There are so many ways that I talk about why school is important. Through many reflections, I hope to capture those important moments that make school what it is and what makes Joyner such a great place to learn and grow.

This past weekend’s weather took many of us by surprise. Before I left school on Friday, I made sure we had everything pulled in but didn’t really think we would get more than some rain. As the storm came into Wake County though, the amount of rain and wind began to impact in a greater way. I know as a parent, keeping the calm at home was important as the wind blew. We played games and enjoyed being together inside and safe.We turned the power outage into an opportunity to have flashlight games and stories by candlelight.

Into the evening, I started to receive email messages and read through twitter about the community around Joyner and began learning how the rain turned into flood waters. On Sunday many of us woke up to no power and surprises outside our windows. Limbs, leaves and trees came down. I drove into the Joyner neighborhood to assess what damage we might have had at school. As I walked the grounds, I discovered many families out playing together. I enjoyed having the opportunity to begin to connect and check on our families. There was a buzz of life at Joyner, even after such a storm. On Monday our staff also began to show up at school. We took the time to connect with each other, check on how people were, offer help to those still navigating damage and loss of power. It felt good to share stories and offer empathy and smiles.

It was Tuesday morning when we were able to welcome our children back that I again saw completely why school and why Joyner is important. Our families connected with each other and staff. We happily welcomed students and parents with hugs. We have families that still are without power. Children were able to come to school and forget about all that for a while. Our teachers quickly took the day to connect and then teach. We gave students a chance to step away from all of the weekend’s adventure and into some normalcy.

I am thankful to work in a community that care for each other. Stories were shared of students caring for their teacher, caring for their neighbor, and just caring for those in the bigger world. Our students see the opportunities to continue to make a positive impact.

School is an important part of the community. And Joyner is important to our community of learners. I am grateful for our larger community helpers that have done so much to help Joyner become ready to welcome our children back after the storm and continue to help clear the way for many to get to some normalcy in life.

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