We are always grateful to get to the Thanksgiving Break, and I wish all our students and families a restful and restorative week.
Of course, getting to this year’s Thanksgiving Break feels somehow just a bit more of an accomplishment. With all the talk of fatigue and exhaustion in schools across the country, we might all relish a deep breath, and some time away, just a bit more than normal.
With that said, I cannot help but be so impressed and thankful for our collective learning community in this moment. We are tired, for sure. It has been a huge undertaking resuming (quasi) normal school and personal interactions after so many months of pandemic-altered behaviors. There have been missteps and setbacks in this process, to be sure — but that is to be expected, and nevermore so after our social and emotional lives were upturned so abruptly and for so frustrating long. And this journey, and clarification for what a new normal might look like, is still over the horizon.
Within that context, I feel so fortunate to be in this community, at this moment.
I have always been cognizant of the grounded and authentic nature of the Cary Academy community, and we have needed to lean into that aspect of ourselves more than ever in the last few years. Cary Academy is also a place of mission in action, and I am proud that we continue to move ourselves and our programs forward, against tremendous headwinds.
So, yeah. We’re tired.
But, I could not imagine being so tired with any other group of people. Thank you, all!
And, with that, just a few other updates before the break:
The final academic calendar for next year has now been published. It contains only one small change from the draft that was circulated earlier – the addition of a Fall Break day on Friday, October 21.
When Cary lifted its mask mandate, I got a few questions about when CA might consider the same – especially since vaccines are now going into the arms of our youngest students and boosters are available for our adults.
As we have throughout the pandemic, we continue to look to the NCDHHS for guidance here. Currently, they recommend continued masking for schools in counties with high or substantial community transmission, as defined by the CDC. Currently, Wake is in the substantial range.
We will continue to monitor both the NCDHHS guidelines for updates and the CDC-posted transmission rates, but regardless we would not consider any changes until January – when our youngest students are fully through their vaccination cycle.
Students and employees have been giving us some great feedback on our Dining Program in the last week. We anticipate a soft rollout of changes starting in December and continuing into January, which will include bringing back more choices (like the popular pasta bar), reintroducing self-service (for portion control and menu selection), and reducing environmental impact (by bringing back reusable dishware).
I, myself, have voted for more chocolate Oreo pudding.