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Building Community

A Message to Lower School Families

With Thanksgiving break right around the corner, it is almost impossible to explain how our community has responded to these challenging times.  However, lower school head, Greg Schnietzlein, does an excellent job capturing what building community looks like in his most recent letter to families.  Enjoy. 

Dear Lower School Families, 

This will be our last message before the Thanksgiving break, which is the perfect opportunity to reflect on things for which we are grateful. I will begin by thanking our incredibly dedicated and caring teachers. Our talented faculty have thrived in what can be best described as extremely challenging circumstances. They are engaging in-person and virtual learners, navigating health and safety protocols, all while attempting to keep school as normal as possible for our boys. Our teachers are the heart of the building and their efforts cannot be overstated. There is a certain comfort as a teacher that comes with the rhythm and routine of a school year. This has been a year when every day brings with it varying levels of uncertainty and our teachers have kept our division and boys safe, engaged, and happy. My sincerest thanks for all you have done and continue to do. 

I am also grateful for our boys. At the beginning of the year, I suspected my time would be spent having conversations with students who had challenges with the rules designed to keep them safe. Wearing a mask all day, remaining socially distant, and eating outside in all sorts of weather is new to all of us. The boys understand and have embraced what it takes to ensure that we are able to remain safe. Whether it is lunch on the lawn, a socially distant recess, or a hike around campus, our boys are joyful and engaged. My personal favorite part of the week is watching them dance during morning assemblies as we are all able to gather as a division. Kids are resilient and you can see it every day in classrooms and over Zoom. 

I am also grateful for our lower school parents. You have been supportive, patient, and understanding as we navigate the challenges of operating in the midst of a pandemic. Never have there been more emails, phone calls, and messages of support for the work that we do. Please know that we thank you for taking seriously the responsibility of monitoring the health of your family to ensure that our community is safe. There have been stops, starts, pauses, and adjustments, and our families have been up to the challenge since day one. 

Our community is stronger than ever. Please be safe over the break and enjoy the time with your family. Please take a moment to think about what you are grateful for and make sure to share it with all of those that you love. 

Thank you for your continued trust and support,

Greg Schnitzlein

Head of Lower School