Dear Harbor Families,
Usually, when we get to the end of a school year, my reaction tends to be “wow, that year really flew by!”. This year - not so much! I don’t know about you, but to me, September feels more like three years ago.
After a summer of intense planning (not to mention, a move to a new building after 27 years!), we embarked on a school year like no other. As we took a breath and welcomed students for five-day-a-week in-person learning on September 8th, we learned that the kids could adjust to our new protocols really well, and that their smiles behind masks were the fuel we needed to work through each intense day!
In the fall…
We discovered that kids can actually, and truly, socialize with masks and distancing. We created ways for students to learn in hands-on, differentiated, and collaborative ways even as their desks were set up like those in an old-fashioned traditional classroom. We discovered that buckets could create outdoor classrooms. We learned how to move between home and school fluidly as classes moved in and out of distance learning throughout those early months. It was intense.
Throughout the winter...
We were consumed with a transition to distance learning for the month of December, which was just really hard. We tried to use the winter break to rest and rejuvenate, and in January, we returned to in-person learning with a renewed commitment. Our increased protocols including weekly COVID testing. Remember - we even taught older students how to swab their own noses!
And in the spring...
We could start to breathe again - slowly emerging from a day-to-day mode of living as teachers became vaccinated. We were able to rely on being in person more consistently. And at the school year began to wind down, we could step back and witness our students’ growth and learning - and recognize that as challenging as this year was, it was an absolute gift.
These are adult reflections on a year of incredible and unprecedented challenges. But what would the kids say? Most likely, they would talk about the year much differently. Maybe just this… they had fun with their friends and learned a lot with their teachers.
What a gift.
And what a year!
Head of School