the teams mentioned above to curate community voice and translate that voice into tangible projects that have lasting impact. Stay tuned.
Thank you for your patience through this period of transition and for trusting us. We take that responsibility very seriously and truly value the many partnerships necessary to educate our children.