In this, the third week in January, we all find ourselves with lots of mixed emotions while being bombarded with mixed messages at every turn. The emotional highs and lows of January have left many of us feeling euphoria in one moment and facing the realities of daily life with trepidation in others. Last night many of you joined us for a wonderful presentation by Dr. Michael Thompson, globally recognized psychologist, author, and expert on child development. I have had the privilege of reading every one of Michael’s books and treasured his advice on raising boys and how boys thrive, the benefits of summer camp experiences, parental anxiety, the nuances of children’s friendships and so much more for over three decades. Last night, we were all treated to an engaging and deeply resonant conversation on the stressors the pandemic created for our children, our families, and our schools. At the same time, threaded throughout his discussion were wonderful moments of humor, optimism, and opportunity for us to keep in mind.
In the midst of yet another surge in COVID, healthcare systems that are overburdened, a lack of clarity about the accessibility of vaccines, and the confusing and sometimes contradictory messages from our local, state, and national governments, we long for clarity and things we can count on in our lives. Yesterday evening as I listened to Michael address the engaged parents and grandparents and our wonderful faculty and staff, the one thing I found comfort and certainty in is our ability as a community to heed his wise counsel and understand that our children continue to grow, to learn, and to thrive because as a community of committed adults, we are doing everything in our power to make sure our children and grandchildren will be okay. Our children will flourish because of the loving homes they are in, because of the inspired teaching they receive from our faculty, and because our school community has eighty years of experience in good times and in bad of delivering on our mission and our core values of responsibility, honesty, inclusion and, especially in times like this, caring. Our founders’ instinct for survival inspired them to leave the chaos and terror in Europe in 1939 and travel to Los Angeles to continue their work as psychoanalysts, and to create the school we know today as The Center for Early Education. Our job now is to weather the challenges of this time in our lives and not only survive but thrive and work to bring our children and teachers together again to do what they do best in the company of one another.
Next week, our Board of Trustees invites you to attend our annual State of the School meeting on Tuesday evening at 6:00 pm. At that time, they will update you about the search for your next Head of School and the details of the budget they just passed Wednesday night. Having now worked with this group of dedicated volunteer leaders for the past six months, I would encourage all of you to make every effort to attend. Their care and regard for our school and our community are unwavering. The difficult decisions that confront our school at this moment have all been thoughtfully considered, researched, weighed, debated, and decided in the best interests of The Center. Their respect for the stellar work our faculty and staff continue to do daily, and their understanding of the challenges we face as a school during this pandemic, have guided their work on our behalf. Parents will receive Zoom information via email.
By now, each of us knows someone who has been personally impacted by sickness or loss due to this “Corona Coaster,” as one of my fellow heads named the reality of this time. We know so much more now about how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and that increasing knowledge is guiding our every action as a school and as a community. Please make every effort to keep yourselves and your families safe in the coming days and weeks and avoid letting pandemic fatigue set in.
Last week, in our continued effort to keep our faculty and staff informed, we offered an opportunity for employees to engage with our consulting Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician in a Q&A specifically focused on COVID-19 vaccines. The level of CEE faculty and staff interest and enthusiasm around receiving this vaccine is inspiring, and we are encouraging all of you to seriously consider receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when you have an opportunity to do so. I’ve had my first dose, and several of our faculty and staff have already successfully made appointments and received their vaccines. Of course, even after receiving the vaccine, it is important that we continue the cautious and critically important masking, hygiene practices, and physical distancing that we know help mitigate the spread of the virus. These tools, along with the vaccine, will help us on our path to in-person instruction and a greater feeling of normalcy for our children and our school.
Please take note of the opportunities below to help others and respond to those who are experiencing home, food, and job insecurity in their lives. Also, please take the opportunity to make note of the important times and dates of upcoming meetings and events, admissions notices, and re-enrollment deadlines in the coming weeks.
As an adult community, although we have missed being together in person, our Gala reveal
today gave us something to really get involved in and to look forward to between now and May! Let’s all plan to tune in and turn out in celebration and support of our school!
Have a restful and restorative weekend.
Interim Head of SchoolUpcoming Reminders
Community Service Opportunities
- State of the School Meeting: Tuesday, January 26 at 6:00 PM PST
- Reenrollment Contracts Released to Families: Wednesday, January 27
- C3 Human Development Meeting: Thursday, January 28 at 4:00 PM PST
- Next Boomerang Bag Exchange: Friday, February 5
1) HELP STOCK A COMMUNITY FRIDGE
: A community fridge
is exactly what it sounds like: a refrigerator run by and accessible to the members of its community or neighborhood. Businesses and individuals work together to keep the fridges stocked with everything from prepackaged salads to tomatoes to fresh herbs, eggs, and other nutritious foods. Anyone can take anything, and at any time of day. It’s like a Little Free Library with food! Many community fridges are located in areas with high levels of food insecurity, either in “food deserts” (neighborhoods that lack access to fresh, affordable food) or “food swamps” (neighborhoods where there is an overabundance of fast food). View map
of community fridges and their needs.
2) FRIENDSHIP NOTES
: Write some friendship notes to a homeless student! The Giving Spirit is giving away 6,000 backpacks full of school supplies, hygiene products, PPE, and other crucial items. They need our help making cards for all of the backpacks! That’s 6,000 cards!
Often the card is the very first item a student pulls from the backpack, and it lets these kids know that someone put love and care into that backpack. View detailed instructions.