The start of this school year had an energy the likes of which I have never experienced. Unlike the previous year, there was a palpable sense of excitement among students, parents, and staff as the community came back together to learn and grow. This excitement is an outgrowth of the pent-up need for human connection as well as confidence in the school’s ability to manage the risks of the pandemic while providing a first-rate education for our students. As one Lower School teacher said, “We’ve got this!”
Waynflete is in a good place. Our community has responded to the pandemic without the acrimony plaguing many parts of our nation. Our school-wide vaccination rates are all in the ninetieth percentile, we have one of the highest weekly testing participation rates in the state, and one of the lowest COVID case counts. Our families and community members have embraced the belief that we are all in this together, and that if we follow the science, we can have a remarkable year.
Our desire to be the best version of ourselves as a school continues to drive innovation and reconsideration of what our role is in preparing young people for the world ahead. We continue to teach the skills of critical thinking to ensure that our students are able to engage in dialogue with those with whom they disagree. Our teachers have expanded their curricula to more fully incorporate the literature, history, and experiences of everyone who is enrolled at our school. Believing that diversity is a core strength of our community, we have evolved one of our key administrative positions into the Director of Community Belonging to help us continue our work in this area.
We continue to invest in our facilities to ensure that they meet the needs of our exceptional program. We have previously focused our attention on classroom buildings, including science, the Arts Center, and our Lower School. Our attention now has turned to athletics. There are exciting changes coming to the Fore River Campus and our rowing program, and we hope to launch a campaign to replace our aging gymnasium soon. Read below for more details on how to nominate an individual for our newly launched Athletic Hall of Fame!
We have never rested on our laurels when it comes to our academic program and are focused both on the short-term ways we can improve as well as our long-term philosophy of education. Our math, science, world language, and performing arts programs have become even stronger as a result of the curriculum review process. In the next two years, English, history, and visual arts will follow suit. We know that standing still as the field of education goes through major transformations is not an option. Our strategic planning efforts are focused on finding the opportunities that exist and sorting out how the school should evolve in the decades ahead.
While there are many initiatives underway to secure our future, we are all keenly aware that our most compelling asset is the Waynflete community itself. Driven by kindness and a deep desire to affirm all those who are a part, our community is the “special sauce” that makes the enterprise work. You see it in the dedication of our faculty and staff to know each child. You see it in the acts of kindness and respect that exist between students. It is a feature of the Waynflete experience that we must continue to nurture and support.
Thank you for continuing to be an essential part of our community.