Here in Colorado, it was originally decided that schools would be closed until March, 30th. Although I feel like none of us were really thinking anyone would be heading back into the buildings, and my principal said as much on Monday when we were allowed back into our building to gather belongings and anything we thought we would need for the next two weeks. Then yesterday, the Governor announced that, yes, schools will now be closed through April 17th, which would put the kids return date at Monday April 20th.
No one was surprised. All the schools are scrambling to find ways to still provide some online solutions for this time–and possibly for the rest of the year. As a school psychologist, and part of the special education team, we are working to start holding distance IEP meetings (probably with Zoom or Skype) and those first meetings are starting today. I’m sure it will take some figuring out, and hopefully everyone will be patient with us as we get our feet back under us on this new-to-us territory. The next big hurtle will be trying to figure out how to provide special education services and conduct assessments when we are not in the same room with the kids.
There will for sure be some problem solving that needs to happen over the course of the next few weeks; but I honestly have confidence that we will figure it out together. The team I work with is amazing–I’m grateful for them every day.
And speaking of gratitude, here is a list of a few other things I’m grateful for this morning.
- I’m healthy
- My family is healthy
- Billy (our malshee)
- Chloe (our new pug monster)
- Our home
- The food in our fridge and cupboard
- The sunny warm day we had yesterday and the time I spent in my back yard feeling that warmth (because I think a winter storm is heading for us today)
- The, reasonable, amount of toilet paper we have (I know you may be scared, but please don’t hoard things. It just contributes to herd panic)
- I am sleeping really well, super deep, but very weird and vivid dreams
- For every positive thing I see, read, and feel that helps raise the emotions into the optimism range
Beth and Matthew are aware that they will be participating in online learning starting April 1–we all have no idea what to expect or how this will look. But again, day by day problem solving is the only plan we can really make with regards to this.
One major disappointment for Beth is that she’ll for sure be losing prom this year. It was scheduled for April 11th. We imagine it will be unlikely they will reschedule this.
Other than that, everyone is staying connected to their friends much as they always have, through snapchat. So at least that probably doesn’t feel too different. Although I know they both miss seeing friends in real life.
As for the rest of today, I plan on writing this morning. Tidying the house (because damn it gets unhinged quick with everyone home all day every day). I have my first virtual IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting at 11:30 followed by our special education team virtual meeting at 1:00. Then I’ll be working on IEP reports and scoring any evaluations I had completed prior to the shut down.
At 3:30 I’m heading to my grandparents house to meet with the hospice social worker and spiritual advisor as we also navigate my grandfather’s current health situation. He does not have the virus, but he does appear to be reaching the end of his life. As a family, we are working through what this looks like, feels like, and means for my grandmother who has dementia and is unable to care for herself.
It’s more day by day problem solving and decision making, but I can not express how grateful I am for the hospice team that is providing amazing support and guidance for both my grandfather and the family.
I know life is crazy and stressful under even the best of circumstances, but I really do believe that now is the time to dig deep and find the good that is still all around us every day. At least that’s how I choose to live during uncertain and unsettling moments.