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Letter to Our AHS Community From Dr. Fanuele

Dear Arlington Students, Staff, and Community, 

I hope this message finds you as well as can be during these challenging times. As each week passes, it becomes more real that we may not return to Arlington this school year or at least not for some time.  As we utilize online learning and continue to practice social distancing, we must also be aware that many of the school’s traditional events we were looking forward to, may not take place this school year. These events include field trips, senior trips, proms, and even our commencement exercises. I am quite saddened by these realizations and hope to find alternatives, where possible.  

My sadness extends to the entire community, but it is quite high when I think of our senior class, the House of 2020.  As many of you know, my daughter is a member of the senior class and I see quite personally the impact our current situation has on her, her friends, and our community.  All this being said, we need to stay safe, stay at home, and wait until it is safe to return.  

In the meantime, as we await word from our governor on whether or when we will return, we will look for alternative ways to have our traditional events.  While it seems that some will be cancelled due to a myriad of reasons, one event we feel we need to have in some manner is our commencement exercises. As we wait, we will search for an alternative way to have it, if necessary.  No alternative will be perfect, but quite frankly, will be better than not having the event at all.

It pains me to suggest not having our traditional events, especially as I wind down my time at Arlington. Our team will continue to do what is best for Arlington and search for ways to connect us through good times and bad.  Please remind yourself and your family that our current times will pass. History tells us that we consistently overcome our obstacles. We are currently in the middle of our battle which makes it seem like it will last forever.  Forever is a tricky word and we need to reconsider its definition. An article I adapted from last year’s commencement speech, was recently published and although it was not written for our current times, the message that forever is only temporary and will eventually pass, rings true (the article is attached here, if interested The Forever Mindset.pdf).

 Make no mistake, tragedy is taking place as we wait for these times to pass, which makes it even harder to deal with. We must safely stay together (albeit virtually), take care of ourselves, our families, and each other.  

We will get through this time and become stronger in the end.  I heard Governor Cuomo say we are in the middle of a movie and we are waiting to see how it ends.  Let’s work together to give the movie the best possible ending. Stay safe and stay strong. 

Thank you. 

Paul M. Fanuele, Ed. D.

Executive Principal