Farm animals visited CA's campus as part of the FUNuary festivities.
Farm animals visited CA's campus as part of the FUNuary festivities.

The powerful connector called fun

We had a little fun this week at Colorado Academy. Each day brought a reminder of just how important it is to remember to smile, laugh, and even cheer aloud. What a powerful connector fun can be!

Smiles coming soon

I recognize the mixed response to Jefferson County Public Health lifting the mask mandate next Friday. Students, by and large, are over the Moon. The Seniors I teach are thrilled. I can’t wait to see faces when I teach. This one step will exponentially impact their social-emotional well-being. Plus, it will help provide a sense of normalcy to our kids’ lives. The pandemic is hopefully entering a new phase, and I truly believe we are going to have to learn to live with the virus the best we can. We are designing campus signage that sends a loud and clear message that anyone is welcome to wear a mask. We are still reviewing our protocols, and I will share an update with you next week. 

Fun with farm animals

A highlight for many was the arrival of farm animals on campus this past Wednesday. There was Charlie Brown the Alpaca, Arthur the Llama, Ruby Rose the Donkey, Bradford the Scottish Cow, as well as some goats and sheep. Seeing the kids giggle as they got up close with animals that some had never touched before was a moment that made my week. It was heartwarming to hear from parents as their children shared this part of their week. One Lower School student was hugging the donkey (which the rancher guided the children on how to do correctly) and sang out, “I have found my soulmate.” What was particularly gratifying was seeing the Upper School students who enthusiastically spent time with the animals. The ranchers who brought the animals to campus filled the breaks with lessons on agriculture and educated the kids about the importance of farm animals to our everyday life. A first for CA, we learned a few things about how to better manage events like this if we consider them again.

Cheers abound

The Boys Varsity Basketball Team defeated Kent Denver on Wednesday night, extending the team's winning record to 14-1.
The Boys Varsity Basketball Team defeated Kent Denver on Wednesday night, extending the team’s winning record to 14-1.

Wednesday night brought games with a certain crosstown rival for our Basketball teams. Our opponent was in a county that had already lifted its mask mandate. CA fans showed up in force, and the evening felt very pre-pandemic, with lots of cheering, laughing, and revelry. Our fans—of all ages—cheered on our Mustang teams. Our Varsity Girls Team lost a tough battle, but our Varsity Boys won! Fans rushed the court in a moment two years in the making. One parent wrote our Athletic Director sharing, “The timing of this event was fantastic, and it brings tears to my eyes, remembering all the CA students being so excited and expressive and smiling so widely all night.” At the end of the game, some of the fans asked the CA players for autographs, and our Mustang leaders gladly signed CA gear for young students. It was a powerful scene!

A perfect ending

Tonight brings the perfect wrap to the week, as the Visual and Performing Arts Department premieres the Middle School Musical in the Leach Center for the Performing Arts. I just sat in on the dress rehearsal for High School Musical, and it’s fantastic. For any parents and kids who have seen the original movies—and my kids played that soundtrack ALL of the time—it’s going to be hard not to sing along.

Middle School students perform in "High School Musical, Jr." at the Leach Center for Performing Arts.
Middle School students perform in “High School Musical, Jr.” at the Leach Center for Performing Arts.

Community connection

Outside of school, positive vibes also found me and gave a glimpse of how, when needed, we can come together to help others. I was driving home on South Wadsworth and came across a truck stopped in the middle of the road. The tailgate was open, and a large refrigerator had crashed onto the road out of the back of the truck. Traffic kept flowing, but my eye caught an elderly man trying to push the fridge toward his car. He was clearly struggling. I put my Jeep in park and turned on the hazards. As I arrived to help him, another man walked up, then a woman. We were all from very different backgrounds, but all paused in the moment to help. Together we worked to load the fridge back on the truck, and the man got on his way. It was just a moment that felt so good. I think it is important to remember—despite all the tough things in life—there are good people out there who look out for one another and respond in the moment.

I can’t tell you what it means to see others who are all in, especially our students giving it their all academically, artistically, and athletically. It was a week to feel proud about our school community, and our larger community, and I really hope everyone takes the chance to pause and come together for 15 minutes, or for an hour, or more.