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Reflecting on Trimester 1

Margaret Paul
Dear Families,
There is still so much to say, so much to share about this fall semester in the high school! In reflecting on these past 3 months, we want to share a few final thoughts: 

We continue to be amazed at how quickly students adapted with ease to new tools: they now use Jamboards, Padlets, and Google Slides instead of classroom whiteboards to collaborate on problems, argue through concepts, reveal textual themes, and link evidence to analysis.  From the gym to the PAC to the cafeteria and the Vandam theater they have adjusted to desks 6 feet apart and yet still found the will and a way to have meaningful discussions, share writing with one another, conduct experiments, and grapple with complex problems.
Teachers have navigated simultaneously teaching students on Zoom and students in their classrooms by literally “carrying their Zoom kids” on laptops in their hands while rotating the classroom to check on groups, all while wearing masks and head mics! And if you walked by the classroom you would think they had been doing this for their entire careers. Teachers have taught students from afar on Zoom, orchestrating discussions, guiding projects, and supporting students from their remote locations as well. Each day that we see our teachers fighting to make the most meaningful classrooms experiences possible, we are so filled with pride and admiration.
Our 9th and 10th graders, during Life Lab on Wednesdays, have worked with a talented team of facilitators to examine their own racial identities, and the ways that the multiplicity of our identities affects the way we navigate and move through the world. The team leading this work, from https://www.ourturnpdx.com/ has been so impressed by the thoughtful, honest ways our 9th and 10th graders have engaged. We will share more about this work in the coming months.
Our juniors are in their final week in the Junior Trip Lab, and will present the locations where they would like to study their issues to a panel of teachers and LREI school leaders next week. Again, our Class of 2022 has shown up to this experience with great enthusiasm and intellect. We are excited to share more about their journey with you in 2021.

And our Seniors have completed their turn in College Class, and are now shifting their focus toward designing their Senior Projects. We are so proud of their tenacity and hard work in the college application process, and cannot wait to hear all of the good news in the coming weeks and months!
We can’t end this note to you all without mentioning the creative films and drama performances, and beautiful visual art that students have made this fall. In the midst of significant stress and challenge, they have channeled their energy so productively in our arts classrooms. There is not enough space here to share all that they have created over the past 3 months. For more, follow our Arts program on Instagram: @lrei_visual_arts
This is our last note to you in 2020. It is with gratitude for your constant support and encouragement that we want to end. Thank you for the generous snacks, seltzer, and words of encouragement you have sent. And most of all, thank you for the trust you put in us to care for and guide your children--we are so grateful that you are a part of our LREI community.

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