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Canterbury’s First Virtual Family Weekend Gives Families the Chance to be a "Saint for a Day"

Kelly Slonaker

Canterbury hosted its first-ever Virtual Family Weekend on October 30 and 31, with more than 200 family members in attendance over the two days. While it was not the same as having our campus filled with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, it was still wonderful to see so many smiling faces over Zoom and to allow our students and faculty to share all the hard work they have put in over the past two months.

The weekend began on Friday afternoon with an address to families from Head of School Rachel Stone. Rachel shared many of the processes the School has undertaken to prepare for, and continue through, the school year with minimal risk and its success in having classes, athletics, and activities in person. “One of the things that is unique to Canterbury is that most of our faculty, administrative team, and staff were able to work on campus this summer. Once it was safe to be here, we were here.” She continued, “That may sound like a small detail, but being here and getting accustomed to safety protocols and the flow of life on the hilltop before the students arrived gave us an enormous advantage when they did return. That put us ahead of many other schools, and quite frankly, as a team, it allowed us to be even more efficient and effective in our decision-making.” Rachel walked families through several examples of COVID-related scenarios and how the School responds, or plans to respond, to each. 

Rachel also noted that, despite everything going on in the world, our students are genuinely happy to be here: “Our students have done an excellent job with the protocols; they get it and they want to be here, and they hold each other accountable. Our Saints show up for weekend activities, even our day students; they are doing real, difficult academic work; and they are loving being back on our playing fields and our courts.” 

On Saturday morning, families joined Mini-Class Open Houses, where they “Zoomed” into 15-minute classes, chatted with faculty, met their student’s classmates, and got a glimpse of the class curriculum. As parents were unable to spend the day physically following in their children’s footsteps, the Intro to Digital Media class put together a video called “Saint for a Day” to give families a real sense of life on campus. Following the mini-classes, families and friends watched via livestream as several Canterbury teams played home games and scrimmages.

The Girls’ Varsity Soccer and Varsity Volleyball teams played their final home game and scrimmage of the season, respectively, and each honored their senior players with posters, balloons, banners, and celebrations after the matches. Varsity Football and Boys’ Varsity Soccer both took on Cheshire Academy, and the Varsity Field Hockey team enjoyed some friendly competition with an intrasquad scrimmage.

It’s hard to believe two months have already passed on the hilltop, and we continue to be grateful for our time spent together!

Family Weekend Mini-Class Open House
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Family Weekend Athletics
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