Coping with Uncertainty and Finding Hope

Mark KowalskiThe coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the way we approach learning across the country and throughout the world. Students and families are not only coping with the upheaval of school, work and possibly their health or finances, they are also missing out on experiences they’ve looked forward to for months, and in some cases, years - special field trips, field day activities, spring sports, prom, annual art shows, graduation and other memorable rites of passage. 

There is a sadness to the fact that there are many experiences we must forego in the name of safety. It is unfortunate but it is the right thing to do. 

While teachers and staff find alternative ways to engage and educate our students, the overwhelming consensus is that they miss seeing their students - and each other - in person at school, and empathize with the losses our students are feeling. At Liberty-Benton, we recognize that just as important as academic learning, a big part of what it means to be a student is having that social-emotional connection and collective experiences with peers.

Although our hearts go out to the Class of 2020 and all of the milestones they will miss or that have changed because of the pandemic, the Class of 2020 also holds a unique place in human history. They will forever be remembered as the class that graduated during the COVID-19 pandemic. It might not feel like it now, but it will bring the members of the Class of 2020 together for years to come. Forever. 

I feel strongly that the way we do school will never be the same again. This might sound dire but that is not my intention - I choose to focus on the positive that will come out of this because it is there. It exists. The extra time with our immediate family members, the innovative ways we are connecting with one another, the focus on wellness, health and a balanced life. There is light in the darkness. 

In addition, even though we all face an incredible amount of uncertainty now, two things are certain: we are all in this together and there is hope. I want our students and families to know that we here at Liberty-Benton Schools have never left your corner, and when we emerge from this crisis, our shared experiences and new perspectives will enable us to build a better, brighter future, together.  Now go get 1% better and as always GO EAGLES!

Mark Kowalski

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