AURORA – Waubonsie Valley Principal Jason Stipp released a statement on Saturday morning, speaking to the Waubonsie Valley school community.
Yesterday I remained quiet. Unable to post socially, respond to emails, or share thoughts regarding schools being closed to attendance due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Even though I was expecting this decision, I naively was holding out hope. Hope is what I have tried to hold onto these past few weeks. Hope that we could come together one last time at Waubonsie to say goodbye, hope I could gather our seniors for a proper send off, hope in wishing staff a good summer; the hope of normalcy.
Instead hope has been replaced with uncertainty, angst and caution as we move through our lives. As we navigate this new normal these next six weeks know how important it is that our students stay connected with their learning. It will be these daily connections with classes and staff that will help support for fall preparedness and create some structure. It will not be easy, as many of the joys have been removed from the experience. Those moments of connecting in the halls, enjoying lunch with friends, owning the feeling of independence in their building, and talks of upcoming events in celebrating the end of the year are lost. However, staying connected remotely is what must be done at this time.
School is everything to me. The energy of 2,600 students embarking on our campus each day, watching our staff educate and connect with our students, seeing the joy on young adults faces as they experience a community atmosphere, and watching my own three children as they come of age. It is such a huge part of my life, that like you I too am searching for my place. I know there is not much I will enjoy about these next six weeks; however, it is the need to stay connected that will help us get through this crisis together, remotely as a school community.
To all our health care and essential workers that have been putting their own lives at risk during this time, thank you. Your commitment to allow us some normalcy and care for those that our sick is deeply appreciated. To our families whose financial stability has been shaken due to this crisis, know we are here to support you through these times. Lastly, to those in which this virus has hit close to home, perhaps a friend or sadly a family member, know you are in our thoughts.
There will be many questions going forward; how can we access the building to pick up items, how do I return items, how will refunding of lost experiences be handled, etc… Know that we are working on all of these and will communicate procedures and information as it becomes known. Our focus will be to ease any of unknown and angst as best as possible.
In closing, thank you. Thank you for being so supportive of our shift to Remote Learning. Thank you for trusting us with your most prized possessions and thank you for allowing me to serve in what I believe is the greatest school community in the area. If anything, I have learned in this experience it is that the time I spend serving as principal personally fulfills me. Having this experience altered, by not being a part of our traditional ways has reminded me of that, I am grateful for this.
I look forward to coming together soon. Exchanging high fives, seeing our students own their space and watching them take advantage of everything their school experience offers them. All of this while growing as young adults. I crave for this! Until then, stay connected and be all means Be Well.
Your Chief, Jason Stipp – Principal WVHS”