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Ms. Hong
Principal, Van Ness Elementary School

Dear Van Ness Families,

I hope you and your child(ren) are safe and healthy as we continue to battle COVID-19 pandemic in these unprecedented times. Much has happened locally as well as globally with many more challenges to come. As we go through this difficult times together, please know that the Van Ness community is always in my thoughts and prayers.

Well, welcome to 2020-2021 school year! I’m very excited to start the new year with our fabulous All-Star students, staff, and parents. Although physical school is closed, Van Ness Virtual School is open this Tuesday, August 18th. I can’t wait to see the beautiful faces of my shining All-Stars through zoom! I’m anticipating this year to be unlike any other years as you can probably imagine. It’ll certainly be different. However, my staff and I are committed to providing our students with an awesome learning experience and help create lots of fond memories. Despite distance learning, we are offering some of the enrichment programs such as orchestra, dance, Mandarin foreign language, and Computerwisekids all through live zoom instruction. We’re also developing creative ways to provide art lessons and fun events throughout the year. Our goal is to make sure that we provide a rigorous, enriching, and positive learning experience to all our students.

Estimadas Familias de Van Ness,

Espero que usted y su (s) hijo (s) estén seguros y sanos mientras continuamos luchando contra la pandemia de COVID-19 en estos tiempos sin precedentes. Han sucedido muchas cosas a nivel local y mundial, con muchos más desafíos por venir. A medida que atravesamos juntos estos momentos difíciles, sepan que la comunidad de Van Ness siempre está en mis pensamientos y oraciones.

¡Bienvenidos al año escolar 2020-2021! Estoy muy emocionado de comenzar el nuevo año con nuestros fabulosos estudiantes, personal y padres All-Star. Aunque la escuela física está cerrada, la Escuela Virtual Van Ness está abierta este martes 18 de agosto. ¡No puedo esperar a ver los hermosos rostros de mis brillantes All-Stars a través del zoom! Anticipo que este año será diferente a cualquier otro, como probablemente puedas imaginar. Ciertamente será diferente. Sin embargo, mi personal y yo estamos comprometidos a brindarles a nuestros estudiantes una experiencia de aprendizaje increíble y ayudar a crear muchos buenos recuerdos. A pesar del aprendizaje a distancia, estamos ofreciendo algunos de los programas de enriquecimiento, como orquesta, danza, idioma extranjero mandarín y Computerwisekids, todo a través de instrucción de zoom en vivo. También estamos desarrollando formas creativas de brindar lecciones de arte y eventos divertidos durante todo el año. Nuestro objetivo es asegurarnos de brindar una experiencia de aprendizaje rigurosa, enriquecedora y positiva a todos nuestros estudiantes.

As I walk through the empty campus, it saddened me to see that our wonderful school has been deserted due to the pandemic. So I wrote a short poem expressing how I feel at this moment. Please understand that I’m not a poet.

I Wish… By Pauline Hong

I wish I could greet everyone by name each morning as students enter school.
I wish the playground could be filled with cheerful students engaging in active play, eating snack,
running around the green space, or just relaxing in our garden.
I wish the classrooms could be filled with students excited to learn and all the beautiful artworks
and student work displayed all around the room.
I wish I could spend time sharing about our life stories, telling jokes and really
getting to know each of my Van Ness families.
I wish we could have all the fun events throughout the year. Halloween, Winter Program, STEAM Festival, etc.
Oh, I wish I could give a BIG HUG to all my precious All-Stars!
All these may not be possible now, but soon we shall return to fill this wonderful school
with beautiful students, staff, and families. Then, my wish shall come true.

It’s going to be a great year!

Sincerely, 
Pauline Hong