Principal Lisa Panighetti says Our Lady of Peace School in Erie gave families the choice of returning to school, in person, five days a week or taking classes virtually. It was up to them, however they felt comfortable.
Just about everyone came back.
“We have just under 500 kids enrolled here and I’d say out of the 500, we initially had about 30 or so choose the remote option,” Panighetti told me on a recent FaceTime chat. “Everyone else came back face to face and we’re glad that they did.”
Meanwhile, many of those kids that were staying home began trickling back. So as of this writing, Our Lady of Peace School has very few of its students that did remain with learning online. When I talked to Lisa back in April she gave a ton of credit to her teachers. She gave them even more credit this time around.
“Last time we talked, I gave a shout out to our teachers. They are rock stars. They were rock stars in the spring and they absolutely are, even more so now that we’re back. They are juggling the kids in class. They are juggling the technology of the kids being remote.”
Panighetti says learning remains fully synchronous, meaning that as the teachers do classroom instruction, they are also being carried remotely to the students at home.
“We are pleasantly surprised with how the year has begun,” Panighetti said.
Being a principal is a stressful job. For principals planning a full-scale in person return, this summer had to be that much more stressful.
“Everyone says to me ‘how is your year going?’ I will say to them ‘this summer was extremely stressful,’” Panighetti said. “I was worried and very, very stressed all summer long because there’s so much that is unknown and you’re just not sure how it’s going to work out, or if parents and teachers are going to be happy, what it’s going to look like. It all looks good on paper, but is it going to look good when everyone’s back and I will say that stress, planning and preparation paid off.”