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Earlier this week, I walked down to our gym right before lunchtime. We recently created some new lunch protocols, given the omicron wave and knowing from the research that mealtimes pose higher risk of transmission: we are asking students to spread out at 20 long tables spaced across the gym. The trick is that we need to set up and strike those tables daily. For the first few days after break, a group of my colleagues went to the gym before lunch and enlisted some student volunteers to help with the setup. When I went to the gym before lunch early this week, all the tables and chairs were already in place. I asked two students about it; they told me they had some extra time so they had come to the gym early to do the work themselves, and that several of their classmates had joined in. No adult asked them to do it. There was no extra credit. These students just decided to help.

I love working at a school where students do their part without being asked. We are just finishing our second week of in-person classes. In the most challenging chapter of the past twenty-two months, we are able to maintain joyful in-person learning because of these kids’ remarkable resilience and their insistence on doing their part to keep us together. That’s why I have so much confidence that we’ll ride this out safely and joyfully.

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