As we move through these final nine weeks of the school year, you might be feeling the excitement that builds when you realize the finish line is approaching. On the other side of that line is graduation, summer vacation, and a welcome break from the deadlines and pressures of the school year. I'm sure that our students, faculty, and families are all looking forward to crossing that line and being able to relax.
In a way, this mirrors many people's feelings about COVID–19. Now that safe and effective vaccines are widely available, it may feel like we are approaching the finish line of the pandemic as well.
The problem is, it's dangerously easy to lose your focus when the end is in sight.
A few weeks ago, the Gonzaga men's basketball team learned this lesson the hard way. They were an undefeated 31–0 with one last game standing between them and their first-ever NCAA championship. But they were overmatched by Baylor, whose victory in the championship game turned Gonzaga's storybook season into a painful reminder that nothing is ever really over until it's over.
Our final weeks of the school year are a great opportunity for students to recommit to their learning goals and end the year on a high note. As parents, this is a great time to sit down with your kids and have a conversation about their learning progress, and their individual goals or problem areas. Is there a class where they need extra help, or a subject that's more challenging than they expected? Are they on the cusp of achieving a higher grade if they can keep their efforts up? Is there a final project they're excited about that really sparks their interest? Ask yourself how you can help them maintain their focus as they race toward that finish line.
Likewise, this is a good time to revisit your approach to minimizing the spread of COVID–19, and make sure that you're not taking any unnecessary risks or falling into a false sense of post-vaccine security. If you or someone in your family is eligible to get vaccinated but you haven't done so yet, have you taken the steps to get signed up for an appointment? And if you have been vaccinated, are you still wearing your mask in public and following proper safety protocols in order to protect those who haven't been vaccinated yet?
Good grades and good health each require a consistent commitment to doing what works, avoiding distractions, and not taking the idea of a positive outcome for granted. Only by seeing something through all the way can we be sure that we'll actually achieve the results we want.
Like you, I look forward to soon crossing the finish line of this school year and being able to look back and celebrate our District's achievements. I also look forward to the day when the COVID–19 pandemic will be a distant memory, rather than a daily concern. But to get there, we all need to make sure that we don't take our eyes off the goal.
Let's help each other stay focused during this home stretch, so we can all cross the finish line together.