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.
Campus is repopulated with boarding students and we are off and running in dorm pods for the first 72 hours while we await a second round of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results for all students. It is a most bizarre way to kick off a school year, but an absolutely necessary one as we seek to protect our immediate and surrounding communities from potential infection. These first 72 hours are critical to setting expectations for life on campus for boarding students within dorms prior to opening campus for classes on Monday, and while the photos we will share in this blog post and on social media show kids outside having fun and exploring Proctor’s woodlands, the real message this week is communicated during the far less exciting moments: do your job as an individual to protect this community and those around you.
Adolescents are more predictable than most age groups despite their reputation. Without fail, they seek boundaries, and then push them. And yet our experience as educators reminds us, the firmer the boundaries, the less resistance is felt over time from our students. As we issue reminders in our pods to “pull your mask up”, “you may only be in YOUR dorm room”, or “submit your daily wellness check”, we hold firm to the expectations we know will give our community the best chance of staying whole this fall. We collectively do the hard work necessary to lay a foundation on which the rest of this year will be built.
Head of School Mike Henrqiues opened our first (virtual) assembly of the year this morning with a straight forward reminder that the Community Agreement we all signed in person as we arrived on campus this week matters. School Leaders Nate '21 and Cha '21 reinforced this message by encouraging their peers to work hard now, so that we can remain together in the future. Members of our student life team followed with explanations of how our core values of honesty, compassion, respect, and responsibility need to be applied to not only this 72 hours of on-campus time in our pods, but to our shared lives at Proctor this year. It is our application of these words and their intent that will allow us to remain a healthy community - physically and emotionally - this year.
"HONESTY in the little things and the big things matter as we each work to speak our truth into this community. We must be willing to be honest with those around us, and be open to hearing others’ truths when they are different from our own.”
- Megan Hardie, Student Wellness Coordinator and International Student Coordinator
The RESPONSIBILITY we share right now is real - the community agreement, the ability to hold each other and ourselves accountable - these actions matter and will be what ultimately allow us to remain open this fall.”
- Kyle Tremblay, Dean of Residential Life
“Our ability to RESPECT each other is critical as we come together as a community, but we also must respect this disease (COVID-19) that has altered our way of life. We must respect that members of our community have lost loved ones from this disease, and our ability to follow guidelines and procedures is not a matter of preference, but a matter of life and death. We have to respect this reality.”
- Karin Clough, Assistant Head of School