When schools across California were shut down in March 2020 due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, we had no idea what was in store for the SCDS community in the year to come. After transitioning to a distance learning model for all of our students over a single weekend, our leadership team, faculty, staff, and board of trustees spent the rest of 2020 immersed in countless hours of professional development, deciphering ever-changing public health and safety protocols, managing through another horrendous wildfire season, and participating in task forces dedicated to the success of our summer programs, eventual campus reopening, academic continuity, business continuity, student support, and community engagement. Steeled by our love for and commitment to Sonoma Country Day School, we collectively dove into this work while simultaneously supporting our own families and learning how to cope with and navigate a suddenly very unfamiliar world.
It has been an intense and difficult 12 months that we are emerging from. But emerging we most certainly are. Our seventh and eighth graders returned to campus for full time in-person learning on March 22, 2021, joining our TK-6 students who returned to campus in stages between September and December 2020. Our student community is finally whole again. We are whole, again. The joy of knowing that we will complete this school year together is palpable and visible on every face - students, teachers, staff, parents and guardians, grandparents, and trustees alike.
Our employees are fully vaccinated, thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Sonoma County Office of Education and the local healthcare professionals who volunteered their time to provide this much needed peace of mind. While we have some new routines (like wearing our masks and washing our hands - a lot!) and there are some new additions to campus (plexiglass dividers, tents for outdoor learning and eating), things feel pretty...dare we say it...normal!
Our incredible playgrounds are again busy and ringing with laughter. Our hot lunch program sends delectable aromas across campus and warms our kitchen and our bellies. After-school enrichment classes, the Neighborhood, and middle school athletics are back in full swing, offering our students more opportunities to learn, play, be active, and socialize. We are once again able to lift our gaze from the struggle of the day to day, and place more energy into planning for the future, being intentional about who we are and where we are going as a community. As we look back at all that we have done and learned, we are honored to serve as a resource for other Sonoma County schools, both public and private, as they work to reopen their doors safely for their own students and families.
With full hearts, we extend our utmost gratitude to our SCDS community. Whether you are a current family, an alum, alumni parent or grandparent, or a friend of our school, you have contributed to an incredible institution that has survived and is once again thriving. You have helped us uncover another guiding principle that lives at our core and in all of our hearts: resilience. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And we can't wait to see each and every one of you in person just as soon as we are able to gather again!