A Message from the President
Whether you are a parent considering our lower and middle divisions for your child, a prospective upper division student exploring Stevenson as the place to bring your talents and dreams, or an alum or other friend of the school, I welcome you to our virtual home—which has taken on new significance since March 16, when we moved to remote instruction owing to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our School’s namesake, the 19th century Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, once observed: "Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well." In the wake of our world having been dealt what is proving to be among its poorest hands in this century—with its full intensity still unfolding—we take a small, sober measure of consolation in reporting that our learning community has implemented a remarkable pivot to the “new normal” given these radical new conditions.
Over the final weeks of the spring semester, our students pursued their studies without interruption using a combination of materials distributed in advance and electronically; synchronous and asynchronous classes delivered through a variety of integrated platforms; and one-to-one support from their teachers and other School staff provided by electronic means. By reconstituting significant School rituals and practices across all three divisions—including grounding experiences like regular advisory meetings, weekly assembly, and lower grades’ morning meeting—in virtual forms, we sustained our sense of community.
In times of great calamity, wise people train their focus on matters subject to their control, and act in concert guided by their shared values. Across our three divisions, our students, teachers, parents, trustees, and alumni have chosen to remain committed to one another, our School, and our core values of safety, trust, respect, belonging, and inclusion.
Tremendous credit for this transition, of course, is owed to our dedicated teachers and the staff members who tirelessly support their work. Our team’s efforts since March have been spirited, creative, optimistic, brave, and collegial. In the surveys we conducted following the close of the spring semester, our students and their families provided valuable feedback, and also expressed their appreciation for how our efforts provided a safe harbor of communal feeling and meaningful structure at a thoroughly disorienting moment. That feedback is guiding our teachers’ hard work this summer. Our goal is not simply to muddle through, but to excel.
In times of great calamity, wise people train their focus on matters subject to their control, and act in concert guided by their shared values. Across our three divisions, our students, teachers, parents, trustees, and alumni have chosen to remain committed to one another, our School, and our core values of safety, trust, respect, belonging, and inclusion. Ours is still a community in which every day, we do our best to joyfully mind the gap between what we are and what we wish to be, and to do our world some measure of good as we help each other get better. In this light, we can’t wait to reconvene once it is safe and socially responsible to do so.
Information about our approach to remote instruction during the fall semester can be found here. Please take a deep dive into these resources, and the rest of our website, in order to learn more about our School—both in its current iteration and what it will soon again be.
We wish you and your loved ones peace and good health. We look forward to seeing you in person soon.
Dr. Kevin M. Hicks '85, P ’29