Learning through connections, smiles, and laughter

Welcome back! I am thrilled to join this diverse and joyful community. You have made me feel so welcome, and this is exactly how we want our students to feel as they start their school year: valued, heard, supported, challenged, engaged, and deeply cared for.
This time of year stirs up childhood memories in most of us, memories of those first days of school. I vividly remember the build-up, putting on the outfit I had carefully picked out the night before — some years, a favorite dress; others, a cool pair of sneakers or T-shirt. I remember that groggy walk to the kitchen for breakfast, my body still unadjusted to the reality of a “school schedule” now fully upon me. I remember reacquainting myself with the weight of a backpack on my shoulders as I walked from my house to the bus stop; taking a seat on the crosstown bus and watching as familiar and unfamiliar faces joined at each stop; approaching the school building and feeling fluttering butterflies in the pit of my stomach.
Then, every year, something would ease as my eyes fell on the community coming together in front of me. My four- to ten-year-old self registered administrators standing with mugs of coffee, shaking hands and giving hugs; parents gathering in growing clusters, chatting away; some children racing over to play with friends. And, above all, throughout that first day, I felt my classroom teacher already crafting the learning community that would become my family for the year.
As I walked around the building today, I saw carefully crafted learning communities designed to feel like family. The results were visible in your children’s faces and actions: moments of connection, smiles, and laughter. I wanted to share some of those moments with you in the pictures below. I cannot wait for the year ahead! 
Click on the video below to for a few snippets of the first day of school in the lower school!