I generally enjoy sharing end-of-the-year remarks just prior to the summer break. And this school year will be no exception, despite 2020-21 having been exceptional in every other way.
Our school district never before experienced anything even remotely like the past 14 months, and I very much hope it never will again. We began the year in an exclusively virtual environment, and continued that way well into the spring. It was difficult for our students and their families, as well as for faculty and staff. When we began returning to our respective school buildings in March and April, we were confronted by multiple new challenges, including desks surrounded by plastic shielding and communicating from behind masks.
It was every bit as difficult as it sounds. But, reflecting on these circumstances now, from the more pleasant perspective of late June, I feel an appreciative smile creeping across my face. Our district may have endured hardships, but we had a remarkable degree of assistance from our students’ families, from the community at-large, and from Mayor Cahill and the City of New Brunswick. Our faculty, staff, students, families and educational partners accomplished remarkable things throughout the 2020-21 school year, but the generous, consistent collective support they received from throughout our city ultimately made possible the educational success we achieved. We are preparing for the 2021-22 school year and what we fervently hope will be a steady return to normalcy.
It has been a time to remember, and one I am certain we will never forget. I want to thank everyone who helped our district’s students continue learning despite an unprecedented crisis. The expression “it takes a village” is evident and our schools cannot function on their own. They need the entire community behind them, and that’s exactly what happened throughout the pandemic. New Brunswick is a great city, and the people who live and work in it are truly remarkable.