Letter from the Principal - September 2020

By Mona Passman, Principal
September 9, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back! I have been looking forward to the start of the 2020/21 school year for several months now. It’s great to see the students again, even though their faces are hidden under their masks.  

Fortunately, many of the great things about CDH haven’t changed. Students, teachers, staff, and coaches are able to see one another again. Ask anyone who works with students, nothing is more important than the relationships we build with them. While we can no longer see a smile, a frown, or even a scowl, we can still see the emotion in a student’s eyes. We can still see that spark in a student’s eye when they learn something new. We can also still see the joy in their eyes when they laugh or smile, and we can guide them through their sadness when we see their tears.  

Our students have the opportunity to learn together socially again. They can still hear the passion in a teacher’s muffled voice when they talk about a subject they love. They can still greet their teacher when they walk into a classroom. They can also experience that “glare” that any great classroom teacher or parent uses to express dissatisfaction. 

I am not a fan of the phrase, “the new normal.” I don’t want to concede that this new way of learning together is normal.  Instead, I like to think of all of this as “temporary and necessary until this pandemic has passed.”

We certainly experienced the impact of our new procedures during the first week of school. The halls are emptier. Students are not congregating together during passing time.  They eat while socially distanced. They are certainly quieter when they wear their masks. We also have many students learning at home and teachers are unable to give them the same experience that a one-on-one personal interaction provides.

Amidst it all, I am grateful. I am grateful to you, our parents, and caregivers. You are sacrificing more than ever before. You are juggling new carpools, students at home, spotty internet, and fears about your children’s and families’ safety.

I am grateful to our students. They are kind and appreciative. They are respectful even while following the new, unnatural guidelines. Who better than a teenager to tell you that social distancing is not normal?

I am grateful to our staff who spent hours and hours preparing for a safe return to school for our students. And last, but not least, I am grateful to our teachers. They are working harder than ever. Not only are they providing a safe and caring learning environment, they are planning three lessons for each and every class they teach until the back-ordered Swivl robots arrive. They provide all of this while juggling the pandemic demands in their own lives.  

Thank you for everything that you are doing and sacrificing. Thank you for keeping us all safe by following CDC and MDH health guidelines in your own personal lives. Thank you for keeping your students home when they don’t feel well or are quarantined. Thank you for following all our new COVID procedures. Thank you for your prayers and thank you for trusting us. 

Together, we will get back to normal. 

Stay healthy and be well,
Mona Passman


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