Head of School Reflections
March 17, 2020
During such an unexpected and unsettled time in the world, I have noticed that I keep thinking about School Meeting. Sure, the moments of laughter and community spirit are helpful to hold on to right now, but mostly I am thinking about the stories you have shared in that space. Stories of your families, your moments of vulnerability and bravery, your reasons for calling Canterbury home, and your aspirations for what comes next. I believe that these stories serve as the “glue” which holds us together, even as we face a pandemic that requires us to create space among us.
I am sad that we must create this space. Disappointed that the faculty and I won’t hear you fill campus with your joy and energy next week. Resolved that the days ahead are unpredictable at best. Hopeful that we can still shepherd the Sixth Formers across the stage at graduation...but worried, too.
What can we do with all of this emotion and concern?
First, it’s important to remember that we are all in this together, feeling many levels and layers of frustration and anxiety.
Second, let’s also move through this together. How?
1. Stay informed. You are smart and curious young adults. Learn from the CDC, the NIH and WHO. When the news mentions “flattening the curve,” understand what that means. Don’t give in to rumor and speculation! You certainly have the time right now to inform your perspective with science and medicine - do it!
2. Stay healthy. Thankfully, our students largely fall in a low-risk category for COVID-19. However, you can carry the virus with minor or no symptoms, inadvertently spreading it to those at higher risk. So be good citizens - wash your hands and don’t touch your face - and be responsible for your role in keeping others healthy. Think about your parents & grandparents. Your teachers and coaches. Members of your community. You genuinely can play a positive role in this.
3. Stay in touch. When I was in high school, we called our friends on landlines, hoped that someone would leave us a message on our family’s answering machine, and passed written notes in our high school hallways. Being separated from my friends would have felt devastating. But you! You can stay in touch with friends and family in dozens of meaningful ways, from calls to texts to Snaps. This will be so, so important in the weeks ahead in terms of how you take care of one another. I would love to know how you are doing, too.
4. Stay present for others. Compassion is one of our core values, and moral leadership is one of our key goals. Seek ways to help the world through this, even in the smallest of actions.
We will stay in touch, Saints, and the learning adventure that begins on March 30th will help all of us grow in new ways. Meanwhile, our hilltop - and all of us on it - can’t wait for your return.
Head of School