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 elected to move to an indefinite period of 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 yet to unfold—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.
Our students have continued their academic work without interruption using a combination of materials distributed in advance and now electronically; real-time and recorded classes delivered through a variety of integrated platforms; and one-to-one support from their teachers provided by email, telephone, and other electronic means. Already, we’re reconstituting significant aspects of our School’s community life across all three divisions—including grounding experiences like regular advisory meetings, weekly assembly, and lower grades’ morning meeting—in virtual forms. Even our athletes will soon have team-oriented training programs, and share their progress with one another through weekly group check-ins.
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 are choosing 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 the dire impact of COVID-19 necessitated the School’s swift action have been spirited, creative, optimistic, brave, and collegial. Our students’ families continue to express their appreciation for how our success in this regard has provided a safe harbor of communal feeling and meaningful structure at a thoroughly disorienting moment, and is consistent with the Stevenson they’ve always known.
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 are choosing to remain committed to one another, our School, and our core values of safety, trust, respect, belonging, and inclusion. Though we are now obligated to socially distance, and we’re precluded from the daily face-to-face contact with one another that we will never again take for granted, 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. And we know that when we reconvene, once it is sustainably safe and socially responsible to do so, we will celebrate with wild abandon.
We will keep you up-to-date on our status as this shared journey unfolds. In the meantime, please take a deep dive into this website in order to learn more about our School—both in its current iteration and what it will soon again be.
We wish you peace and good health as you and your loved ones meet the challenges of COVID-19. Please wash your hands regularly and well, practice social distancing, be kind, and be brave. We look forward to seeing you in person soon.
Dr. Kevin M. Hicks '85, P ’29