By Noelle Mendez-Villamil, Langley Parent and Chair of the Parent Association of The Langley School (PALS)
As we approached the beginning of this academic year at The Langley School, parents, students, staff, and faculty felt a wide range of emotions. We were excited about the possibility of reopening the school or having access to a robust distance learning program. We were anxious about our children’s ability to keep a mask on during the entire school day. We were happy about the flexibility that Langley offered us to choose what would be the best learning medium for our family. And more importantly, we made a commitment to everyone in our community to do our very best to keep each other safe. Some of us thought the school reopening would last just a couple of weeks. I think all of us hoped that our kids would be able to stay in school at least through the Thanksgiving break. Well, thanks to all of you, we have made it to Thanksgiving!
It is no surprise to me that we are where we are today because the strength of The Langley School community is nothing short of extraordinary. Over the summer, teachers worked nonstop to develop a comprehensive and equitable learning program that our children could consume in person or remotely. The staff and administration spent countless hours preparing the school’s facilities, developing new operational procedures, and ensuring everyone’s health and safety was at the forefront of everything they did. All of Langley’s faculty, staff, and administration worked their magic to make this unprecedented academic year an incredible one. We could not have done it without you! And, for that, we are grateful.
Of course, the faculty, staff, and administration were not the only ones who needed to be creative. The close-knit Langley parent community had to find innovative ways of welcoming new families and keeping our community alive. We turned our in-person parent socials into virtual trivia nights. While some questions were easy, some required a historian to know the answer (for example, “In what year did George Washington Verner write How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways to Prepare It for Human Consumption?). We laughed out loud and made new friends. We have also been very fortunate to have multiple speakers participate in the Parent Association of The Langley School (PALS) speaker series, addressing topics that are relevant to the times in which we are living.
On November 24, we rolled out a virtual grandparents and special friends portal to connect our friends and families to what our kids are doing in school. Later this week, we will launch our online Book Fair so that our kids don’t miss this wonderful Langley tradition. As we move into 2021, we will continue to reinvent and create opportunities for all of us to connect. Parent volunteers are working behind the scenes to keep the Langley spirit alive. The Langley community is one of the key ingredients that makes our school so special.
As a community, let’s continue to seek ways in which we can support one another and connect with members of our community in a safe manner. You may want to ask your kids to mail letters to their friends over the holidays. Who does not like to receive a letter in the mail? Reach out to a family who may be doing distance learning and see if you can drop off anything that their kids may need. We are all in this together. The future looks brighter. If we have been able to do all that we have done in 2020, imagine what we can do when we can all get together at some point in 2021. We #LiveLangley and we are #LangleyStrong! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!