The Lower School defined vibrancy this week as students not only returned from spring break, but Intermediate Years students made their return to regular, all-week, on-campus school.
“It has been a wonderful week in the Lower School," Assistant Head of Lower School for Intermediate Years Chris Thompson said. "The children have brought such joy back to our building. Our building is filled with laughter, scraping of chairs, and the quiet undertone of negotiation and collaboration in the hallways. Joining classes to go outside to eat or play, everyone is excited to connect and share their stories."
While there are still many virtual components to on-campus learning, the community-building already being witnessed is adding the spark many students, teachers, and parents have missed since the pandemic began.
“Oh, it's great,” one first-grader from Sharon Kottler-Decker's class said. “I really have fun seeing my classmates actually in person.”
"In Lower School, we believe that our student's social-emotional growth is as important as their academic, for this reason, a return to campus is so important and monumental," Thompson continued. "This experience has underlined the importance of a small connection, comment, a hand on your shoulder, etc between students, between students and adults, for our community."
With so many health-safety protocols in place, students have quickly picked up what many call the “new normal.” Air hugs, air high-fives, no-touch freeze tag, and diligent hand-washing are all now an integral part of the day.
“Well, I'm noticing that, first of all, people wear masks, and they have to be socially distant,” another first-grader from Kottler-Decker's class said. Another student continued, “I noticed that we can only play in certain sections at recess because other groups have their own sections and we are limited to our section.”
And while it may look and feel a little different, for Lower School students, some things never change.
“Recess and P.E. have been the most fun,” a fourth-grader from Adelaide Wainwright’s class said. “All the games are really fun. Just remember to bring your water bottle, because it can get really crazy.”
Thank you, to Lower School Extension Teacher Austin Schock '09 for facilitating the students’ quotes.