As we prepare to link arms for another August to May journey, let's remember how uncommon and beautiful this experience can be. Let's also bring some openness to what we can do next to make it better than ever.
Summer always stretches out infinitely when June arrives, then it concludes in some kind of August accelerator. Such surely has been the case for me this time around, with the accompanying excitement about getting everyone together. All the camps and classes and physical plant projects are now in the books, with the exception of some work in the pool happening as I type. Tick tock, Tuesday approaches.
Last August, against a backdrop of public discourse that seemed to reach a new low every day, my request was that we commit to a higher standard for civility in our school community. It's an enduring truth that the examples we set for the young people in our midst will likely be long remembered. And while we surely fell short of perfect at moments along the way, we weathered the political circus pretty well, strengthened by the obvious benefit of learning from one another and from the difference of our stories.
It's probably time to recommit to bringing our best selves to the work of educating our children together, there being few signs that partisan name calling and least common denominator self-serving appeals are on the wane. So as we prepare to link arms for another August to May journey, let's remember how uncommon and beautiful this experience can be. Let's also bring some openness to what we can do next to make it better than ever.
We're welcoming 92 new families and 136 new students K-12, joining more than 700 returning families and 932 returning students. If you're doing the arithmetic, that means a record enrollment of 1,068 for USN. It's a booming time for a booming school in a booming city. What will we do with our moment? I can't wait to find out. The recent multi-constituent survey and the annual parent survey both indicated substantial support for staying the course—no big mandate for quantum change. But I'd guess there are plenty of important opportunities for piloting some emerging best thinking about education without losing sight of what we love most here.
That's how it looks from my desk. Let me close by sharing the particular gratitude that comes from the support we all felt during the rocky times that found us at 2000 Edgehill this summer. The way people care about this school never ceases to inspire me, and when things are hard that realization only grows. Now it's time to welcome the potential of another chapter, year No. 103 for our school, in the company of this growing community. Hope to see you for popsicles at 4 p.m. Sunday.