Inching towards normalcy — that’s the theme of this week’s installment from the Lower and Middle Schools! So many of the recent conversations and meetings we’ve had amongst the adults on campus revolve around exciting things like prepping for the 8th grade camping trip in April, planning for an upcoming Buddy Day, rethinking how we might host both a Kindergarten AND a 1st Grade Derby in May to make up for last year’s lost Derby event, and planning for end-of-year 8th grade celebrations! Seemingly normal springtime events that we felt such uncertainty and loss around this time last year are slowly creeping back onto the horizon, and I am so grateful. We now understand how we might safely recreate more “regular” events for our School community in ways that honor long-standing traditions while we also reenvision and improve these experiences for students and the School community.

Other signs of inching towards normalcy: yesterday we hosted guest speakers and members of the Louisville Metro Council Jessica Green and Jecorey Arthur (see more about that under Goshen Happenings in the newsletter), the High School Drama Project performed their spring production, Almost, Maine, on the Goshen Campus stage last weekend to rave reviews, and the Middle School drama students started after school, in-person rehearsals for their spring show this week. Our 2020-21 NaNoWriMo authors also received their published books (Congratulations, young authors, and thank you, Julie Mushkin!). Keyonda Turner’s students in Enrichment are enjoying some incredibly fun new Razor scooters, zooming around the playshelter after school! “Camp Curious” Summer Camp plans are in place, and After-School Programs like BrainSTEM and spring sports like baseball, track, and tennis are taking off! We’re also incredibly excited to welcome (fully vaccinated) parent and grandparent lunch volunteers back onto campus in the coming weeks (see note under Goshen Happenings in the newsletter). 

All that being said, on Saturday, it will be one year since COVID-19 changed our lives in innumerable ways. Our last “normal” day of school was March 13th, 2020. There is much to process in thinking about all we have encountered and all of the learning — and grieving — that has happened in our nation and in so many families in the last year. It’s not a year that anyone would have chosen. And yet, we are here. We are, as a School community, thriving. Our values are in clearer focus than ever (look for news from the Board of Trustees and Alexandra soon on a revised Vision and set of Core Values), and our goals for teaching and learning and the kind of community we aspire to be are more palpable than ever. COVID-19 has given us the gift of clarity, allowing us to strip away the clutter and to focus on what is most essential about who we are as a School and the positive impact we strive to create. As we inch forward towards a new normal, may we know we’re doing so while also inching closer to a better normal that honors the very best of who we are and what we’re about as a School community.