This feels like a week of contrasts. On one hand, I’ve been reflecting on the full year that has passed since we closed school last spring; I remember thinking then that it might hopefully only be a few weeks until we would be back together. At the same time, counteracting the weariness of a full year of a pandemic, in recent days it feels like we are turning a corner, drawing nearer to “normalcy.” The faculty and staff are vaccinated and increasing numbers of our parents are, too – and even some of our students. And spring is coming! The energy and volume levels this week among our students are rising along with the temperature – but I love it, hearing excited chatter and seeing them spend time in the Courtyard soaking up the fresh air and sunshine.
So as we inch toward life as we used to know it, we’re working to give our students as much of the “norm” as possible this spring while still prioritizing safety. We have more students back in school in person than at any point this year. Spring sports are underway in a fairly-close-to-normal mode, as track, tennis, and baseball all lend themselves nicely to distancing. Our Vocal Ensemble is starting – for those who are comfortable – to begin meeting outside in the Courtyard so that students can sing, and the Music Performance class is planning a concert to be held outdoors on the Goshen Campus in May. We are looking ahead to this year’s Advisee Games (outside and distanced, with modified activities). For our seniors, we are busy with plans for an outdoor Senior Class Adventure (in lieu of their rafting trip) and adding some modifications to Graduation and Prom, to enable us to hold those events. In addition to looking forward to celebrating our Class of 2021, we’re already anticipating next school year. 10th and 11th graders will register for 2021-22 classes next week. Our English department is identifying the all-school summer reading book and preparing prompts for the corresponding writing assignment. We held incoming 9th Grade Registration virtually this past weekend and are planning for an outdoor in-person Class of 2025 welcome event next month. And we’re starting to look at scheduling components of our Wyvern Retreat Program for fall 2021 (like the Senior Rafting Trip and Outward Bound treks) – with our fingers crossed, of course.
I know that many students and families continue to struggle with the pandemic’s consequences, and I personally still find it difficult to reflect on the past year and all it has brought. But I am so genuinely hopeful about the coming months and so grateful that we can creatively find ways to build community and celebrate.