Message from the Principal

John Cataldo

We have learned many lessons in the past year. The most important of these is that we are one incredible school community. It has always taken the teacher, staff, parents, and students working together to make our school a success. This past year has shown exactly how that works.

One year ago everything changed. Everything we knew about how school was supposed to work was tossed aside. We didn’t know how to be a remote, a hybrid, or a socially-distanced school. We took directives from the State and County Departments of Health which we have never seen before. We held virtual meetings to interpret the new rules, decide how to they applied to our school, and then communicate our plans to the teachers, staff, parents, and community. When the directives changed, we changed with them. So did the teachers, staff, families, and children. Each and every time.

The parents and families of the children of North Collins Elementary School are second to none. Many offered to help us in any way they could. Some offered to join us on committees to sift through guidelines, meet virtually, and contribute valuable insights into what would work for our families. Some parents made or donated masks for children and staff who might need them. All families stepped up and gave their children all the support they could muster. They offered support to follow new schedules, log on and use new devices, and go to school in a whole new way. They continue to show tremendous patience as they wait in long lines in the morning and afternoon. Thank you parents and families.

The teachers and staff of North Collins Elementary are the very best around. Last March, in just a matter of days, they completely shifted and reimagined both how to teach and how to care for their students. Since last year they learned how to teach virtually, teach in a socially distanced classroom, and do both at the same time. Teaching is a difficult job under normal circumstances, to do it in entirely different ways in a short period of time is nothing short of amazing. Thank you  teachers and staff.

Credit must be given to our wonderful students as well. They have been hard-working, diligent, and adaptable for an entire year, and they show no signs of stopping. Our awe-inspiring students kept listening to their teachers and adult family members. They wanted so much to be with their classmates that they wore their masks as asked with little complaint. They sit at separate desks, stand spaced apart in the hallways, and carefully wash their hands frequently. They have been the most important piece of our successful year, and they deserve more credit than we give them. Thank you students.

We have been able to keep our school going through the most challenging period in our school’s history. All of the plans, systems, adjustments, and ideas have certainly helped, but they are not responsible for our success. Our success is due to the amazing people, the teachers, families, and students of our school community. A year later, I am convinced that we can do anything together!

Respectfully submitted,

John Cataldo
Elementary School Principal



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