This morning while walking through classrooms during first period, there was a cacophony of discussion and debate throughout our math classrooms, small group conversations in our world language classrooms, and music drifting throughout the school from our vocal students in the courtyard and our instrumental students in the music suite.
It was joyful, and filled with life. The opportunity for conversation created the chance for connection. And we know that connection, more than ever, is critical for our high school students.
We are seeing connections form in our 9th grade, and strengthen within the upper grades. During our outdoor “recess” in the morning, while our maintenance team cleans the classrooms, the circles of 9th graders talking together have expanded, and the chatter throughout the grades is filled with laughter and smiles, showing ever so slightly from behind their masks.
And in our classrooms, the connections continue as in-building students and remote students engage in discussion and collaboration. Many of our teachers have taken up a new practice, which we refer to as “carry a friend” where an in-building student “carries” a remote student around the room on their laptop so that they can both engage in whiteboard and mapping work together.
Across digital spaces, through our masks, and despite our physical distance, our high school students are benefitting from their time with one another, with their teachers, and in the community during this unprecedented time.
We know that navigating school right now--whether from home or in the building--is not easy. We know that some students feel more connected than others, some more isolated. Now is a good time to reach out to advisors, teachers, deans, and us if you want to discuss how to further support your student at home. We don’t have easy answers, but we are here to partner with you as we all move through this time together.