Light in the Tunnel

By Mr. Stephen Anthony, Head of School 

Light. Tunnel. It’s flickering. 

In our eleventh month of pandemic restrictions, and in the midst of dark, rainy, grey days that challenge our mental health in the most normal of years, we understand that our students—and all staff and families—are fatigued. We feel the ennui. We long to get together with friends and extended family indoors, to relax and enjoy a meal together. We long for soccer tournaments, birthday parties, field trips, music concerts, sleepovers and hockey practices. Yet, we urge you, and we remind ourselves, to dig deep, to stay strong, and to please continue to follow the public health orders put in place by the Ministry of Health. Namely, limit social interactions to your immediate household and avoid travel outside Vancouver whenever possible.  

Because the light is indeed getting brighter, and better days are coming very soon. We were reminded this week by Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, that our individual and collective efforts ARE working. Covid numbers in BC continue to go down, and we should be so proud of our contributions toward flattening the curve and protecting ourselves and our communities.

On Monday, I found an opportunity to check in and connect with our grad class. We talked about their stresses and challenges during this atypical, most significant year. I let them know how much we admire and appreciate their fortitude and positivity, and reminded them that we, as a school community—teachers, university counsellors, and parents—are here for them and will do everything we can to support them.  

This morning Jennifer Whiteside, BC Minister of Education, and Dr. Bonnie Henry held a press conference to announce new safety measures for K-12 schools in BC. These guidelines include mask wearing for middle and secondary school students, mask wearing for all K-12 staff, specific guidance for PE and music classes, and protocols regarding staff-only spaces and gatherings. At WPGA, we have had these guidelines in place since September, and extend gratitude to you, our students, staff and parents, for readily accepting and adapting to all our school health and safety measures, which we continue to regularly assess.
  
So, as the February doldrums kick in, and our resolve to the restrictions starts to wane, please know that our personal actions matter. Abiding by the restrictions, however difficult, helps to keep WPGA and all schools open, and will help us exit the tunnel and get to the light as soon as possible.

Don’t give up, Grey Wolves—we’re close!
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