It’s been a ride.

Semester 1 of this school year was like none the school community has ever experienced. It rivaled and, we dare say, was more difficult than last spring.

Through it all, we are in awe of the Patriot community. Our caregivers, students and school staff have shown a resilience we all should be proud of.

That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of bumps in the road, but we also believe celebrations are numerous. An important part of a safe, supportive and collaborative culture is to celebrate successes. So let’s take a moment to celebrate all who are making the 2020-2021 school year possible.

Caregivers

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You didn’t sign up for this. You didn’t anticipate having your regular routines upended and your kids learning from home each day. We applaud you. Families have had to make numerous sacrifices, endure challenges that are unique to their own family situations, and figure out how to operate in this new normal.

Parenting is hard; parenting with our current circumstances is even harder. In addition to families, thank you to emergency child care and day cares for doing all you can to support our students. We appreciate you!

Students

We know how challenging this has been. Some of you are loving distance learning and some of you are finding this to be the most challenging school has ever been. Whoever you are, we see you. We are here for you.

And most of all we are celebrating that we have you as our students. Whether distance or in person, we are so grateful for the laughs and challenges each day brings. We are so proud of you!

School staff

We are proud every day to be a Patriot. The teamwork and level of collaboration that goes into the work you all do is honorable. Food service, maintenance, office staff, leadership, teachers, paras, support staff and administrators have shown incredible dedication and flexibility.

It has been hard; it has pushed us to our limits. But it has helped us grow in a way that has only made us stronger.

In December, our school district was honored for the work we have done in High Reliability Schools Level 1 (Safe, Supportive and Collaborative Culture). As a district, all three sites have achieved certification in HRS Level 1.

To be certified, each building collected data from staff, students and families that show our school environments are safe and supportive places to be.

Due to COVID-19, our work this school year has continued to focus on HRS Level 1. Without a strong foundation, the rest will crumble, hence making this a priority in our current situation.

We look forward to a continued partnership with all involved to provide a positive school experience.

Alison Falenschek and Megan Zierden are High Reliability School coaches with the Pequot Lakes School District.