In studies of student and faculty morale, February is often seen as the most difficult month of the school year. It’s cold, the days are short, and it often feels like a long way to Spring Break. This fatigue is one of the reasons whey Colorado Academy has a long February weekend—to give students a breather and something to look forward to. Still, I expect tough times to linger into next month. The impact of the Omicron variant is hitting us all. We are tiring of wearing masks. There have been more disruptions to community life as this variant rolls through the CA community. I write this column to preview some behind-the-scenes fun being planned for students, but also to remind people about practicing self-care and keeping things in perspective.
First…the FUN. CA’s Administrative Team is working on surprises for the students this coming month. Students should come home telling you about special desserts at lunch, as well as some surprise events and activities that I hope will create happiness and joy across campus. We are still in the planning stages, but my hope is to shake up the school day in fun ways.
The pandemic has challenged all of us. We have been on an emotional see-saw, first going through a year of sacrifice, and then having a sense of optimism with the distribution of vaccines. We had a summer in which we could relax protocols, only to have the Delta, and now Omicron, variant create more disruption. The experience has taught me that I can only control my reaction to events. I can choose to get angry; or I can choose to be level headed and accept that things are beyond my control. While I can feel frustrated, I also can appreciate the good in my life: my family, my health, and the fact that I am part of a phenomenal school community. This is a daily choice that each must make. By March, we can expect the wave of Omicron to recede. What comes next is unclear, but I think there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are seeing less serious illness with this variant, and like so many, I hope that public health authorities will be able to change public health guidelines to allow a more normal school experience.
I urge everyone—students and faculty—to pace themselves this February. CA is a community full of high performers. Everyone wants to do their best; but please, set aside time to recover and have some down time. Establish limits for yourself and your kids, and know that it will not be the end of the world if your student doesn’t get an A on an assignment. Be sure they have a consistent sleep schedule and don’t use electronic devices right before bed. Know that we have counselors on campus who are here for them. If your child sees a friend having a hard time, remind them to let an adult know so we can be supportive.
CA is a strong and resilient community. We have to be intentional about how we get through the tough stretch ahead. Turning February into Funuary is one step. Let’s keep perspective and understand that this pandemic will come to an end, and brighter days are ahead.