Semester Solstice

Dr. Jessie Barrie, Head of School
Tuesday, December 21, marks the winter solstice. It is the point at which the sun arrives in its annual journey to the Tropic of Capricorn, making it the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. The solstice also celebrates the official start of winter. 

As a school, there are many additional markers of winter….the magical sequence of student end-of-semester projects and performances; candygrams handed out by the upper school student government; the fireplace warming the Schoolhouse each morning; athletics teams moving from the fields to the gym and pool; choir singers caroling around campus; students pairing a hoodie with their shorts; service learning groups organizing community drives; the anxious energy of upper school finals; and the buzz and relief that come from the end of the first semester, with a long-needed break in sight. 

We have had much to celebrate this semester. Most importantly, we celebrate having our students back on campus for full-time, in-person teaching, learning, and community daily. Two years ago, we never could have imagined how momentous that would be, but I am reminded every single day not to take that gift for granted. The countless joys of learning together again in class and seeing our students so warmly reconnected to their friends in Morning Meeting—these are gifts we have received only through sustained commitments to COVID-19 safe practices and flexibility in deciding how best to “do school” through an ongoing pandemic. 

In addition to re-establishing the basic norms of being together and settling back into more predictable routines, this semester we have also experienced adjustments to a new schedule, ongoing efforts and commitments to effectively manifest our equity, community, and culture principles, the success of our first-ever It Takes a Village Day, and preparing for the launch of our new three-week-long immersive courses this May. Our teachers have been working hard to design and map out their immersives, and we can’t wait to share the inaugural course catalog with our students and all of you in the new year! 

Our students have thrived this fall. Throughout the semester, they have taken on the challenges of participating in multiple math contests, collaborating on dual language mainstage productions, engaging in wildlife conservation projects, collecting recycling across campus, launching new sports like middle school flag football and preparing to launch eSports in January, and providing valuable feedback on schedule tweaks that we will incorporate in the near future. Our students are very much “back” and representing Bosque Bobcat passions and voices with confidence and strength.  

Alongside the successes, we all continue to function under the very present cloud of COVID-19 and social justice inequities that deplete each of us physically, emotionally, and mentally in very unique ways. I hope we can keep providing each other with much grace and compassion and really lean into our shared core values of cultivating community, fostering integrity, and our mission of “...compassionate contribution to a more just world.” 

I wish all of you moments of rest, reflection, rejuvenation, and connection with those you love over the holidays. Thank you for sharing this semester and community with all of us. 

With gratitude,

Jessie Barrie, PhD
Head of School
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