Jack Sweeney | November 2 | Cougar Chronicle

Dear New School Families,

Every morning I spend 45 minutes at the front lobby entrance, opening doors for our students in grades K-6. When you do something every day, little details that might go unnoticed become clear. Not only do I recognize a family’s car, I know if that student might need help getting out of the car or getting everything into the building. I know which students might need an extra moment with mom or dad to say goodbye, or which students are all but running inside to greet their friends.

Rain or shine, my mornings at The New School really begin when I greet you and your children. During these sometimes not-so-quiet-hours, I hear about the many things your children are learning such as spiders or leaves, their weekend adventures, or even the music playing in your car. My favorite thing to hear each day is the good-byes from you, our parents, to your children. One of my favorites is “Become smarter.” because when I walk through our hallways and see our classrooms, I know that your students are doing just as they were told! 

Although our student-learning continues, it is clear that our community is aching for more interaction. For faculty and staff, we get to spend the day with your children, but we miss the daily interactions both big and small with our parents. We miss seeing you at school, in the hallways, cafeteria and classrooms.

As our students have had to adapt to the ‘new normal,’ so have we. I know that the conversations shared through carlines, emails and zoom calls can be just what a faculty or staff member needs for that extra boost in a challenging or long day. 

Just the other morning, I connected with a parent in the carline who I had not seen in a long time. As she dropped off her son, I overheard the all too familiar argument about jackets and the weather. I told the student, “It’s going to be cold today, bud. You need your jacket.” The mom responded with gratitude and relief, and later called to leave a message. She shared that she missed seeing everyone and wished things would get better, that message was heard loud and clear.  When I called her back, I reminded her that  “The day will come when we all get together, walk through the halls and lobby, and celebrate with a ‘Post-COVID-Party,’ and be the community we truly are.”

What this interaction reminded both myself and this parent of is that, even through the unique challenges and everyday struggles, we are still a community. As parents and faculty/staff, we are all still on the same team striving for the same goal: the safe education of our students. 

Because of the strength and significance of the Community at The New School, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we truly do miss seeing each other.  

When you’re feeling a lack of connection, I encourage you to reach out to your TNS Community. Reach out to the families and teachers that you’ve missed through a phone call or share a photo of a memory you have together. 

One day, our parents will be able to visit and be in the halls and lobby once again. Until then, like so many other challenges, changes and sacrifices we have had to endure, I will continue to do my part as I know you will continue to do yours—  to help everyone, especially our children, stay safe and healthy. 

I can not wait to see you and your children in the morning carline again. Thank you for being at The New School and for making this Community something to be missed. 

With Cougar Pride,


Jack Sweeney

Director of Enrollment and Admission

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