Education is a transformative and formative experience for every child and young adult, which is why, in the wake of Covid-19, many schools did their best to maintain learning as effectively as possible. Notre Dame was one of the many schools that resorted to both online, and later, hybrid learning. Notre Dame, despite these new realities, not only functioned with efficiency but kept its doors open all throughout the 2020-2021 school year, maintaining its goal of effectuating transformative leadership. This year, however, things have changed once more.
It is with grace and hope that Notre Dame not only opened its doors this school year, but did so to the entire population. After two tumultuous years of uncertainty and online learning, the Notre Dame community is back together again. Campus is once again full of life as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors all enjoy classes, lunch, clubs, and activities together for the first time since 2019. Looking around, it almost feels like nothing changed.
Guadalupe Delgado, high school theology teacher, said, “I love the energy I feel now when you walk into a room, and the students are able to speak their thoughts more.”
Everywhere you look, students are learning in person, laughing, talking, and walking to class as if everything was completely normal. It is amazing to see the resilience and spirit of the Notre Dame community everyday despite the overwhelming challenges and obstacles that had to be overcome.
Cassie Weir, Class of 2022, said, “I love it. I just love seeing all my friends every day and the people that I haven’t seen in so long.”
Having everyone together on campus again is evidence of the strength and hard work of the teachers and administration, as well as the cooperation of the students and parents in maintaining public health guidelines. It shows the strength of Staten Island as a whole, for all coming together to protect the public health of our city and state. This school year allows the opportunity for service and normalcy, for togetherness and friendship, and for some students, the first time being in school with their entire class. The ability to be in school altogether is one to be proud of and to not be taken for granted again. This school year is a reflection of everything Notre Dame stands for, resiliency of the spirit, the love of learning, and the perseverance of leadership.