I have been very busy making sure I am taking care of all the business of the school that I have lost touch with taking care of the business that means the most to me…YOU! I know there have been many posts on social media about how this is affecting all of you. Some are very good and very true. I wanted to reach out to all of you though and say I miss you. I miss you in your classes, at recess, at lunch, in the halls… just stopping by to say hi or get a snack from my office. I love it when I walk the elementary hallway and you come up and say “Hello Mr. Widdle!” I know the “R” sound is tough for some…but it makes me smile.
To say we understand what you are giving up is an understatement. Seniors who were looking forward to so many things and the uncertainty of if you will get to have your Prom or graduation is heartbreaking for you. Athletes and fine art students who are missing your sports seasons, art shows, music concerts…it is tough. All of our students who love coming to our Unity Schools have lost a major part of their lives and routine. What comes to my mind is the learning you are missing out on as well. We are doing our best at this point to try and deliver educational opportunities for you, but nothing can replace being in the classroom with your teacher!
But, as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 virus and its impact on the wellbeing of our local, state, national and global community, the safety and wellbeing of everyone is our top priority. It cannot be business as usual. But as we transition to this new operating environment, you, our students who depend on us for learning, discovery, and engagement can have confidence that we are preparing to conduct business as unusual. We are finding ways for our Unity family to continue to learn, while also keeping themselves and their friends and neighbors safe. In this time when we MUST prioritize social distancing, we are also keeping our Unity family close to our heart. Many of our staff are sending out resources and stories we hope will lift your spirits, inspire your curiosity, and remind you of the resiliency and flexibility we all have.
Things may get worse before they get better, but the Unity Schools family is here and will always be here to provide all we can to you! I met yesterday with some of our staff and as we were parting for them to go home to their families, we all paused and prayed together. The prayer went to the heart of the matter asking for strength and guidance through these ever-changing and challenging times. It brought tears to some of our teacher’s eyes for they do truly want only the best for all of you. I echo that sentiment. As I said…I miss you and wish only the best for all of you.
Stay safe and stay healthy! Together, our Unity family will get through this!
Scott D. Riddle, Superintendent Unity Schools