Of schools, camps and good neighbors

  • Published in Editorials

What a hectic start to the school year for the school, staff and families of Warren Elementary School. First, the construction project kept teachers out of their classrooms until the very end and school had to be postponed two days to let them set up their classrooms.

Then, after three days in their school, a roof leak flooded the school leading to a second closure, projected to be two days. Inspection after the flood revealed black mold and asbestos disruption, which led to a planned September 11 opening.

That didn’t happen, but Warren kids went back to school anyway, thanks to the neighborliness of Sugarbush Resort, which opened its doors to Warren’s preschoolers, K-sixth grades, staff, support staff and administration. It was no mean feat to pull that off in the short amount of time that existed after the realization that the cleanup would take longer than a week.

Heaven and earth are being moved right now to get the kids back into their school, and in the meantime they’re learning surrounded by ski slopes and chairlifts under construction and spending a fair amount of time outdoors hiking and exploring. Thanks to good neighbors, dedicated staff and administrators and all who made this possible.

Speaking of spending time outdoors, the news this week that the first Fayston Four Winds Nature camp was a great success is heartening. Two school parents, volunteers, worked really hard to hold an inaugural summer camp that focuses on getting outside and into nature and learning “without knowing that you’re learning.”

Their enthusiasm for getting kids off couches and away from screens, big and little, is encouraging. Especially because one child excited about going outside and exploring different types of bugs can get parents and siblings off the couches and away from the screens, too.

What better way to learn than inadvertently through hands-on activities that meld science, physics, biology, poetry, writing and exploration? What better way to foster inquisitive students with open minds?

The news on the school front was not all bad this week. There are good things happening and there are good people making more good things happen in light of floods and mold and delays.