Getting Closure This School Year

by Adam Scanlan, Ed.S., Principal & Director of Special Education, Swallow SD

Unprecedented. Social Distancing. Virtual Learning. Digital Learning. Google Meet. Zoom. 


There are so many terms that have come to the forefront of our vocabulary and have certainly developed some core memories that will stick with us for a lifetime. Closure became very real when we realized that we were closing our doors to students. To be honest, it hurts to even type that or say it out loud. That's the exact opposite of why we're in this profession in the first place. Closure can be an act of closing or the condition of being closed. Now that the end of the school year is on the horizon, we're seeing that the closure in having a comforting or satisfying sense of finality is going to be a challenge. We're not able to go on our annual field trips that are a rite of passage, the end-of-year picnics with staff members manning the grill aren't being scheduled, and the good-bye waves and "tag, you're it!" jokes on the school signs will have to wait another year. 

So - as leaders, how are we providing closure? I would strongly recommend looking at how you can embrace technology and build some lasting memories for the kids and the staff. We have teachers that are planning end-of-the-year scavenger hunts with kids and families racing around their house to find fun objects. Some are setting up a time for a virtual picnic scheduled on a nice day outside. At my school, we are working hard to not only provide these one-time things but also in creating memories that will last for years to come. We have had students send in video messages with words of support for the teachers that will be aired on our social media pages during Teacher Appreciation Week. We have teachers making videos to push back out to the students. We are embracing the funny and the new world with lip-syncing and dancing

I'd love to hear what you're doing in your school on the #AWSAConnect hashtag on Twitter or in one of the shared Google Docs from AWSA directly. 

If you're looking for some ideas or examples of what you might be able to put together with the remaining time we have, check out the Wisconsin based school videography company - - or see their mocked-up video here.