By Ryan Busenbark

This past year has brought many challenges with the pandemic. I was bummed when the school year ended early and I’m sure many students shared that feeling. As a school community, we were able to get together in June for a fun water fight day. It was great to see the students connect again and I heard several talk about how they missed each other and couldn’t wait to get back to school.

As the pandemic continued, I was feeling worried about whether we would get back to school this year. I was hopeful that we would. One of the biggest concerns I’ve had through this process has been mental health. It has been especially troubling to hear about how rough it has been on kids being out of school and missing out on their social life. It can take a great toll on anyone. 

Even before the pandemic, I have been concerned with how the public schooling system has detracted from social bonds. The students generally don’t have a lot of time to converse in classes and with most courses, they are expected to be quiet and listen. There are still opportunities for connection and camaraderie, but in a limited capacity.

I have been so grateful to be back at school this year and have appreciated the community feel we continue to develop here. We strive to create a welcoming and free atmosphere. I enjoy seeing the students and staff work together. Everyone takes part in playing games, having fun, keeping the school clean, and making sure rules are followed. The freedom the school offers is the key to the amazing community we have built. Everyone is equal. Everyone is responsible for themselves. And we all find a place in this community. I feel hopeful for the mental and emotional health of all those involved.

Published February 16, 2021


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