Dear Stevenson Families,
For me and my family, the important lesson of these unprecedented times is that we only know, with certainty, what is right before us. In this sense, we've been stopped in our tracks and invited to live fully in the present. While I am working longer hours at “school” now than ever before, the pace of the world has shifted dramatically. Now, family events like learning how to cook gumbo (teaching Luca and Sofia how to devein a shrimp is especially entertaining) are absolute delights. Perhaps because of the hardships surrounding all of us, I am deeply grateful for such moments.
You, like our teachers, have been remarkable. Had it not been for our trust in one another, our pivot to remote learning--exceptional, swift, and sustaining--could not have happened. The impact transcends academics: owing to our faith in one another, in the midst of so much unknown, our children are now nestled in a snug harbor of support and guidance. We know it is not easy. But I cannot overstate my gratitude to you and our teachers. In true Pirate fashion, we're all equally determined to do what we can, while we can, when we can for these children to learn and to thrive.
And the true heroes of this experience are the children. Despite the fact that virtually every aspect of their normal has been upended, they continue to exhibit admirable resilience, grit, will, and determination. We are all so in awe of them, and so inspired by them. It's important to note that their academic capabilities during this period of remote instruction--individually and as classes--have soared, and surpass their teachers' expectations. Their success is no accident. Our students feel safe, confident, and fully supported by you and their teachers. Our partnership is helping them to accept, embrace, and evolve. And they are all doing just that.
Today, I am so excited to share a video we have created for our prospective and new families and the broader community to share our story and demonstrate how we have come together and soared in this moment. I am deeply thankful to our parents, students, and faculty who contributed their voices to this piece. Please watch the video here and share among your friends and family. This is the community you are a part of - and I hope you are as proud of it as I am.
For those of you with students in rising Grades K through 5, please join us on May 13 at 5:00 p.m. for our virtual Step-Up nights. We are so excited to welcome everyone to the event, including new faculty and new families! Kate Bitter joins us as our learning support coordinator. With a MA in literacy from Bank Street College of Education, a BA from Marist College, and 11 years of experience, Kate’s expertise and ability will continue to support our differentiated teaching and learning culture. And, as many of you may recall from our announcement back in December, we are also welcoming Gina Edwards and Katie Schipper (who both come to us from Santa Catalina School) as teachers in our lower division.
Grade 8 Graduation is just around the corner. While it is sad that we will not be able to celebrate in Erdman Chapel, I am thrilled with the exciting celebration we have organized and can’t wait to honor our graduates, albeit remotely.
At the risk of asking you to do one more thing, I invite you to complete this survey. We would like to receive your candid, constructive feedback about the remote learning experience thus far. Our hope is that you can complete the survey within the next few days, such that we can review the data, and take action to enhance the remaining weeks of school. Needless to say, perhaps, should future circumstances dictate that we must return to remote learning for a brief period, we want to be fully alert to our students’ emerging needs, and to yours, as well.
Transition Back to School
Even as we tend to the demands of the present moment, we are devoting significant time and energy to preparing for our eventual return to campus. This process includes taking account of a range of safety measures that will likely need to be in effect. Some things will be different, but we will thrive within whatever those new parameters are. We will share much more detail as the fall approaches.
We anticipate that this transition will be complex for many of our students, and in some cases involve anxiety and confusion, and perhaps even fear--all of which is natural and expected. We will work alongside you, as we always have, to attend to each child’s distinct academic and social/emotional needs. I encourage you to reach out to us, as well, because this transition may also prove to be challenging for you. As ever, we’re in it together.
This experience has clarified my faith in and gratitude for every child, parent, and teacher that comprise this truly remarkable community. I cannot wait to see everyone again. And until that day, know that we are doing everything within our power to sustain and enhance a culture of learning predicated on trust, joy, and our fearless dedication to one another. I wish you safety and health.
Molly K. Bozzo
Head of the Lower and Middle Divisions