Last week, I had the pleasure of reducing some of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 in the school. The stairs are no longer “up only” or “down only,” and students and staff can walk in any direction in the halls. We have had so many rules imposed on us for so long that even these little changes offered some relief to students and staff; they also signal that we are slowly returning to a more normalized reality at the school. While Toronto Public Health continues to check in with schools to ensure that health guidelines are being followed, hopefully these changes will continue to move us in the right direction.
Meanwhile, despite changes to the rules, many of us have fallen into patterns. I have found myself still heading for certain stairwells to go up or down, even when other ones are closer; it’s like the signs are still there, or there is an invisible barrier redirecting us. It makes me wonder which changes to our lives have become habits through the pandemic and will take some time to unlearn.
We are seeing social skills returning here at school, and students are learning how to be in our space together. We were also able to welcome parents and guardians of this year’s new students for a tour of the building after school this week; they had not yet been inside the building due to last year’s virtual admissions process, and I can only imagine what that has been like. I am very glad to have had the opportunity to connect with them in person, and I am hopeful that these tours herald more opportunities to welcome visitors to the school in the future.
This week’s Halloween celebrations have also provided a wonderful feeling of normalcy. Halloween has always been an Event with a capital “E” at Greenwood, and this year is no different, with both in-school and at-home challenges. Throughout the week, students can submit spooky stories, guess “Which Witch is Which?” in the Lodge, submit a photo of their decorated house or bring in donations for our Halloween Book Drive, earning House points along the way. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s costumes on Friday when we celebrate Halloween together!
We acknowledge with gratitude the Ancestral lands upon which our main campus is situated. These lands are the Ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Anishinabek and the Wendake. The shared responsibility of this land is honoured in the Dish with One Spoon Treaty and as settlers, we strive to care for the land, the waters, and all creatures in the spirit of peace. We are responsible for respecting and supporting the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. When away from this campus we vow to be respectful to the land by protecting and honouring it. We will create relationships with the people and the land we may visit by understanding the territories we enter and the nations who inhabit them.