Exciting News from Mrs. Berkhammer:
This year has been trying to say the least. Let us start by saying that since the start of this pandemic, we have always tried to find the positive in the mess of the past year. Some days are better than others. Just like everyone else in the world, the classroom has pivoted, changed focus, made rules, changed the rules, only to do it all over again week after week.
But today, today is a different kind of day. Today is a good day! Almost a year to the day when the world stopped, we are ready to step back into it. We have some news! Big, big, big news:
THE LUNCH PROGRAM IS SCHEDULED TO START AGAIN THIS MID-MARCH.
- This is amazing news!
- This is what our students need.
- This is what we have been working toward.
We didn’t think that this day would come. At the start of this school year, everything was stopped so we could stay safe. The lunch program was shut down, school-wide jobs were eliminated, community work sites are gone, field trips, time clocks, paychecks, independence, hands-on work, learning in real-time, gone, all gone.
Everything we did in the past, every aspect of the class was put on hold for a whole year with no end in sight of when it would come back. We didn’t even know if these activities would ever come back into play. Little by little, we are taking the things back that COVID took from us.
Back at the start of November, we decided as a team to start ordering Domino’s pizza on Fridays. It was our way of adding a little “normal” to the week. We weren’t sure how it would go. We had to follow COVID protocol and keep everyone safe. We had to use all paper supplies, we had to deliver to the rooms and keep interaction and exposure to a minimum. It was a success. Weeks have gone by; all the kinks were worked out and things were running smooth.
Now that we mastered pizza Fridays, why not try for more. Anyone that knows Mrs. B, knows that she always wants more! So each month she checks with Mrs. Adams to see what we can start back up! Every month she asks, “When can we get back out into the community?” “When can we go shopping?” and “When can we go on trips again?”
At the end of February, we decided it was time to do a little more. When the class found out we were going to be heading back in the kitchen, they were beyond thrilled. Things will still be different, and all safety precautions will be taken to keep everyone safe. Their reaction was one that screamed “we made it.” It isn’t the end of the pandemic; it is just the beginning of rebuilding our program. With every step we take to opening up safely, the more we gain for our students. They need in-person classes, they need hands-on learning, they need to touch, feel, immerse and be part of their hands-on learning. The teachers and staff have gone above and beyond in making this great day possible. None of this great news would possible without the dedication of all the staff to COVID protocol and cleaning procedures. We stayed in our “pods” and followed the rules. We have had scary situations and feared exposure. Everyone put on their masks and did what needed to be done. All of us – old, young, staff, students, and administration – every single person at JPII did what needed to be done.
Today we are moving forward with great hope. Moving into March 2021, we can move forward with hope and determination to keep things moving forward. Our students need that. They need hands-on learning.
Having a great leader like Mrs. Adams and working in a school that great faith and leadership has ultimately made this day possible. She was there in the building caring for the school like her own family while the world was shut down and scary. She got us through to the other side. Because of her dedication and leadership, our students have hope and possibilities. We owe her a huge thank you. Our strong faith, power of prayer, and amazing leadership have made opening things back up, a reality. The feeling of hope, joy, and thankfulness is what we are feeling today. Please follow our story, share our successes, and pray for our ongoing journey to be one of positivity and learning success.
There are so many things that need to be done before our start date. We have to get everything organized and ready! Check back for updates on our journey back into the world. With God guiding us and our amazing students and staff, we are ready to get going. Every little ripple has the potential to create great waves on the shoreline. Together we are the ripple.
God Bless us all at JPII and our JPII Family.
Love & Hope,
*some pictures were taken pre-COVID