As a community, we will be spending some important time celebrating the 8th grade during the next couple of weeks. As part of those celebrations, the New School's first ever “Fancy Friday” is coming up, the Spring Carnival is right around the corner, and the Tuckernuck Barbecue should be a highlight of the spring for the 8th grade. I was incredibly lucky to be able to start the celebratory process last week when we brought the 8th grade to Maine for three nights, and this was an amazing trip.
Stop after stop we made with the 8th graders, people commented on what a respectful, polite, and engaging group these children were, and I couldn’t agree more. Their behavior was perfect from beginning to end, but the real treat for me was listening to the somewhat unfiltered conversations. Here are some snippets of quotes from the 8th graders:
“Todd, my friend and I are going to start a religion. Is there a license we need for that?”
“Who would win in a battle, a thousand lions or a thousand elephants?”
“I think stepping on a flaming marshmallow in bare feet would be the most painful thing in the world, worse than being punched in the face by far.”
“Todd, let me buy this toll for you, it's the least I can do.”
I have been traveling with students for over 20 years, and I have never had a student offer to take care of a toll.
I am not sure who had a better time on this trip, the students or me. It was incredible to be with this group, not totally focused on the pandemic, and arranging a schedule based on fun and not fear. Although while bowling, I was both having fun and feeling a bit fearful. However, my fear was primarily based on the technique of some of our bowlers which resulted in the ball traveling backward toward our group and away from the pins. Sadly, I am not sure there is a future champion bowler in the 8th grade. Oh well.
Thanks to Matt, Alicia, and Karen for helping out on this trip. I think they all enjoyed it as well. We will do it again for sure.
A new piece of guidance was released that relates to next year, and it was great to see that the state is removing all physical distancing requirements in schools for the 2021-2022 school year. This was excellent news. We were also told that additional guidance around masks and cohorting would be released in the coming weeks, and we are anticipating greater flexibility as the vaccinations continue to be given to a greater percentage of the population.
Testing and Thanks
Thursday, June 3, will be our last COVID testing day of the year. Schoolwide, these youngsters have come so far with their tolerance of this process. I literally watched some students crawl into the trunk of their cars to avoid the swab or dodge the q-tip with a head turn as it approached a nostril. This week we were done with the process in less time than usual and without any tears. Kudos and thanks to Chris Brannigan who has been the “bogie swabber” since we started the program. He has seen it all this year, and we are thrilled that Chris has offered to serve as a medical advisor to the New School and Strong Wings as the pandemic hopefully winds completely down in the coming year. Thanks Chris!!!
Enjoy the long weekend and get ready for the sprint to the finish of the 2020-2021 school year!!!