As the year draws to a close, there is one thought that keeps running through my head – we did it!
Last summer was a whirlwind. Our COVID-19 Task Force committees worked tirelessly to create an entirely new way of doing school – one that could transition between on-campus and at-home learning as seamlessly as possible. Our IT director expanded our technology program, provided hours upon hours of training to faculty and parents, and prepared hundreds of computers and iPads for virtual learning. Our facilities team installed touchless toilets, touchless water bottle refilling fountains, hand sanitizer stations, and physical distancing signage; they also moved classrooms to different locations, reconfigured them, and ensured there was six feet of distance between all desks. Our Health and Safety Task Force became experts on constantly changing guidelines to ensure we could protect the health and wellness of our community. Our teachers spent their summer in training, learned new pedagogy, and created new ways to connect with and inspire our Dragons as we all entered the unknown together. Our Board of Trustees and our Crisis Response Committee were partners in all of this work, providing thoughtful guidance and feedback.
Our Dragons began an uncertain school year with optimism and hope, adapting to the new protocols quickly and gracefully. Whether they learned at home or they learned on site, they put forth their best effort and they persevered. Some of the hallmarks of our program had to be transformed, and our faculty rose to the occasion with creativity and determination, finding new ways to hold a science fair, geography bee, and put on a play or musical, among others.
Our parents logged students in for online classes, served as tech support, and comforted their children through a season that held a substantial amount of loss. The Parents Association worked closely with our incredible Development Office to create new ways for our community to stay connected in an age of physical distancing. They held virtual trivia and art nights, brought us together through #WESPeloton, and even hosted some outdoor yoga once it was safe. And let’s not forget about the auction, which set a new standard for how fun a virtual event could be.
I’d like to especially commend our Grade 8 Dragons, who probably lost the most out of all of our students due to the pandemic. They are an exceptional group of scholars, artists, and athletes, who displayed a positive attitude through hardship and cared for one another as family. They responded to the challenges of this year with good humor, displaying a flexibility and maturity beyond their years.Their resilience, dedication, and compassion will open many doors for them. They will begin high school next year at a number of top schools in the metro area, and we can’t wait to hear about the many ways they will contribute to their new communities.
THANK YOU – to our entire community. We did it! And we continue to look forward to the next school year with excitement and hope.
Head of School