The mission of Christ Church Episcopal Preschool, located on 22 acres in Greenville, Delaware, is to educate young children, create community among families, school, and Church, and honor and nurture children in the Episcopal tradition.
As a first-year Head of School, upholding this mission during the Covid-19 pandemic at first seemed nearly impossible. How would we educate two and 3-year-olds with social distancing and mask-wearing? How could we possibly create and foster community when large gatherings were banned? How do we honor and nurture preschool-age children when sandboxes, water tables, and hugging were forbidden? It was a challenge we faced head-on and, in doing so, safely navigated the pandemic and increased enrollment.
For this academic year, CCEP was fortunate to receive an Outreach Grant from NAES to help support our costs associated with attending the Biennial NAES Conference in San Diego. When the conference went digital, the cost associated with attending decreased. We didn’t have to hop on a plane! This year not only was I a new Head, but my Board of Trustees Chair was new, and we had a new Associate Rector at our Church. All three of us were able to attend the virtual conference, allowing us to connect and share ideas across three times as many webinars.
I found the connections made with other Heads invaluable as we all continued to navigate the pandemic. I also found the time spent sharing what we learned between the associate rector, board chair, and myself incredibly helpful. We took the time to align our vision, brainstorm ideas, and create opportunities.
The time to network, collaborate, and brainstorm early in the school year served us well. Our students were able to attend school for the entire school year. We considered our families, students, and the CDC recommendations. We were able to design a reasonable program that allowed us to 100% meet our mission of educating young children, creating community, and honoring and nurturing children in the Episcopal tradition.
Thank you, NAES, for helping us improve our children’s lives and for working with us to navigate the best way to move forward in this pandemic. We are grateful for your generous support.