Recently, my heart was heavy as I read through all the Facebook messages from teachers and parents digesting and processing FCPS' decision. The thought "we were made for exactly a time like this" came to me while typing something to encourage and love on teachers.

I thought back to all the Growth Mindset lessons I heard in the classrooms over the years while working at a FCPS elementary school. I reflected on the end of my son's 2020 senior year, and how I enjoyed his senior experience solely for the fact that it was his senior experience. It seemed more meaningful, intimate, just about him and his friends rather than the "Pomp and Circumstance." This whole experience will be what you make of it.

Parents, teachers, FCPS administration, please, please remember that you are all in this together. There should be no pointing fingers and essentially yelling from two separate sides of the street. Stand in the street together. This is a great opportunity to be pioneers, trailblazers and adventurers to work together and be the best models of what Growth Mindset looks like in real life for your kids and our community. To these students, this is their life experience. Please don't mourn what would have been, what "I did my __ year that you will not get to do." Make it a unique and amazing year for them (socially distanced and wearing masks, of course) as best as you can. This will be the experience they carry forward, knowing that in difficult times, you can still make the best of things when people work together and encourage one another.

FCPS, please be adaptable and flexible. Does this really have to be like snow days, where if the building is closed, all activities are canceled? Why can't small athletic practices still be held under new procedures? Why can't pods be created so that small groups of students can come together occasionally for specific activities like outdoor meetings for science experiments? Take a look at what is considered high contact, medium contact and low contact and allow the low contact activities to still occur.

Be innovative, be creative because we were made for a time like this, and we can thrive in spite of it. May God's peace and wisdom bless you all as you move forward as pioneers, trailblazers and adventurers.

(6) comments

MD1756

"Why can't small athletic practices still be held under new procedures?"

How about we use this opportunity to take organized sports out of the school system and use the money saved to pay for the basic educational needs.

phydeaux994

Organized sports are the Heart and Soul of a School and it’s surrounding Community. Go to a Friday night High School Football game and feel the vibe!!!

NewMarketParent

@MD1756

While I get the sentiment, I definitely believe that sports have a space in our schools. If nothing more than to foster a sense of community comradery and pride. I will admit that as a former football player, I am somewhat biased.

MD1756

I enjoyed playing football in an organized league. I didn't play in high school because I didn't want to practice 5 days a week for one game on Saturday. To me making sure I had time to learn was more important since I wanted to be an engineer. Let organized sports (that don't need much equipment, artificial turf fields, etc. be played during gym class and save the other money for education. Beyond that it should be in leagues that people can join. It is not part of the core education and I'd rather see the money spent on better STEM equipment for students. Why can't the community have a sense of pride with their chess club?

Dwasserba

We all are shaped by what occurred to us as children and how the adults we knew influenced how we processed it. Children are being molded. The youngest don't remember 9-11. Older siblings may make unconscious choices because they do. This is not a time to do anything simply based on "that's how we've always done it." Lucid deliberate choices are called for. All ofthem will not be inspired. They do not all have to be the "best" choices. They just have to be "good enough" to get through this. Good letter. Reassures me on my decision to bail from Facebook.

jsklinelga

Erin,

Incredible letter. Simply incredible. CoVid is real but it is not 1918. The virus is manageable but how we handle the various pitfalls created by the "management" will be the real life lesson for our students today. Super positive.

Speaking of students does anybody know what the FCPS format and student requirements will be for the 20/21? I have been searching for that information and I know that it has to be posted on their website by August 14. But I have not been able to find the information. That would seem to be the most important and impactful information needed at present. Great letter.

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