As I sat down to come up with the theme of this blog, I kept coming back to one of my favorite High School Musical songs. While the lyrics really have nothing to do with the current reality we are finding ourselves in, that chorus of “It’s the start of something new” just kept cycling again and again in my mind.
Let’s be honest, this is the start of something new. We are about to launch a first day of school like we have never seen. A year ago, we never could have imagined how dramatically our experiences of teaching, learning, community, and public health would have shifted.
Unfortunately, we are still a long way from normal (I have heard this period described as the “new abnormal”), and I know how disappointing this may be. We are all being asked to display levels of sustained fortitude and resilience that we have likely never experienced before. As an eternal optimist, I admit that my morale has been and is being tested daily, and yet my commitment to and passion for Bosque is keeping me focused and motivated. I have complete confidence that we will survive this challenging period of time, with as much grace, humility, and vibrancy as humanly possible.
Bosque has always been grounded in an ethos of innovation. This innovation led Dr. Peggie Ann Findlay to bravely envision and design a new kind of independent school for the children of Albuquerque, 26 years ago. It guided our founding head of school, Gary Gruber, as he moved across the country, from one of the most established independent schools to one of the newest. It defines our philosophy of Challenging Education. And it deeply informs our nimbleness which has been critical to our ability to respond to our current challenges. Jimmy Dean’s words, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination,” is resonating a lot with me these days. The very intensive COVID scenario planning work our administration has done all summer has allowed us to make efficient adjustments to our plans as data has continually shifted around us. I expect we will be called on to keep adjusting our sails through the year ahead. We will do this with a deep grounding in our newly updated mission and core values and by doing everything we can to continue providing the Bosque education that our families believe in.
As we launch our year in Model 3: Remote Teaching and Learning, we do so with significant updates to the plan and principles, informed by the robust feedback we collected from you, students, and staffulty last spring. The following goals are connected to our newly designed Principles of Remote Teaching & Learning 3.0:
Design a model of remote teaching and learning, and core expectations that most closely align with Bosque’s mission and core values, and what students would traditionally experience when on campus.
Acknowledge the additional strain of being online all day and design a schedule that creates intentional daily and weekly breaks to create as much balance as possible, within this model.
Maintain the expectations of academic engagement and excellence that guide the Bosque model of Challenging Education.
As an educational thought leader, Greg Bamford has shared that it is time for schools to “design for resilience.” We educators have found ourselves in a mode of triage last spring, when we transitioned virtually overnight from our campuses to online platforms. It is now our responsibility to shift into a stage of adaptation and resilience. Administratively, we have been working all summer on plans to support this, and our teachers have been engaged in intensive professional development from the Global Online Academy and Zoom Academy. We are committed to delivering the quality of education that you know and expect from Bosque, regardless of the model that we find ourselves in due to public health orders.
In this Buzz, you will find many important details pertaining to the start of the school year, including our updated Major Dates Calendar for the fall (we are holding off on any changes to the spring semester at this point), details about our drive-through supply/book/spirit pick-me-up event on August 14th, and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com with any specific questions.
I wish you and your child a successful launch to the school year. I am grateful for your sustained commitment to Bosque. I am committed to each of you and will be walking alongside you and your children, for whatever we may face, for the year to come.