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Letter to Families from Chair John McAllister
Letter to Families from Chair John McAllister
Posted on 01/05/2022
Letter to Families from Chair John McAllister

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I am writing this note to you as Chair of the Upper Canada District School Board. More importantly, I want to chat with you as a parent and a grandparent about the next few weeks as you and your children contend with this latest challenge of remote learning.

I am currently reading Matthew Kelly’s book that was gifted to me recently entitled Life Is Messy. The title caught my eye because it is true. Life can be messy. I want to share a quotation from this book with you that stood out to me:

“Life isn’t a color-within-the-lines exercise. It’s a wild and outrageous invitation full of uncertain outcomes. Sometimes it is beautifully rationale, at other times it lacks all logic…

Everyone has their own mess to contend with...You don’t have to have it all together. Nobody has it all together…

Life is messy but we figure things out. We laugh, we cry, we grow, and we move on to new beginnings, second chances, and amazing possibilities.”

Today, we find ourselves once again in a pandemic mess filled with tension, anxiety and stress. I understand the frustration and the concern that many of you are experiencing in your efforts to balance your work with your child’s remote learning and their need for a support system.

Your primary focus should be the physical, emotional and mental safety of your kids. Traditional learning, in spite of the best efforts of our teachers, EAs and principals, is a challenge for everyone right now. What is important is maintaining some connection with your child’s teacher and school, but take a step back if you need to.

Be kind to one another. May our words and actions reflect our intentions. I am confident and optimistic that we will emerge stronger, and better, sooner than later.

May this quote from Leonard Cohen inspire you:

        “Ring the bells that can still ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in.”

I wish you all a hopeful, healthy and happy New Year.

John McAllister
Chair of the Board
Upper Canada District School Board

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