September 2020 was a Return to School Like No Other – We are now co-existing with COVID and with lots of cause for hope

It’s been six months since Return to School 2020, and I marvel at how we were able to pull off what we did in terms of retrofitting our school and preparing our community for a dual modality shift in such a short period of time. It was no easy feat and required the collective efforts of our entire community. I would even venture to say that our first term was largely a success, with only a few bumps in the road and a total of 2.5 days closed for Middle/Senior students and 5.5 days for the Junior School.

We experienced Return to School all over again in mid-February, as students in York, Peel and Toronto Regions returned after being away for two months. Once again, we have updated daily self-assessment guidelines and mask-wearing directives, as well as additional VOCs (variants of concern) to be mindful of, contributing to the stress of the morning drop-off routine.

As we approach the one-year mark, COVID-19 continues to weave a complicated web for all of us. However, I believe that as humans we are incredibly intelligent beings with innate survival skills. With science backing our every decision, and measured guidance provided by our Medical Consulting Team, we are determined to keep our students learning on campus as safely as possible and for as much of the remainder of this year as Public Health will allow.

I must say, that the depth of resilience I have witnessed among staff and faculty and our students and parent community has been nothing short of remarkable. We have all dug deep for the past year and will continue to do so for this next stretch until June. We will then prepare for September and whatever that might entail. Little is known for sure, except that we will be ready to adapt as need be.

We remain focused on finishing off our school year as safely as possible. Depending on how the vaccine rollout unfolds and transmission rates progress, I am hopeful that this year will close very differently than the last. I want nothing more than for us to finish the year in person.

COVID-19 has touched us all in many different ways, and without a doubt has been challenging for everyone. Throughout it all, CDS has been a constant for our students, and for that I thank all of you for doing your part to ensure your children and family are staying safe. Together, we will continue to mitigate and navigate this pandemic and eventually come out the other side of it, stronger and more resilient than ever.

John Liggett
Head of School