Gratitude guides the new school year
At the beginning of every school year, excitement is in the air as students, teachers and staff prepare for another year of learning. As we are now treading heavily into the 2022-2023 school year, there is a different sense of eager anticipation that has trended toward gratefulness.
Grateful for the sense of “normalcy” this school year promises; grateful to be attending football games in the crisp autumn air as though we’ve never missed a game; grateful to be playing volleyball as though we’ve never missed a set; grateful to be sitting next to our friends in class as though we’ve never done it any other way.
Routines are healthy and can serve as a conduit to better mental and physical health. The routine of the school day is one that growing young students need to build structure, healthy behaviors and foundational habits. We’re already seeing such positivity among Westlake City Schools, and I think it’s the sense of comfort the routine of school brings.
Our teachers, administrators and staff worked very hard this summer to improve our learning environment and incorporate all we’ve learned in the last few years to better accommodate our students’ needs. The effects of those efforts are seen and heard daily in our hallways, classrooms and fields of play.
We’re also grateful for the understanding that we can still be feeling the effects of the last few school years. With additional counselors and resource officers in every school, our students are confident that they will be taken care of should they fall into a sense of anxiety.
We often praise the support and encouragement we receive from our community, and for good reason. Our community has been there at every turn, helping us improve our facilities, volunteering to improve our students’ experiences and championing our efforts to be an inclusive district, open for all.
We also see this sense of kinship among our students, who support one another like never before, are more open with each other than ever before and are more in tune with their own well-being than ever before.
Years from now, we’re going to look back at the 2022-2023 school year as the year that laid the foundation our students and district used to build our greatest successes. You can feel it throughout our buildings and see it in the eyes of our students. That air of excitement isn’t just about starting another year, it’s about starting a year that changes everything. And that’s something to be grateful for.
Dr. Scott Goggin is the superintendent of Westlake City Schools. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.