As the school year comes to a close, I am so proud of everyone who has risen to the challenge of the past few months, and so grateful for your hard work and contributions.
The experience of distance learning over the past few months has given many of us a deeper appreciation for the patience, dedication and commitment of our school staff.
Teachers have found new ways to connect with students and keep kids learning and growing. Administrators, librarians, specialists and support staff have helped maintain a strong feeling of community even when we can’t be together.
We owe these incredible educators our thanks and appreciation. But we must also acknowledge that distance learning can’t replace the complete school experience that our kids want and deserve. We must all commit to supporting our schools and our students as we prepare for reopening in the fall.
Parents have also shown extraordinary resilience and resolve. As a parent who has had to facilitate distance learning for two little guys, I understand what an incredible juggling act it can be for parents and caregivers. And it has been especially hard for those facing economic uncertainty and those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.
Finally, I want to thank the students who have worked so hard. Being away from friends and missing out on important experiences, from field trips to traditional graduation ceremonies, is disappointing. But this burden has not kept you from dreaming big and following those dreams. It has not kept you from serving your community and supporting your friends and family.
Right now, young people are taking the lead in a nationwide movement for racial justice and equality. You are speaking your minds, you are standing up for what’s right, and you are fighting for the future you deserve. And no parent, no teacher, no community, can ever hope for better than that.
Thanks again to all the parents, teachers, and community leaders who have gotten us all to this point. And a huge congratulations to the Class of 2020!
– Sen. Bridget Valverde, D-Dist. 35, North Kingstown, East Greenwich, South Kingstown, Narragansett