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Reflections on one year since school closures

I want to take a moment to recognize everyone’s hard work and what we have accomplished in spite of the challenges we had to overcome this year. March 13th marks one year that our schools were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A time when we didn’t know when we would be able see our teachers, students, and friends again. We have all experienced loss this year to varying degrees. And we have all had to make sacrifices for the health and safety of our loved ones and the community.

This academic year, our school leaders and educators were charged with what seemed like an arduous task. The education profession has never been easy, but doing this work in a pandemic has made it even more challenging. We have been creative, innovative and tenacious in our work to ensure student learning continues.

As I sit here today, I am proud of the work we have done this year. High quality teaching and learning is taking place. We improved our infrastructure to support clean, healthy and modern schools, and ensured equity for all students by doubling down on our investments in technology. We refused to allow the pandemic to adversely impact education because we know that the students we educate today will be the leaders of tomorrow.

As more of our employees are vaccinated, I am overwhelmed with a sense of optimism and hope for a return to more normal times. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone - our teachers, support staff, administrators, school board, students, families and the community. Thank you for your resilience and for doing your part to ensure student learning continues. I hope you take some time this weekend to reflect, hold your loved ones close, and give yourself grace for all we’ve been through. With your continued understanding and support, I feel confident great things lie ahead for Jefferson Parish Schools and our community. Thank you for continuing to be the champions our students deserve.