Yesterday I followed in the footsteps of many Greenwood folks by sending our daughter, Hannah, off to UVM for her first official year on campus. (2020-21 was remote.) I experienced all the emotions accompanying releasing your child, whether you are sending them off for kindergarten, summer camp, middle school, college, or their first job. It is exciting, full of anticipation, and somewhere, deep within, there is this rich sense of hope.
For Hannah, this was her first entry back into a physical school environment since March 2020. The rite of passage of in-person high school graduation and the start of her college career was absent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday I watched her take deep breaths, ride a roller coaster of emotion, turn to her parents for support one minute, and the next minute we were taking up too much oxygen in the room. Somehow, though, the boxes got unpacked, the mini refrigerator was turned on, we found the student center, the bookstore and picked up her school ID. We knew it was time to leave by late afternoon, so we gathered strength, shared those final pieces of parental wisdom, and said goodbye.
As we were driving south on I-89, back towards home, I thought about the Greenwood parents and the reminders we share with them when they bring their sons to school:
- Celebrate this new chapter in their sons’ lives with total commitment
- Support them in finding new friends by being kind and thoughtful
- Remind them to take advantage of this excellent opportunity
- Urge them to go to the dining room - there is always food to eat even if it isn’t exactly like ‘home food’
- Don’t call too often; in fact, wait to call or text for a few days
Greenwood's faculty is exceptionally talented. They are tireless advocates when educating students who learn differently. They believe in every child and will create learning opportunities that strengthen a student’s confidence and self-esteem. They respect the learner as they respect their colleagues.
We are the teachers, advisors, coaches, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and parents. We believe in the mission of the school and share excitement as the school continues to fine-tune and expand programs.
We Do Not Give Up On Kids
I hope the summer has afforded everyone time to recharge, recommit, and even re-invent yourselves. A year ago, we were entering the school year in a state of the unknown. That is not to say that we hadn’t spent a significant amount of time planning and organizing, but no one knew what was in store for 2020-21 - and so, we did everything we could do to keep our community healthy and safe. Now, while we cannot predict what challenges this upcoming year will present, we certainly can feel confident that we’ll continue to maintain the highest standard of care towards our students and one another.
Last Thursday evening, I invited parents to join me on a ‘welcome back’ zoom call. Following my introduction and highlighting the wonders and uniqueness of Greenwood, I asked returning parents to share any comments about their experience as parents. The testimonials were lovely and heartfelt. Particularly moving was one parent who, through tears, shared her son's growth as a new student and how Greenwood has helped him gain a level of confidence that she and her husband had never seen before.
Greenwood creates an environment where students reclaim their sense of self and see what they can achieve. This is a credit to the adults who recognize that this teaching journey is about the whole child and their complete Greenwood experience.
On Wednesday, we will begin our first day of meetings. Please join the entire adult community on the soccer field at 9:00 AM. The faculty will officially start their Beginning of Year (BOY) meetings in the Great Room following our opening event.
Looking forward to gathering this amazing group of individuals back together again.