It's not that I was hoping that the dreaded COVID-19 had arrived at our site, but, like most people, I have been watching the news. It's hard to escape after all. I could no longer comfort myself that the coronavirus was far away and no danger to me and my family. The first COVID-19 death in California had occurred in our town. It wasn't just out there somewhere; it was outside my door.
School, however, was not canceled for either me or my sons, and it was business as usual.
Until, that is, I saw the notice written on the whiteboard outside the staff lounge:
Staff meeting at 1:55.
Uh-oh. This was a bad sign. First of all, we had been notified last week that the staff meeting scheduled for today had been canceled. The second worrying thing about the the notice was the 1:55 time. That is PLC time, not staff meeting time. This could mean only one thing.
Sure enough, the meeting was about the coronavirus. Immediately, we were assured there were no cases in our district or community. Not yet anyway. Grade level teams were directed to spend part of our PLC time planning a week's worth of work that could be provided to students should our school be shut down. We also needed to start thinking about how we could continue to educate our students remotely as any closure would more than likely last longer than one week. As our principal continued to provide more details about the measures our district was taking and answering questions that arose, it became clear that it wasn't a matter of "if," it was a matter of "when."
Suddenly, it all be came more real, a little too real.
Of course, what will happen, no one can say with any degree of certainty. But there is some comfort in knowing there is a plan. There is even more comfort in the hope that those plans will never be needed.