Wow, we made it to the end of the school year! This year we witnessed children rebounding from the impact, challenges, and transitions over the years due to COVID. This year's focus was on re-building the school by constantly adapting to our students' evolving social-emotional and academic needs and those of the overall community. Along the way, we identified new rituals and routines. Even though we continue to be impacted by significant shifts in our social, political, economic, environmental, and cultural landscapes, we managed to get through the school year with most students feeling a sense of normalcy. For that, I am thankful.
Amidst all the constant disruptions in and outside of FSS, students learned math concepts and how to read, comprehend, write, and conduct science experiments. They created beautiful things in Woodshop, ran through the hallways, laughed, and played with each other. There were recess rivalries, arguments, and debates about rules related to rough play. Students spent time in the library stretched out on the sofa with a book, playing chess or other intricate games beyond my understanding. Beautiful paintings and other art forms adorned our walls and spaces. The FSS band got to play at the Burren once again this year, and of course, students performed the Unit play, “Oscar and His Wild Tales.” We also struggled with complex and what could feel like intractable conflicts with difficult choices to be made. Many students experienced social-emotional challenges, while we all felt the fatigue from dealing with another year of navigating COVID testing and protocols.
Yet, we thoroughly reviewed our math curriculum and developed a teacher evaluation system that we will pilot in the new school year. We made it through our AISNE re-accreditation process with flying colors. The introduction to the visiting team report read, “from the moment we entered Fayerweather Street School, we understood that the community is dedicated to its thoughtfully-phrased mission and vision statements.” Our staff and parents grappled with the meaning of white supremacy culture and how this socialization impacts how we live and work. The FSS Board of Directors also led our school community in deep diving and reviewing our mission. And Big Night Out was a fun event that raised money for our vital work in making our tuition accessible to more families. We had PA gatherings at Kendall Kitchen and engaging admissions events throughout the year.
We accomplished so much more than I can name in this short reflection. Over the summer, we will be planning new opportunities for community engagement regarding the work of FSS. I am thinking about how we can lean into talking about the challenges of our times and identifying more opportunities to work together to create the kind of community we want to see at FSS and in our larger world.
I am sharing this to thank all of you who work for FSS by volunteering your time, providing financial resources, giving thoughtful feedback, encouraging us, and standing beside us this year. We see you, and we have so much gratitude for how you support Fayerweather. I wish the staff and our families a lot of sunshine, time to smell the flowers, swim in the ocean, and take in the warmth of summer. Please take good care of yourselves until we meet again in the fall.