Each year the CGS Staff embraces a theme for the duration of the school year.  Last year we decided to share our staff theme with the entire CGS community, in the hopes that it would be of comfort and support.  To our delight, everyone whole-heartedly embraced our ‘We Can Do Hard Things’ mantra. It truly took on a life of its own and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Everywhere we turned we could hear students, staff and parents responding to difficult situations with “We Can Do Hard Things”.  Many of us are even still wearing the bracelets that we had made to remind us of our theme.  I do hope that people will still turn to these words whenever they feel that they or the children need it. But as we embark on a new school year it is time for us to move on; in fact, it is really time for us to move “onward”.

You may have noticed that one of our First Day of School chalkgrams on the sidewalk said “Onward” and that was carefully chosen as an introduction to this year’s CGS theme, Onward!

The highly successful journalist, author and inspiration guru, Elizabeth Gilbert (from Eat Pray Love fame) always signs off from her social media posts, essays and articles with the salutation “Onward” and here’s why.  This is what she has to say about the embodiment of the word ONWARD:

“It is your job every single morning of life to get up, to get dressed and to face the world as it is (not the world as you wish it were) – no matter what is happening! No matter what difficulties are placed before you…GET UP, GET DRESSED, FACE IT DOWN.  You can do this.  You can survive this.  You can rise above this.  You can learn from this.”

So here we are once again, beginning a school year that at its very core remains uncertain and no doubt at times unsettling. This is not how we ever imagined school life would be before March 2020 and we certainly all hoped it would be back to “normal” by this school year.  But it’s not and that’s okay because if we truly accept that life is a journey that keeps us moving forward no matter what the obstacles, we can and we will have a great year.

I have always loved the way Gilbert uses the word ‘Onward’. It really is a word that always holds so much promise.  It has a ring of excitement to it. It can be a reminder of what we are capable of if we just keeping moving ahead on our journey. All we must do is remind ourselves that the trick is to keep going forward and that every morning when the sun rises it brings a brand-new day full of promise and possibility.  So, let’s not look back at what was or what used to be and let’s not pin our hopes on things going back to the way they were.  Instead, together as the school family and community that we are, let’s move ahead, move beyond and get excited about this school year that will truly be our “Onward”!

As we enter our 36th year of CGS, we will continue to remind ourselves, and all of you, that despite
COVID restrictions and the lack of normalcy in school life, there will be lots of joy, lots of fun and lots of learning ahead. Together, let’s allow this school year the chance to be awesome.  Always remember that Attitude is the difference between an Ordeal and an Adventure!


Marie Bates