Shutdown Day 0

This may be a bit different than my usual daily accounts.

The next several blogs may be different in general because never in the history of my almost 28 years on this earth have I ever heard of or seen anything like this in my lifetime.

I have never been one to check Facebook Live news casts, until this past week when in the blink of an eye our state championship game was postponed, our entire season of high school spring sports were cancelled until March 30th for reassessment, universities shutting down, college sports all canceled, and more.

Literally in a matter of days…

Our safe small-town living was tampered with.

I have always felt safe in our town…

…because I mean it really is, from the outside looking in.

It’s a lively hometown that was locked and loaded to caravan to Hot Springs on Friday to defend our basketball state title and end with a perfect season.

Then that all changed in a matter of literally hours.

{Along with hundreds and thousands of other schools and towns across the country}

We were and are at the mercy of the state.

Our small town has been affected by this virus, not a confirmed case, but the sense of urgency that has been enacted to slow it down.

Us teachers sat in our classrooms like normal as 4 counties of schools were cancelled last Thursday via a press conference by the governor.

We all tuned in this weekend to listen to the governor address the growing concerns and encouraging words for schools to remain open.

Today, at 1:30pm he announced that as of Tuesday all Arkansas schools will be required to close due to the COVID-19 virus. Monday would be an optional day determined by superintendents so teachers may get AMI information to students, disinfect, and just prepare in general for their classrooms to sit for 2 weeks.

It was as if I were Katniss Everdeen watching President Snow address Panam— it was surreal.

I never thought of myself to be that person constantly watching government updates, but there I was and here I am.

At first it is an announcement that makes any teacher want to run laps around the house in excitement— you would think it was like a snow day right? No school, no papers, no make-up days, no kids, no getting ready for work, etc.

It’s all good in theory—a 2 week Spring Break.

Then the reality of the situation.

Teachers & administrators pray and try to figure out the best ways to make sure kids’ needs are still met, food is provided, kids have somewhere to go because parents’ have to still work, and their academics can continue in some form.

We are losing 5 days of instruction—time to adjust lessons to make up for lost time and it could easily turn into more.

The seniors— these are my kids. Not much explanation is needed. They are coming down to the “lasts” and we all pray for their spirits to stay up in such a low time. We WANT them to finish strong grade-wise, test-wise, after-college-plans, and just in general to enjoy their last few weeks of high school. I hope this is something they look back on and can make light of.

“Remember that time…”

Yup like that. Hopefully they will look back and be able to find some sort of fond memory.

We try to figure out what the absolute best thing will be to get our kids through this piece of history because that’s what it will be— a piece of history my children we will read and learn about.

Like when Piper is older..

“Remember that time Momma told you they let all the teachers have a longer Spring Break and we stayed home to watch Frozen I & II back to back every day, made cookies, took tons of bubble baths, walked the dogs, cleaned everything,…?”

Yea— that’s when a virus basically shut down the whole world and you lived through it and never knew.

{BUT}

This is not as simple as “no school”.

We think about our kids’ home lives and hope they’ll be warm, healthy, and looked after.

We hope someone will be there to take over their “good morning” hugs & high fives, the “have a fabulous day”, and the “happy birthdays”.

{BECAUSE}

No decision in education is made lightly.

{and}

This one feels foreign— especially watching as the governor announced it.

{SO}

Pray for our students.

Pray for the staff that will be cleaning.

Pray for the ones who will make sure every need is possibly met.

Pray for all who are having to make these decisions.

Pray that this smooths over.

Pray it gets better.

Pray for the teachers, admin, students, custodians, counselors, and all staff members trying to navigate through this unknown.

Pray for our schools.

Because this is not just an extended break.

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