In between meetings and a seemingly endless to-do list, I sat in one of the green Adirondack chairs scattered about campus. I closed my eyes and let the September sun warm my face. For the briefest of moments, I was transported back to a pre-Covid fall.
Monday's assembly recognized underclass award winners from the 2019-20 school year. Due to being remote last spring, we could not present the awards in person and chose to wait until this fall with the hope of recognizing each of these students face-to-face. Now that we are back on campus, we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate and publicly acknowledge each student's incredible effort and energy they put into their academic pursuits. Congratulations to all award winners!
As we conclude our first week back at Proctor, there remains a cloak of uncertainty over the campus. Although students and faculty alike are as connected as ever, the current state of the school in regards to COVID-19 is new to everyone. Faculty and Staff spent the better part of the summer planning every aspect of school in hopes that we would be able to return to in-person academics this fall. Aside from classes, one of the staples of Proctor life needed to be adjusted as well: afternoon activities.
After a bit of a delay due to a few stubborn COVID-19 tests, we released our dorm pods Saturday morning and jumped right into action with our 9th graders heading into the woods for an overnight camping trip as part of an abridged Wilderness Orientation experience. Meanwhile, soccer, field hockey, and football players practiced and a new masked-normal began to emerge over the weekend.
At the very tail end of two remarkably smooth Registration Days (thank you parents for following directions and doing your part to arrive on campus prepared!), the student crew of Ocean Classroom 2020 arrived on campus for their COVID-19 tests. The motto that will guide every decision aboard Roseway over the next nine weeks is simple: Ship, Shipmate, Self. The application of these words to our on-campus community has never been more important than it will be this year.
We last had students on campus on March 6. Snow covered the ground as student scurried to busses and hugged each other good bye. The excitement of Spring Break overshadowed the fears of COVID-19 that had begun to creep into our lives during the weeks prior. While we knew the Spring Term might be disrupted a bit (a delayed return for classes and maybe we would have to cancel Project Period?), few of us could have predicted what the next six months had in store: lockdowns, masks, remote learning, a remote graduation for the Class of 2020, a pandemic of racial injustice, and so much more.