We didn’t count down the days. We didn’t plan any events. This was no ordinary anniversary—it was the anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown. We owe it to ourselves, to each other, and to all those who suffered loss in this pandemic to take a moment to mark this milestone that we passed a couple of weeks ago. Who would have believed our story if they had heard it last March?

In his speech commemorating this somber anniversary, President Biden reflected, “While it was different for everyone, we all lost something. A collective suffering. A collective sacrifice. A year filled with the loss of life, and the loss of living for all of us. But, in the loss, we saw how much there was to gain in appreciation, respect, and gratitude.”

There has been so much disruption and so much loss. We’ve grappled with dangers: some immediately obvious and some coming to light as we went along. It has been a year full of overwhelming uncertainty, change, and stress. In trying to make it through, our Colorado Academy school community has relied on those who could keep soldiering on, on those who could sift through ever-evolving information and rules to keep us safe and keep our school open, and on those who could keep our spirits up during the long haul. We have been so fortunate to have leaders who didn’t look down but looked up, and looked ahead; who didn’t just think of themselves but thought of others, and of the community as a whole.

As we try to move forward with “appreciation, respect, and gratitude,” let’s work together to build our community up. Come join us for a SPEAK event or a Coffee Talk—I’m betting that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you can get out of a Zoom session with other interested parents (despite our collective “Zoom fatigue”). And check out our new parent allyship program that is being launched by our Director of Inclusivity, Sarah Wright.

If you haven’t yet weighed in on the PA’s annual Gifting Program, you have until Sunday, April 4, to help determine how funds raised through the year are gifted back to the school. All current parents are invited to participate by voting for the requests to be funded this year. (You can see a complete list of the funding opportunities that were announced at the “State of the School” SPEAK event on March 18 here.) The results of the Gifting Vote will be announced in the April 9 edition of CA Today.

This month, your Parent Association will support our Visual Arts faculty, who are planning a joyful celebration of student art to take the place of our annual All-School Arts Festival, and will put the final touches on the plans for our Faculty & Staff Appreciation Week, which falls on the first week of May. We will also welcome our incoming 2021-2022 PA Executive Committee—we are lucky to have such talented and committed parents to lead the PA into the next academic year and to continue to build and nurture our wonderful community.

Thinking back to this time last year, we can see that there was so much we didn’t know, so much misinformation, so much at stake. Living through this challenging time, what a gift it has been to have a school and a community that we can trust and rely on. Looking ahead, although there are no guarantees that things will be easy—or maybe because there are no such guarantees—I am grateful to be on this journey with the people of our school and our community.