News & Updates 3/25/22

From Todd:

Morning Meeting in the Great Hall
We knew it was going to happen, but we just weren’t sure when. But with the absolutely horrible weather that the island has had for the last week, we decided that it was time to have a Morning Meeting inside the Great Hall. Getting our entire community together at 9:40 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday is one of the traditions that is at the core of our culture, and it has been very much missed. Today after more than two years it was back.

Ultimately, it was a last minute call. A band of rain came through the neighborhood and the Peace Garden was soaked. At about 9:35 Danielle suggested an indoor meeting, and we immediately started moving furniture.

For those families watching from Zoom, I do apologize for the meeting running late. I am not sure we were even done with QCA’s when we ran out of time, and I was thrilled that one of the announcements introduced the school to the new Kindergarten mascot, Douglas the stuffed Hamster.Even with the longer than normal QCA’s, there was no way we were going to cut this one short, the show was going on.

This week, the 6th graders were in charge of Morning Meeting, and they had prepared a spectacular version of the classic tale, “The Gingerbread Man.” I cannot imagine a better first meeting in the Great Hall, and the beaming smiles of the audience energized me for the rest of the day. I had positioned myself near the back hallway, and I was facing the crowd. Although I did see some of the show, I mostly watched the audience laugh and smile and celebrate for the performers. And everyone in that room responded in the same positive way. Hopefully, one of the pictures I took will do this moment a little bit of justice.  

The 6th graders put on a great show as a wolf, fox, cow, horse, and grandma chased the gingerbread man around the narrator. It was loosely controlled chaos, but the 6th graders hammed it all up nicely, and the crowd loved every second.

OK. So we also tried the New School Birthday Song, and it was not exactly a clean performance. I will blame the pandemic on the fact that the students’ rhythm seems a bit stunted. Half of the room finished the song approximately 20 seconds before the other half, and it ended up sounding a bit like we were singing in a round, but that was never discussed. Also, clapping to a beat is clearly not something that works for us right now. No worries. Music class will be back next year, and I will get the birthday song lyrics to every class before the end of the month.  

I know I have celebrated many firsts in these updates as the pandemic slowed, but this one was like no other. The New School is back- it’s official, even if the song was a bit broken, I know the kids sang from their hearts, and that is all we can ask.

Basketball Buddies
It was a busy afternoon on campus as we prepared for the parent party. I was back and forth to Fraker a couple of times getting supplies after pick-up. On my last trip, I noticed an 8th grader grabbing a basketball from the bushes, and then he ran it back to the net.  He handed it off to a 2nd grader with a smile.There were no teachers around, and other than me, there was no one in the parking lot. The older boy gave some instructions and then pointed to the net. The younger boy threw the ball and it missed everything ending up on the field. The older boy retrieved the ball, added some instructions, and the next shot went in as the friends cheered loudly. 

For two years, this behavior would have been forbidden due to “cohorting policy,” and the simplicity and kindness of the moment hit me hard. I cheered for the shot as I walked into the building, and I was left with one thought “this is going to be a great spring.” 

Ever Grateful,
 
Todd Eveleth
Head of School
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Nantucket New School