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Tier Two (Don't Delete)

Dear Prospective Student and Family:


I write this welcome note at a time when, like all other schools across the nation, we have shifted to a remote instruction model due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sitting in my office overlooking an empty campus, I find myself reflecting on what truly makes a school special. Our heart and soul is not our buildings, but our people: the students, their teachers, and those whose work supports them. 
 
Research tells us that the top reason for choosing a school for both students and parents is finding a place where you feel truly seen, known, and cared for. Any number of fine schools, Stevenson included, can provide stellar academic training and college preparation. But what about all the other elements of school that must be in place to allow all different kinds of students to thrive? And for an authentic sense of community to permeate throughout?
 
As we planned for the transition to online learning, these familiar questions were at the front of our minds—along with a new one unique to this moment: How can we continue to be the school we want to be, and that our students and families need us to be, when we can’t be physically present?

While online learning can never fully replace the richness of being together in classes, on the athletic fields, in art studios, on stage, in the dorms, or simply in each other’s company on a beautiful campus, we are doing our best to replicate this experience. 

The “empty vessel” model of education—where students are containers to be passively filled with knowledge through lecture, and assessed on their ability to recall facts held impermanently in short term memory—has long been rejected as a result of our increasing understanding of how people learn. It would, therefore, be a mistake to revert to this model—despite it being the easiest response to the challenge posed by COVID-19. While online learning can never fully replace the richness of being together in classes, on the athletic fields, in art studios, on stage, in the dorms, or simply in each other’s company on a beautiful campus, we are doing our best to replicate this experience. 
 
With a combination of real-time and recorded activities to engage students now dispersed around the world, Stevenson students continue to learn in the company of others, engage each other in discussion, collaborate on group projects and receive individual support from their teachers, just as they did when on campus. They continue to make art, play music and connect with teammates, and still have full access to learning specialists, college counselors, emotional support counseling and academic advising.  Even though we cannot do these things in the same physical space for now, we know that it is more important than ever to provide a holistic education and find a sense of normality and connection during this time of great uncertainty.
 
We are all navigating an unprecedented moment in history, one that will test us all in ways both known and unknown. We also know that this is a singular moment in time, and in the wise words of my grandmother, “this too shall pass.” When it does, we will return to this idyllic part of the world, in the forest by the ocean, and our students will be ready for what comes next.  When we next gather together, we will have an even greater appreciation of the fellowship that is integral to being a part of the  Stevenson community.
 
In the meantime, please explore our school virtually, and we hope to see you in person soon.
 
Sincerely,
 
Dr. Dan Griffiths
Head of the Upper Division

Dr. Dan Griffiths

With a combination of real-time and recorded activities to engage students now dispersed around the world, Stevenson students continue to learn in the company of others, engage each other in discussion, collaborate on group projects and receive individual support from their teachers, just as they did when on campus.

Remote Instruction

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