Wow. What a couple of months this has been since Chinese New Year. There are days when, after waking up and having a bowl of cereal for breakfast, I feel like I hop into a roller coaster seat, buckle up, and then spend the day climbing, dropping, turning and twisting—trying to get a lay of the land on all high vantage points before swooping down into our next set of challenges —and finally cautiously unbuckling and slipping into bed at night after one last look at my messages and inbox!
With the spread of COVID-19, I know this experience is far from unique among our students, parents and educators. In my separate update on the virus, I talk about some of the challenges we currently face as a community.
Today, I want to touch on one of the uplifting silver linings of these difficult times—the way our community is pulling together and responding to our challenges. As I think about our semester so far, my heart is touched and I am filled with gratitude. I am grateful for the many acts of selflessness I have witnessed. There have been acts of giving both large and small that have brought us together as a community.
Our cleaning staff has worked tirelessly to ensure our campus was cleaned repeatedly throughout each day for our students. The security team took temperatures, monitored campus traffic, and ensured the safety of our community. Our students have taken major changes in stride, found ways to serve one another, arranged impromptu musical performances, and continued to engage in spirited learning. Faculty and staff have adjusted schedules, rearranged events, and done everything within their ability to continue to provide exceptional learning opportunities for our students. Our nurses have personally checked on thousands of temperatures in addition to their regular duties. Our PTA and Boosters brought joy to our community through BBQs, the virtual PTA International Fair, and other events. And, our senior leadership team has put aside pressing issues to take time to staff our gates every morning to greet students and take temperatures.
It has also been heartening to see these past months that our culture of giving continues to grow at SAS. In response to our Lucky Eights challenge, generously supported by several of our parents, over 60% of our faculty and staff have given back to the school in our annual fund—a rate over three times higher than we have ever seen previously. While not (yet!) at the participation level of our educators, our parents continue to show their generosity to the school, for which I am very grateful.
I want to deeply thank all of those who have given to the school in ways large and small over the last several months. It has made a tremendous difference.
I hope each of you are able to rest and enjoy time with family and friends over spring break. Given that we will all be together here on our island home, I am sure I will see many of you in the coming days—in appropriately sized groups, of course!