Salem-Keizer, we hear you and we know this year has challenged our students, families and staff beyond normal limits. Our students continue to pursue their goals and passions, despite new learning environments, and our families have been an integral part of keeping our students on track. To our staff, we applaud you for your continued dedication to our students, but also to each other.

Communications Intern Grace Caldwell shares her perspective

Communications Intern Grace Caldwell shares her perspective on the past two years and offers a student’s insight to the appreciation our students have for the adults who continue to show up for our district in times where showing up may be difficult:

I remember walking in this year after nearly two years of distance learning and everything had felt new. New students, new school, new teachers and new administration. A part of me was excited for all this change but, there was also a large part of me that was scared. There have been many days of mind-numbingly long Zoom meetings that could’ve been summed up in an email and even more days trying to rewrite agendas and calendars to make up for the learning loss.

By no means do I want to sound like a broken record, but I want to thank our staff. I assume it feels like you are doing a lot more than what was listed in the job description. Thank you for showing up every single day and staying consistent for our students. Right now, you all are probably the most consistent thing in our lives. Thank you for offering your time to us for guidance and support as we’ve entered this year despite being overwhelmed and putting your mental health second for our sake. But, above all, thank you for staying. I know that the days have been hard and that we can be a real headache for you but, the fact that you are able to show up and believe in us regardless means everything. Thank you for being the light in this very, very long  tunnel.

To our families…Thank you all for being flexible during this time. Between navigating your own workloads and having to become tech savvy with Zoom and all the other platforms used during distance learning, you’ve become quite the pros at multitasking. As we move towards whatever this “new normal” is, I commend you on being responsive, supportive and accommodating with all the new measures and changes to our education.

And to our students…I don’t even know where to begin. Between the pandemic, the historic natural disasters and contentions going around our nation, we’ve got quite the array of stories to tell our kids someday. For some of us, we are experiencing an entirely different environment as we enter our new schools and for others we are now at the top of our grades despite previously being at the bottom. There have been days where waking up is enough of a challenge. It is on those days that we show up and continue to stay committed to our education, that I see our perseverance not just as students, but as people. Thank you all for showing up, not just for school but for each other as well. Thank you for being masterminds in learning what was a year-long course only in a matter of months, and more importantly, thank you for your patience and adaptability.

As we enter the winter months, and the second part of the 2021-22 school year, it’s important to check-in and ensure we are taking care of ourselves. SKPS has collected a few important resources to support mental health and self-care strategies. Remember, self-care is not selfish.

Virtual Calming Room

The Virtual Calming Room is a place for the adults and families to find tools and strategies for managing emotions and feelings all the while building our resilience during these difficult times together.

Happiness Calendar

Action for Happiness creates monthly calendars that are packed with small, simple actions you can take to help create a happier and kinder world. Calendars can be downloaded and are available in multiple languages.