Good Morning everyone to this new year 2021!

Welcome Back. Please receive our warmest welcome! My dearest teachers, professors, director, auxiliaries, students, and parents.

A new school year is about to begin! A new school year, plenty of challenges where the words resilience, flexibility, adaptability, empathy, responsibility, and coherence should lead our lives.

Around the world, many schools are making plans to reopen their doors to students and teachers in the coming weeks. Here at Lirima School, for instance, virtual and on-site learning will start again for senior and junior students on March 1st while Infants will start, as announced on March 2nd.

Different schools may approach the process of returning to presential classes differently – phased resumptions or new rules around physical distancing and protective gear can vary between institutions. Mindful of the different contexts and experiences, we would like to offer some thoughts about how we will navigate this process in a supportive way.

Inspired by the words of the Founder and CEO of Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington, we invite you to think about these provoking words of advice:

Nothing should go back to normal.

Normal wasn’t working.

If we go back to the way things were, we will have lost the lesson.

May we rise up and do better.

Our world has faced and is still facing a significant challenge. With the prospect of returning to presential classes, many of us are understandably hopeful that things will ‘go back to normal’ – that life and work can resume as they were before. It is important, however, to understand that this process is not about going back but rather about moving forward. Things will be quite different, whether we want them to be or not. The goal is to transition to the new normal with the lessons learned from this experience as our guide. How can we integrate our new insights and behaviors into our old ways of being, as well as embrace new opportunities?

When the school doors open, things will not be exactly as they were before – policies, practices, and people will be different. As we transition forward to school in the coming weeks and months, our willingness to embrace and harness change, will provide unique opportunities to grow as a community and to create more empowering, thoughtful, and caring schools.

Returning to our routine – in this case, our physical school environment, could be difficult since our culture has changed, and we have changed as a people while away from the school. Readjusting takes time. To help our students (and ourselves) deal with the shock of transitioning back to school, we need to try to control expectations and focus on autonomy and student wellbeing.

My team and I, we will be walking by your side, helping and supporting all of you to ensure that 2021 will be a year full of wonderful experiences and teachings for the entire school community. Let the school year begin!