Dear New School Community,
At its best, learning should be messy. I, much like you I’m sure, have been inundated with messages of pandemic exhaustion, information overflow, and just plain weariness. I get it. And I strongly support the need for people to take breaks, prioritize family and self-care, and ask for support. I also urge us not to give in or give up. At The New School, we remain focused on our mission to empower each student through a well-rounded experience and inspire a love of lifelong learning. Those words sound easy, but I assure you that implementing them takes work and commitment on all of our parts. If we truly believe in lifelong learning, then we push through the struggles and the failures that lead to genuine learning. If we are committed to a well-rounded experience, then we embrace the dynamic balance of social emotional learning with academic achievement. Education is messy. In times like these, when life feels messy in so many ways, it might be easy to lose sight of the fact that what is happening at The New School right now is the type of education that is core to our mission.
Rest, lean into this community, embrace curiosity and grace, and join us in our mission to prioritize the education and care of our children at this moment. I know it’s hard, but please read our messages and emails, and then store them in a folder where you can reference them as needed. Check Blackbaud, and ask for help if you don’t know how to find something. If you wonder about something and your child is in EC-6, ask your child’s teacher. If your child is in 7-12, start with your child to empower them. Follow up with advisors and administrators, as needed of course. Balance curiosity with trust. We have amazing teachers, who are watching out for your child. We have experienced administrators, who are guiding your child’s education. You are the experts on your children; we are the experts on education. Together that partnership is powerful.
In this week’s Cougar Chronicle, read about the power of that partnership in navigating the questions about early childhood language development, and when to engage the experts, in Mary Sweeney’s blog. Jade House provides an easy-to-read list of tips on how you can utilize Blackbaud as a critical communication tool, while J.R. Neiswender and David Ferrell remind us of the normalcy of the change of seasons in our upper school programs. Like Jade, J.R. also provides pointers on how to utilize Blackbaud to understand and support your child in making progress through the second half of this semester. And don’t miss the reminder about the PSAT. Finally, John Gourlay provides a call to action, asking you for your support in our compressed annual fund campaign to keep our TNS community strong and vibrant!
I hope you’ll join me in our Virtual Fun Run next week as one way to nurture the strength of The New School Community!
Head of School