Dealing with the Pandemic: Uncertainty

Posted on: Tue, 06/16/2020 - 08:00

After 14 weeks of closed school buildings and navigating the “unknown,” FCPS is preparing plans for the 20-21 school year, and the only thing we know for sure is there is still uncertainty. This will be the final blog in the series, “Dealing with the Pandemic.”

image of inspirational quote
"Fear, uncertainty and discomfort
are your compasses toward growth."
~~~Celestine Chua

It was a Tuesday in March when I stood before our system leaders and talked about the FCPS plan for a pandemic crisis. Talented staff members had prepared a plan to guide us during a pandemic, and I wanted our system leaders to become familiar with the plan and to think about the important tasks they should begin to undertake. Two days later, all schools were closed, and the implementation of the plan was accelerated.

Even the best plans do not fully prepare one for the uncertainty of a pandemic. I remember one doctor replying to a question about the timeline for COVID 19. He smiled and noted, “only the virus knows the timeline.” Uncertainty.

There were so many times over the last 3 months when I asked questions of state leaders and they had no definitive answer. There were also times when people asked me for an answer, and I could not say for sure. Uncertainty.

Flexibility was critical to the implementation of our crisis plan. Unforeseen circumstances arose, and we had to find creative solutions. We had to learn new ways to accomplish many tasks. We had to rely on each other for support. We had to learn from a mistake and make the process improvement. Uncertainty.

Days often felt like months, yet it is still hard to believe that it has been more than 3 months since we had a “normal” school day. I look at the things we have accomplished and what we have learned. I look at the resiliency and perseverance we have demonstrated. Did the uncertainty that challenged us also force us to become better?

As we head into summer and begin to wonder about the next school year, uncertainty remains. However, we have all grown and are better prepared to face whatever new challenges emerge.

I wish the entire FCPS community a safe and healthy summer! We look forward to welcoming you back for the next school year. Please stay safe and healthy!