Last August, when the pandemic was a mere child of six months, Leaside students had already experienced online learning – and survived.
As I wrote then: “In June, signs started popping up all over lawns in Leaside and beyond congratulating grads – a tangible sign that life does go on, and kids do move on. They are continuing to achieve, no matter what the environment.”
Fast forward to 2021. The new “Congratulations” signs are adorning lawns, grads are again celebrating their achievements, but after another year of up and down learning and uncertainty, Leaside kids’ achievements are even more noteworthy. Perseverance, adaptability, versatility, ingenuity have taken centre stage along with the more traditional academic and sports accomplishments.
Once again, Leaside Life columnist Janis Fertuck, herself a former Leaside High English teacher, has interviewed some of this year’s grads on their experiences, disappointments, hopes and plans for a non-Covid (please!) future.
A (non-Leaside) student in a recent Toronto Star story bemoaned the fact she had not received what she considered to be an adequate education this year. The Leaside students Janis interviewed were candid about their personal challenges with online learning. The quadmester was called out for special disdain. But, to the one, they felt they had learned, and they enjoyed opportunities to achieve and plan for their futures. If you have graduates at home, these stories are sure to resonate.
In the next issue, Susan Scandiffio writes about perhaps Leaside’s youngest author, Gema Zepeda, whose book A New Beginning tells the story of a girl who moves to a new town and has to find her way at a new school among new kids. Gema, whose first language was not English, wrote the book when she was 8.
So, yes, the kids really are all right!