Colorado Academy’s Lower School recently celebrated the 100th Day of School, and I’ve enjoyed seeing all the pictures on the website from the big day. Once you move on to Middle School and Upper School and beyond, the 100th day is not “a thing” anymore; it’s just the day after the 99th day. But maybe the rest of us should take a page from the Lower School playbook and continue celebrating milestones, making learning fun, being grateful for what has happened, and being expectant together about what is to come.
Celebrating what has happened
In this strange and crazy-making time of the pandemic, our parent volunteers have risen to each new challenge. Inspired as always by the example of dedication set by our faculty and staff, parents have volunteered to serve as classroom monitors when faculty have had to quarantine and subs were in short supply; they received training to be Admission Ambassadors to host virtual Q&A sessions for prospective parents, with many visitors commenting on how valuable the parent perspective was to getting a sense of the school; they showed up to support all of the various SPEAK events with strong attendance and thoughtful questions. I want to say thank you to our many parent volunteers who have served our school and our community in these meaningful ways.
Likewise, when Taste of CA: A Celebration of Cultures was looking like it couldn’t happen in all of its usual glory during COVID-19 times, our Taste of CA Committee, under the leadership of parents Christina Joymon and Meghan Geisler, reimagined what it could look like to celebrate and nurture our diversity. While a book discussion might seem a surprising stand-in for our lively community party, the Zoom discussion led by them and CA Director of Inclusivity Sarah Wright planted the seeds of important conversations for our community, the benefits of which we will reap for months to come.
Finally, through CA Cares, our families, led by parents Jami Acker and Angie Mielke, have continued to show our community’s caring response to those who are experiencing health or pandemic-related challenges this year. These parent volunteers and donor families are constant reminders that our strength lies in our community, and we stand our best chance to make it through our challenges when we stand together.
Being expectant together for what is to come
As we look ahead at the second half of this year, our community can expect additional excellent programming through the SPEAK series, as well as further opportunities to engage in thoughtful discussions through upcoming PA Coffee Talks. In particular, look for the new parent allyship program which will launch soon under the direction of Sarah Wright.
PA Gifting Program
We will also continue the annual PA Gifting Program, whereby funds that are raised through the year are gifted back to the school, benefitting each of the divisions and a variety of school-wide programs. All current parents are invited to participate by voting for the requests to be funded this year. A complete list of the funding opportunities will be announced at the “State of the School” SPEAK event on Thursday, March 18.
All-School Arts Festival
The All-School Arts Festival in the spring usually includes a big call for volunteers—please keep that in mind for next year! Our ever-creative arts faculty have viewed the pandemic restrictions as an opportunity to rethink this great event. Stay tuned for details on how an indoor display of student art will be reconfigured into a day of exciting art experiences for students.
Faculty & Staff Appreciation
Our faculty and staff are the not-so-secret treasures of our school, and our parent community tries to show its appreciation for them every year. This year, we want them to know that we see the day-in, day-out sacrifices they have made and the incredible dedication they have shown to make school a place of belonging, learning, and joy for all of our students. If you are interested in helping with our faculty and staff appreciation efforts toward the end of the year, please sign up via the online volunteer form on the Parent Association Resource Board, or let your division Vice Presidents know.
In a speech last spring, British Chancellor Rishi Sunak said of the global pandemic, “When this is over, and it will be over, we want to look back at this moment and remember the many small acts of kindness done by us and to us. We want to look back on this time and remember how we thought first of others and acted with decency. We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort—and we stood together. It’s on all of us.”
This could be said of our collective effort as a school community, if on a smaller scale; and we look forward to looking back at how we stood together with kindness and courage during this time.