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Message From Dr. Nelson May 10, 2020

Dear WES Families,

This week I am sending a message to you using a writing style I typically reserve for print venues that are far different than PTA Newsletters, or emails, or the front page of our WES webpage.  During times of crisis,  I have been trained to use a style that provides  brief, succinct, and digestible messages. That type of writing is used to help the reader feel less taxed with processing great deals of information at a time when our capacity to do so is reduced.  However, this week, I am deviating from that crisis communication writing style as I have a message to share with you that necessitates a few more paragraphs than typical.  I do this so that I can convey what has been on my heart and mind this past week.

I do not know if the WES Faculty and Staff have ever felt more loved and cared for during an Educator Appreciation Week than they have this week.  Your jokes, your messages of love and appreciation, the pictures you have shared of your children, and the countless other ways you showed your appreciation have meant more than I will ever be able to aptly convey with words.  Thank you. 

 You have lovingly opened and welcomed us into your homes and your lives at a time when it would have been just as easy to do the opposite.  You have trusted that we will continue to do our very best to provide your children with the best education possible during these times -- all the while granting us grace and latitude and messages of encouragement when we stumble or fall.  Thank you.

You have allowed us to laugh with and learn from your children and you.  What you cannot possibly know are all of the times we have spent out of the sight of your children and you as members of the WES faculty and staff sharing tears of sadness and grief as we process how deeply we miss your children and being together at WES.  Thank you for the joy and hope we gain by continuing to work with your children everyday.  We know it is the greatest gift you could give to us during Educator Appreciation Week.

The gift of working with your children is what is pulling the faculty and staff together at WES during this time. It is what encourages us to find strength and determination and hope every day. It is the gift that makes us work harder than ever to find ways to reach your children.  It is the gift we want to give back to your children -- so they know they are safe, and loved, and cared for, and have routine, stability, and comfort with us.

We want you to know we are here for your children and you.  We know you are doing the very best you can do.  We understand that sometimes your very best means simply surviving the day without even being able to log-on to Clever. We understand this.  We know this.  We are here to be your source of strength, not your source of stress.  We hear you.  We see you.  We know you are doing your best.  If you need help, you need just ask.

Sometimes, the”very best” and only thing we can do for the day is to help our children connect to the sources of strength and reassurance that we need as adults.  Sometimes that means making art to show our emotions.  Sometimes it’s singing and dancing to music.  At other times, it’s building reading forts so we can climb inside and listen while someone reads to us. It might be cooking a new Spanish recipe together.  Or, perhaps, it is simply going for a walk or doing yoga.   These activities are all sources of comfort because they are embedded with tenants of self-efficacy, empowerment, self-care, hope, and peace.  Should you need ideas for how you can connect with your children in these ways, please be sure to look at our Encore Teachers and Mrs. Morin’s classroom pages on Clever.  I promise you the activities and lessons they are presenting will provide opportunities to have some of the best, least stressful moments of your week.

We care about each one of your children and every member of your family.  We hope for physical and mental well-being, health, and strength for all of you.  And mostly, we hope you know how thankful we are that you trust us all with that which is most valuable to you.

Warmest Regards,

Dr. Melissa M. Nelson, Principal