It is hard to believe that we as a state, nation and world have hit the one-year anniversary of a global pandemic that has changed the way of life as we have known it. The world we live in will never be the same again.
We as a society have had to make a monumental shift of how we go about daily life and most importantly how we educate our students. In the midst of a global crisis of epic proportions, our public schools stepped up to the plate, displaying a determination and resiliency to navigate the daily changing dynamics brought on as a result of the pandemic. Systems moved expeditiously to meet the needs for delivering the curriculum as those needs were identified.
Despite difficult circumstances, public education in Georgia continued through creativity and innovation to ensure students continued to learn. As a result, there is a renewed respect for educators and their impact on each community and the important role our schools play in keeping not only society but also our economy moving.
As we begin to see the light at the end of this dark pandemic tunnel, we must acknowledge that the pandemic exposed significant gaps in providing our students with the people, tools and services needed to deliver a quality education. We must use the opportunity the pandemic presented to attend to those gaps by reimagining all aspects of our delivery system and by utilizing new approaches to bridge these gaps to deliver an exceptional public education. What does your data from this past year show and how do we strategically plan the next steps looking towards not only the 2021-2022 school year, but towards the next ten years? Moving forward without seizing the opportunities presented and addressing the lessons learned would be a huge mistake by the public education community.
As board members and superintendents, your steadfast leadership and in-depth decision making has kept public education forging forward and nimbly adapting to the challenges of the pandemic. Your work over this past year was truly impossible work, but you made it possible, and for that your community, this state and our nation are grateful to you.
It felt like the world froze in time a year ago; but it didn’t, and you all proved that. But again, while I am certain there were many days it felt like a thankless job as public education leadership, know that you are appreciated for your service. We are all in this together.