Waiting is the hardest thing everyone can do

The importance of our school’s community hubs and staying connected

It’s been a month since we all retreated indoors and started figuring out ways to support our kids in their learning at home. 

It’s not been easy: the uncertainty, the balancing act of suddenly having your children at home all the time, and the pressure of everything else that’s happening. 

Personally, I value my kids’ teachers now more than ever. I am grateful for moments when both kids are tucked into a book or when they’re imagining what life will be like when this is all over. I am also grateful to have the distraction of my kids when life feels uncertain and overwhelming. 

I have been thinking a lot about the community that springs up around our schools and how not having that community, in the way that we are used to, feels like a loss for so many. 

Our school communities support and inspire not just our children but also us as parents. Please reach out to the people around you and ask for help if you need it. For example, Edmonton Public Schools has been working really hard to ensure there is access to technology like Chromebooks for kids who need it, and that families that have been supported through breakfast and lunch programs continue to receive the support they need. Schools are more than just classrooms and playgrounds; they are community hubs. We need these communities now more than ever. We are stronger together, even if it means we are together six feet apart or tethered through an Internet connection. 

We also have to remember that we are asking our children to make a sacrifice. We, under the guidance of our amazing chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, have told our kids to stay home, to postpone hanging out with their friends, and that they can’t go to school, for now, so that others can be safe and remain healthy. Our own kids and our neighbourhood kids are listening to us and making a sacrifice, not for themselves but for our community. They are doing this for people they know, but also for people they don’t know and will never know. Kids are doing their part. That’s commendable and should be celebrated. 

Just imagine the celebration we will all have when this is over! 

In the meantime, we can find hope in the belief that our community will be stronger when we come back together, to the place that we call home. 

Please, if you have questions or concerns reach out to trisha.estabrooks@epsb.ca.


Featured Image: Students with Edmonton Public Schools performing during the division’s annual Night of Music in early March. | Supplied

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