Learning to Adapt

The COVID-19 pandemic has put tremendous pressure on all of us to adapt -- especially when it comes to events. Many of us have had to find new (often virtual) ways of celebrating birthdays, holding family dinners and socializing with colleagues. While these adapted events aren’t perfect solutions, they are the ties that have held us all together over this last year.

Spirit Week is one of my favourite community-building events at Greenwood; there are always many ways to participate and earn Grade points, from wearing spirit colours to playing dodgeball to answering trivia questions. However, its variety makes it difficult to meaningfully adapt. How do you take a whole week of school-based spirit activities and make it accessible virtually? While our Student Life team and student leaders had a massive job ahead of them, they demonstrated last week that they were more than up to the challenge -- and our students and staff responded in kind.

Many elements of Spirit Week were doable from home. (If your child is learning virtually, you may have seen them taking selfies, performing dance moves or even getting you in on the fun with “Greenwood Gets Going - all in the name of spirit!) Students could earn points for their Grade by bringing in boxes of cereal, participating in trivia challenges, playing badminton or guessing where our friendly mascot went on his global travels. Just as in previous years, there was something for everyone.

Strong team spirit was palpable across our grade groupings (a special mention to the staff group for their commitment to the “Double Denim” theme for the week!) This enthusiasm reinforces what we already knew: we crave community, and strengthening that community will continue to be important in the weeks and months ahead as we all combat pandemic fatigue.

To this end, the Greenwood Roundtable has also organized some social opportunities for families to participate in at home. Activities include a virtual brewery tour (sorry, students - parents only) and a cooking class with renowned chef Jamie Kennedy. Check out the latest version of Week @ A Glance for more information, and we hope to see you there!

While all of these online events are wonderful, we long to have everyone back in school and for things to be more “normal”. As vaccines continue to roll out, I remain hopeful for more opportunities for in-person activities, especially in the fall. While it is too early to know for sure what parameters will be put in place for us by the Ministries of Health and Education and by Toronto Public Health, it seems reasonable to think that the distancing and cohorting restrictions will be relaxed significantly. 

With that in mind, we are making plans for all students to be in the building every day, with online learning remaining an option. We will update you throughout the spring and summer as this becomes more clear. Stay hopeful, everyone.

Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811