The long-awaited first week of school has come to a close, and it has been a real success! The protocols and the safety measures that we put in place have worked well. It is not a coincidence because our Back Onsite Committee—made up of parents, teachers and members of the administration—came up with an exceptional plan for the return to school. But it would not have worked if everyone had not done their part starting September 1st. In this respect, the parents were supportive, patient and on time, while the team at The École was committed to ensuring that the first few days of school went off without a hitch.

Thank you to our Students

Not to mention the students, whose kindness, politeness, seriousness and enthusiasm just jumped out at me! You could see by the way they acted how happy they were to finally be seeing each other again at school—aside from the Nursery students whose feelings were a bit more mixed on the first day of school at 8:15am! I would like to congratulate them all for this first week, during which they taught us adults a good lesson on resilience and willingness, in spite of the restrictions, modified recesses and wearing a mask all day. A huge bravo to them all!

Thank you to our SLAs, Benefactors, Counselors, Maintenance Team and Administration

If I was a talented writer, I would have surely found a clever way to transition and tell you how lucky your children are—beyond their great qualities—to be supported by such a devoted team. But I am just a head of school, and so I will tell you with simple words.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have School Life Assistants like ours, who are always smiling, committed and sincere in their desire to support and reassure the students. Not everyone is lucky enough to have Benefactors like Philippe and Laurence Roux at their school. Their passion and wealth of knowledge are an irrefutable guarantee of success. Not everyone is lucky enough, especially in such a young and relatively small organization, to be able to benefit from such an experienced counseling team. Not everyone is lucky enough to have such devoted guards, such an efficient maintenance staff or an administrative team that is so involved in the lives of the students.

Thank you to our Teachers

Finally, not everyone is lucky enough to have a team of teachers like ours. No one could really foresee the impact that the safety measures that the school put in place would have on the job of the teachers. Nor could we fully imagine to what extent teaching methods would have to be rethought. No one could really measure how difficult it would be to teach students in class, while teaching others remotely at the same time. This hurdle is not just technical, even though that is a real issue. It is also a matter of where to position oneself physically in the room, of the role of the teacher in leading the class, and of how she or he gives exercises and instructions.

As with other challenges, the faculty have more than stepped up to the plate with this challenge. They took charge of their cohorts, divided teaching duties to be more efficient, taught in-person and remotely, monitored the students during lunch and recess, made sure that everyone washed their hands regularly, checked that toys and objects that were handled could be disinfected, and the list goes on. In short, the first days of school were long, and I would like to express my sincere gratitude and admiration to my colleagues not only for their effort, but also for the quality of the teaching that I have already been able to observe.

The drive and desire that is so apparent in the conduct of our faculty is a credit to them. In any case, these qualities make me very proud to join their ranks. I am sure that it also reassures families that they have made the right decision in sending their children to The École.