March 9, 2020 message from Mr. Dotoli

March 9, 2020 message from Mr. Dotoli

 
Dear Families,
 
What an unusual weekend. My church was about half-filled on Sunday. Folks were definitely trying their best to live a facts-over-fear lifestyle, but it's not easy. Of course, we were doing all the head things: washing hands w/ soap for 20 seconds, staying home if sick, not touching face (which is very hard), avoiding dense crowds as able, and more washing hands with soap for 20 seconds!
 
However, it's the heart things that seem tougher. The church service just didn't have that same relaxed, collaborative joy that we usually feel. The chorus was belting out the songs; the message was strong; we were trying, but it just didn't feel the same. And, it didn't feel the same on a weekend when the underlying tension of what we know and what we don't know was weighing on me and my family in a way that we really could have used the boost.
 
I bring this up because I felt a similar way coming into school. We wanted to be here (cheers for today's solid 92% attendance rate and for the 8% who stayed home because they were sick). We greeted each other with intentional care and appreciation (despite the still unfamiliar ban on handshakes). And, we are definitely keeping the mission forward with strong, engaging instruction.
 
However, much like with my church community, it just wasn't easy to feel the spirit that I love walking through the door at Harlem Academy. Some combination of the uncertainty around what's going to happen with the coronavirus, the need to focus on vigilant prevention measures, stress around lots of injustices in the world, and the pressures around important HA work that needs to keep moving forward, it all just weighs pretty heavy right now.
 
I wish I had some wisdom to quickly get past the challenges to both head and heart, but there is no easy answer. I do think it's worth it to acknowledge the different things we are all feeling and to continue to look for ways to support not just the kids but all the people we care about in the days ahead.
 
Meanwhile, know that we will stay in contact as information - relieving or concerning - comes in, and please stay in contact with us with thoughts or questions.
 
With thanks and best wishes always,
Vinny
 
P.S. Tomorrow will start my last push on our annual family survey, so if you haven't had a chance to fill it out and can do so this afternoon, here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TVMVD8P