Why We Connect
“You just can’t fathom it.” Truer words were never spoken. Having your children back on campus, even for short visits, has been pure joy. I know, as parents, you understand the value of these visits to your child, but you have no idea how energizing it is to us. They are the lifeblood of the school. They are the reason we show up every morning. They give us purpose.
When we received word from Governor Newsom in July that we would not be able to do in-person learning, it was a severe disappointment. Not just because all the work we had done to have students back on campus felt wasted, but also because we knew that they needed to be here for their emotional health. They needed to be connected to each other and to us. When we received permission from the county to bring kids on campus in small groups for short periods, it felt like a blessing.
Connection is one of our core values at Saklan; it is in our DNA. And it has never been so important as now. These are anxious times for students. Each of you has a story to share about how the pandemic has impacted your child and your family. You are not alone. In a survey done by YouthTruth this summer, 50% of students reported feelings of depression, anxiety, or stress. These Saklan Connect visits – as brief as they are – are vital to the health of our students.
There is an old notion in schools that they are mostly about academics. Even at Saklan, we (or at least I) have framed the importance of connection to students as something that can often be in service to higher academic achievement. A student will never achieve their full academic potential unless they are connected with others and are thriving socially emotionally. And while it is true that connection and emotional stability are a prerequisite to strong academics, I am convinced now that they are an end unto themselves.
When we have your child here for a Saklan Connect visit, it is because this is what they need right now (and maybe what we need too). We know having them “connect” will help them in their academic endeavors, but that is not why they are invited to join us. They are here because it is what we all need – full stop.