The last 10 days have made me extremely proud of our CA community. The Colorado Academy we know and love is shining, as our Arts and Athletic programs define resilience. Our students are leading the way with unmatched grit.

I have been impressed by our students, faculty, and families this entire school year. It hasn’t been easy. I know that students and families—particularly those new to CA—feel a sense of disconnection. Every child has faced some level of disappointment and sadness. The typical ups and downs of childhood feel more intense during the pandemic. Behind masks and socially distanced, it’s hard to be the kind of community we know we are.

Musical marks a CA first

The theater team had a CA first, as they took the Upper School musical outdoors because singing indoors is still not recommended. The entire performance was held on the steps of the Schotters Music Center. The cast and crew were simply amazing, as they performed Urinetown, a hilarious musical that confronts the theme of unfairness. We can find a lot that doesn’t seem fair about this pandemic, but that isn’t stopping us. Our students rose up and sang and acted their hearts out. Parents and fellow classmates attended on Stamper Commons for what was truly a historical moment at CA.

All-School Art Festival gets all involved

As the musical demonstrated, life is beginning to return to normal. Another sign—the All-School Art Festival. Again, our faculty held an outdoor event. The day-long festival brought all grades together. Creativity and fun was on display for the entire day. Take a few minutes and watch the video or  flip through the pictures. We miss our parents being able to participate in large numbers for these on-campus events, and we are doing all we can to share in the memory making.

Sports bring community together

One place parents can, and do, show up is on the sports sidelines, and this past weekend’s Boys Soccer 3A State Championship was no exception. Our Mustangs won, capping an undefeated season. These student-athletes, along with their peers on the Climbing, Ultimate Frisbee, and Girls Field Hockey teams, have more grit than I have seen in any year watching our teams perform. And I can’t wait to see what’s ahead for Baseball, Boys Lacrosse, Girls Lacrosse, Girls Soccer, Girls Tennis, and Girls Golf.

Paving the way for next year

All of these events help pave the way for what is possible next school year. Our plan—conditions permitting—is to be open and in person. We want to be back in the classroom with the goal of maximizing in-person learning. We know that this is best for children and their academic progress. My hope is that parents can come back to campus to volunteer and to meet one another. I desperately hope we can begin the year with our Back-to-School Picnic, so that three years of new families can finally experience CA as it’s meant to be.

I also hope that our students, faculty, and families will all learn from this extraordinary moment in world history. We have faced adversity and come through. We need to come through this as stronger, more unified, and more committed to our community. I’ve spoken about the need for a “reset.” Much of that will involve your presence on our campus. The other part is remembering our priorities. The pandemic taught us much about what we most value. I know, going forward, that I am not going to sweat the small stuff. If our students can get up on an outdoor stage and sing joyfully in masks in freezing conditions, play their sports at a level where they lead all others in the state, and come together, Kindergartners through Seniors, to play in paint and clay, we can do anything.

Resilience is defined as coming back stronger after a setback; the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The definition of grit is courage and resolve; strength of character. I never doubted CA’s resilience, and it’s so rewarding to see our students’ grit each and every day.