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A Welcome Back Message from our Head of School

Posted By Rachel Bucek, Tuesday, September 1, 2020

166 days. 166 days have passed since COVID-19 sent our students home, and turned our worlds upside down. As we prepared for the new school year, both our Lower School Head and Middle School Head sent out beautiful letters to parents describing all that had taken place on Maple Avenue since March 13 th , and as well as the many hopes and dreams that we as a staff have for you and your children. 166 days is both a blink of an eye and an eternity. Typically most of us complain about how quickly a year has gone by, however, I don’t think anyone is thinking that right now.

We have another 166 days ahead. We have another full year ahead. Whether 6 months old or 86 years, we all have a lifetime ahead. That is the beauty of the human condition—we have the capacity to think about the future, and to imagine things that have yet to take place. Our thoughts and images of the future are powerful forces that shape much of how we experience not only the future but the present.

As we enter into our 115 th year of school at ACS, I asked that everyone channel these powerful forces into positive imagery and positive outcomes. Previous to the beginning of the school year, our faculty and staff spent two days in a workshop, learning about the incredible effects of positive thinking and the science behind happy thoughts/actions/happiness. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that today’s conditions are very scary, very challenging, and very real to all of us. What we also know, with 100% certainty, is that how we respond to these conditions and fears will shape how our students respond and imagine their futures. It’s that simple. Children need us now more than ever to find the positive, see the good, show the compassion, overlook the error, belly laugh when things go awry, be patient in car line, emphasize what went well, not went wrong, smile through the masks, and as one person said, “be intentional, not random in acts of kindness.” This starts with us. How we choose to respond to current events is how most of the young folks around us will follow suit. I want to encourage us all to choose to model grace and compassion. Let us all choose to find and see the positive moments and the positive outcomes that will come from even the darkest days.

Over the past 166 days, I have seen these choices in action throughout the ACS community and my confidence is at an all-time high. Together we have “made it happen” and together we will continue to make it happen at ACS. The stakeholders are many at ACS—what we all share is a commitment and singular focus to support our students in every way possible. We remain committed partners with our parents and are optimistic and excited to welcome our students back to school for the 2020-2021 school year.

With much gratitude and warmest wishes for the 2020-2021 school year,

Paul


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